|MIGHTY WANDERERS CC VS GULLIVERS, 31 August 2003, Headstone Lane.|
|Gareth||Ct (Mortimer)||L Smith||1|
|T Gavin||Ct (Montgomery)||Maddison||8|
|TOTAL||140 All out|
|Mathias||Ct & Bwld||T Gavin||45|
|TOTAL||141 for 3|
|Mighty Wanderers won by 7 wickets.|
|Man of the match: Gaf Mathias|
"Two ravens flying from the East, come croaking to the bloody feast: the warrior knows what they foreshow - the days when Gullivers' blood will flow..." Heimskringla, Vol 3, chapter 28Dear Friends,
A tale of the mighty and the slaying. A day of desolation and triumph. An outcome (never in doubt) foreseen by all.*The Wufferelli tossed impeccably. Tony Gavin, leader of the gallant Gullivers Invitational XI, called misguidedly and the Gullivers openers marched out to face the seething white-hot pace of the Wanderers opening attack.
And indeed it was not long before the heroic Bongo scattered the opener's stumps with a ball of such outrageous ferocity as has rarely been seen at headquarters. Lasse promptly despatched another hapless oppositionist, before both opening bowlers were harshly exiled to the outfield to stir with their hands the ice-cold sea...At this point came the key confrontation of the innings. The redoubtable Nikhil, playing a variety of aggressive strokes, accumulated unsteadily against Murdo's relentless drifters and tweakers. Two wickets fell - one to the Murdo and one to the Wild (given as short a shrift by his captain as were the other seamers), but Nikhil fought on alone against the odds until he chanced his arm once too often against the Herculean Hebridean and the Explorer took a smart catch in the covers.
It proved the turning point in the innings as the rest of the Wanderers slow-bowling quartet closed in for the kill. There were two wickets each for Messrs Sozi and Maddison and one for Mathias, bringing the total figures for these four for the season to: 61.2 overs at 5.46 runs an over, taking 22 wickets at 15.2 apiece. Top bowling by anybody's standards and one of the key reasons why the Wanderers have succeeded in bowling out five of our six opponents this year (only the Salix escaped).
Further points to note for the Gullies innings: the remarkable continued good form of Jonny Mortimer, by far the best wicket-keeper that I have ever come across**, who finished up with 2 catches and 2 stumpings. And two marvellous catches: Murdo pouching one of the highest skiers I've ever seen and a stupendous catch by the Gafboy, flying through the infield with gracious ease and outstretched paw.
The target of 141 didn't look too daunting, but the Wanderers' openers BYU and Jonny Gloves had a tricky passage of nine overs to negotiate before Captain Carbohydrate could replenish their strength. Alas for Jon, he was taken from us (after scoring only five) by an astonishing catch at backward point. Cruel sorrow was his only companion as he trudged off to his fellows and of course the magnificent Headstone Lane spread, that is companion and comfort to us all.
Thus refreshed, the Wanderers resumed and we were privileged to see one of the great Wanderers innings of all time. Gaf, who had not previously bothered the scorers with much in the way of double figures, set about the bowling with an array of shots that had the crowd gasping and bellowing for more. Each successive boundary was raucously cheered as the score mounted. Bob was out for an accomplished 24 and the Welshman (already in uncharted territory in the twenties) was joined by his wise captain, who proceeded to demonstrate his wisdom, by slashing wildly at his first ball, getting dropped and then almost running Gaf out. The Skipper of course sees much that is hidden*** (remembering the golden rule of batting tactics, that it is the responsibility of the incoming batsman to push the score on after a long partnership). Gaf took a fresh stick of metaphorical gum and it was not long before the score was racing along and the target was heaving into view.
Sadly the Wizard's many fans were denied the opportunity of cheering his fifty as he popped one up for a well-taken Gavin c&b and departed after registering the fourth highest Wanderers knock of the season. Kaiser Sozi arrived for a late cameo with the bat and the day was won with seven wickets and several overs to spare.
On to the clubhouse for delicious beer and the formality of electing the Prince of Pontypants to his rightful title of man-of-the-match! Hurrah for the Boy from Nowhere! We behead them all!
*I should point out that Wuff has just returned from a trip to 13th century Norway.
**Although indisputably true, this comment is being referred to the club's Corruption and Bribery Unit.
***As well as reading too much Tolkien. Ed.