A beautiful day out in London ruined
By Chris Hudson
VI-Kings fail to turn up for their innings against Foxbury
by R. Boon (esq.)
The Vikings, with back to back wins to their name, travelled to the old Barts Hospital sports ground with a fair amount of confidence for the fixture against Foxbury Exiles, with thoughts of a hat trick of victories being within their grasp.
However, the omens soon appeared worryingly bad as a sign of how the day was going to unfold when skipper for the day Geoff Chay couldn’t remember if he had elected to bat or bowl and had to go back to the oppo to get clarification.
Once it established that we were bowling on a stunningly flat straw coloured strip, the initially enthusiastic fielding team provided an eventful and, it is fair to say erratic, display that flounced between the rank awful and ridiculous.
On the plus side the Exiles were bowled out with overs to spare and for what seemed a below par score- well within the reach of a strong looking VI-Kings batting line up.
However, this does not tell the full story as there were dropped catches that went into double figures (extras as the top scorer with 46) and more beamers than on your average autobahn. Maybe the team should consider changing the nickname to 'the cheerios' judging by the name of byes given away.
Remarkably amongst that list of shame there were two hat trick balls which (unremarkably) were not taken. Debuting as a substitute fielder was possibly the youngest ever VI-King (Ned's brother aged 11) and almost the only clean catch throughout the innings taken off a no ball. Amongst the wayward bowling was a five wicket wicket haul for Thomas Mason and a further three from Jonny Long with Ned Littlemore taking one wicket and accounting for the last man. Mark Waine bowled tidily but suffered from three drops in successive overs.
Despite all this, the general feeling was that the runs could be knocked off with overs to spare and we could all be enjoying a pint before the clock hit six.
The opening over looked promising as young Long was striking the ball to the boundary with ease and with the in-form James ‘the Barnacle ‘ Wilson at the other end. All looked well. Then, with one misjudged hefty heave ho the first wicket fell quickly followed by the another five without much in the way of runs being scored. The Barnacle was obviously immune to such risk taking as he crafted a Boycottesque 1 run from 38 balls anchoring the innings whilst wickets around him tumbled.
To add to the drama of the day our normally reliably one-eyed umpire Chris Hudson decided that Boon had feathered an edge to their keeper despite him "not getting within a yard of the ball". The normally shy and retiring Boon not so much questioned the eyesight of Hudson as offered him the white stick, the Stevie Wonder back catalogue and a Labrador [*however, everyone else on the field was pretty sure he'd nicked it- Ed.]. Happily, for all concerned justice was served in a double dose as Boon was called back by their skipper (due to all the fuss), but then with the very next ball the middle stump was uprooted in some style. Karma indeed.
There followed a late rally, of sorts, as the 50 was obtained but the inevitable was merely delayed for a few overs and defeat was sealed when despite a spirited rear guard action from Mason and Brian 'Blowtorch' Burns, the batting deficiencies left them with too much to do.
With a top score in the Exiles innings and the second top score for the Vikings (10) Extras was declared man of the match.
Ultra posse nemo obligatur