Vikings Turn The Tables
By Larry the Llama
Monstrous win for the mighty VI-Kings
Last season, the VI-Kings lost this fixture by over a hundred runs. What a difference a year makes! While there have been wholesale changes in the weekly line up for the 6th team since then, it is worth remembering that one of the purposes of this side is to nurture the young talent in the club and in this match they certainly demonstrated their potential.
After a very rainy period (i.e. English summer) that saw the previous week’s fixture called off by the groundsman over 48 hours before match day, the team were getting concerned that the same might happen again. However, the Mynthurst crew did their best to make hay (well, a square) while the sun shined and got the work done in time for Saturday. There was a vague warning that the outfield was still a bit “moist”. Um…that was an understatement. In fact everything from about 10 yards away from the track was squidgy to the consistency of a sponge pudding. That didn’t stop the skipper from laying out a deep boundary for some reason. As they say, it was a good toss to win- and so Hudson did precisely the opposite. Coldharbour’s Captain wasn’t 100% sure what he wanted and so asked the Reigate skipper what he would have done. Stupidly, Hudson told him and thus the VI-Kings were asked to bat.
Openers James ‘the Barnacle’ Wilson (22) and Andy Snow (47) were challenged early with the notorious Mynthurst slide appearing almost immediately and anything pitched on a length plugging mercilessly. Nothing hit with any vigour was getting anywhere near the boundary it seemed and the athletic Coldharbour boys were chasing down anything getting past the square with aplomb. Still the boys managed the reach a partnership of 65 before Snow mistimed one to midwicket just shy of his half century. Richard ‘David’ Boon appeared and had a harder time getting settled before he played on without troubling the scorer. Meanwhile the Barnacle- clearly concerned about the rate- started to hit out a bit, succeeding mainly in humiliating the fielders who dropped him three times in as many balls (by three different players). Finally, he played around one and was adjudged lbw in what must surely be the longest decision ever made by an Umpire (Mark Waine). The oppo were convinced that the length of their appeal was the decisive factor and started to work the ‘team shout’ tactic rather vigorously. This had little effect as the youth of the team (and Dave Littlemore) came out show the top order players what setting a total was meant to look like. One of the Coldharbour players (at deep mid-on) took what must be the best catch ever seen in a VI-Kings match as he held on to a straight drive that required him to extend one hand and get horizontal to collect it. No shame for Dave in being dismissed by that one. The part timers came on to try and distract Reigate’s middle order with a funky slower attack. Initially it worked as John ‘Methane’ Quelch (debuting for the team) played across a slow straight one. Best get used to that kind of bowling sir! Very nice of him to uphold the VI-King tradition of not scoring on debut they all said. However, the number of loose extras accruing soon outweighed the tactical advantage and the strike bowlers returned. Shanyu Vuppala and Arnav Patnaik were up to challenge and showed the oppo that they better abandon their attacking field if they valued their health. Only the agility of some of the fielders and eventually an unpredictable sliding delivery saw them off. Brian ‘blowtorch’ Burns forgot that back foot shots were highly inadvisable in such conditions and watched helplessly as a fabulous square cut delivery fell on to his stumps below the bat. Ned Littlemore was disappointed with himself after getting out cheaply but would eventually have the last laugh. Finally, another red score for ‘Snapper’ Waine means his average again creeps up. Nice one.
As it was a week off for our normal catering team (Sarah), the VI-Kings had to wait for the only gig going which was a late visit from Frankie. While the two teams waited, the second innings began. It turns out that this tactic is well worth considering.
Coldharbour, evidently hot and tired, could not cope with the probing and rapid attack of the openers Patnaik (3-7) and Ned Littlemore (4-13) who found the stumps more frequently that the keeper’s gloves. Thilo (2-4) took a terrific catch at cover as well as destroying the middle order and Burn’s one and only ball resulted in a [rather generous] lbw decision. Everything else hit wickets. At one stage the scoreboard read 4-4-4 and there was blood in the water. As with most teams in desperate trouble, the oppo’s end became a self-fulfilling prophecy with batsman after batsman losing their nerve and playing like hypnotised chickens. The skipper did contemplate bringing on the part timers in the spirit of cricket but then…Littlemore was looking for his first 5fer and tea was ready and…and…well. It didn’t hurt that we did better than the one’s (bowling-wise) too, no offense Dickie. Let’s just enjoy this one fellas, shall we?
Ultra posse nemo obligatur