SCC Win 4 ball remaining scoring 161 for 9 off 39.2 overs
BXCC 160 of 40 overs
A GLORIOUS VICTORY!
Match Report written by Comrade Valdimir Boringski.
I was greatly honoured to receive the request from our honoured leader Comrade Commissar Tsar Yuri Pedez to captain the SCC against our old rivals the Brighton Exiles. In preparation for this I set about a week of strategic and tactical planning in conjunction with a juice only diet, cold showers, and even a brief trip to Red Square to attend a Marxist Rally. I was delighted to have Comrade Cobramavitch as Vice Captain, who provided invaluable support and advice at critical moments before and during the game – my sincere thanks to him and his well-deserved Milk Tray. As for the comrades, fresh in our memories still was our epic and extraordinary victory against the Brighton Exiles last year. We had amassed a healthy batting score in the first innings, but the Exiles looked set to overtake us and secure victory. However, in a jaw dropping finish, as if by some divine intervention, the Exiles could not find the boundaries and even Comrade Vlad took 3 wickets in the his last 2 overs in spite of calamitous bowling. As the last ball trickled beneath the batsman’s bat and found the stumps, the Exiles walked off the pitch in absolute silence, in total dumbfounded stupor as to how they could have lost what seemed like an unlosable match. Even the birds stopped singing for a while. A car arrived shortly after to take opposition captain Dave Hooper straight to anger management classes. The perfect end to a perfect day was to have the privilege to ride back to London in Comrade General Cobramavitch’s Mercedes V8 Slinkmobile.
Memories aside, this year I met with Vice Captain Comrade Cobramavitch and Comrade Analitch at The Hammersmith Appollo of the People’s Rebublic shortly after 10.30am and we cruised down together in the aforementioned Mercedes V8 Slinkmobile to St James’s Montefiore near Brighton. The auspices looked good. Not a mention of gas or electricity bills from Comrade Vlad on the journey down, although the fruit and spice of conversation almost caused Comrade General to veer off the road; but not quite! On arriving at the ground, the sun was shining and the day looked well set for a good game. Captain Vlad took to the pitch with Captain Hooperov for the toss. Vlad won the toss and elected to field first, and opt for a 40-40 game (40 overs each way). All was going according to his plan. He realised that the SCC bowling and fielding side was not as strong as it could be; par contre he saw that there was a very strong batting side including 2 secret weapons. As a result of this his strategy involved lulling the opposition into a false sense of security by allowing them to bat first and score conservatively, not realising that we had a might of secret communist power in our batting ranks that would allow us to steam to victory. Comrade Dacha’s Lenin and Marx coins were on the changing room windowsill to further strengthen this plan.
As the comrades took to the field to start the fielding offensive, I was anticipating damage limitation from our brave, but not so strong bowling / fielding side. I was utterly mistaken. What followed was 40 overs of the finest fielding I have ever seen by the SCC, and outstanding bowling in addition. I was truly humbled. Comrade Hodderov took the first 6 overs from the People’s Republic End and gave a very fine performance. Simultaneously Comrade Chipmunski bowled 8 overs from the People’s Pavilion End and, although a little apprehensive of his bowling, bowled the 8 best overs of his life; the comrades were ‘oohing and aahhing’ at his deliveries which went past the bat, and a snick catch to first slip was sadly not taken as the first slip was still on a train to from London to Brighton nursing a hangover. Comrade Dacha then bowled 6 overs from the People’s Republic End in another very fine performance. The first wicket fell at his hands after a patient wait by the SCC – a glorious bowling, and P. Stead was off back to the pavilion. 2 balls later on the very first ball of Comrade Robski’s 2 over spell from the People’s Pavilion End, was the ‘Captain’s ball of the match’ – in came Robski, very reluctant to be asked to bowl, but bravely stepping up to the challenge. A moderate paced ball slightly to off side, placed and pitched with strategic brilliance to entice opposition captain Comrade Hooperov aka ‘The Bull’. The Bull, wily as he is, fell for this ploy, and cut the ball straight to Comrade Analitch at point who leapt up in the air and grabbed the ball out of the air to take an outstanding catch. The slow motion replay of this victorious wicket will stay with me to my communist deathbed. 2 opponents felled in 3 balls, the seeds of the SCC victory had just been sewn. Bowler number 4, Comrade Soldya then bowled 6 overs from the People’s Pavilion End in a very good spell in spite of the copious amounts of alcohol still in his system (Russian vodka one would hope) – the first 2 of these overs were so tricky that the batsmen struggled to leave their creases. Bowler number 5 from the People’s Republic End was Comrade Daglyev, always a welcome addition to the SCC side. In his 6 overs he made the opposition very uncomfortable and ravaged through them like a warm knife through butter. 7 spectacular wickets – David Bailey lbw, Kartinck lbw, Harvindor bowled; Pete Tulley, Steve, Adam, Pete Tulley innings 2 were all caught – comrade Cobra took one at first slip, Comrade Dacha took another 2 and one taken by an unknown comrade – well done! Comrade Hodderov took a wicket in his last over, a brilliant catch taken by Robski at third man. Such was the strength and vigour of the SCC bowling and fielding side that the Brighton Exiles did not even last the full 40 overs; they trailed off to the pavilion, tails between their legs, all out for 160 during the 35th over. A mention to Comrade Brandonovsi, the mighty Pete Brandon, on an excellent wicket keeping performance. Also to Comrade Analitch for litheness in the field, both for the SCC and for the Exiles, and his positive mental attitude during the game, even after his lbw dismissal in the next innings.
After a delicious tea, provided by Comrade Chipmunski and his wife, the SCC comrades set to batting. Comrade Vlad, assisted by advice from Comrade Cobramavitch, changed the batting assault plan to adjust to the circumstances. We needed 161 runs to win off 40 overs, a modest rate of 4 runs per over. Since we had a strong batting side, victory was in sight and indeed seemed like an easy cruise. Not wishing to humiliate the opposition by grinding their dirty capitalist faces into the good communist mud, he put comrade Daglyev, secret weapon number 1, from batting position number 3 down to 8, so as to provide communist strength in reserve in case of need; other batting positions were adjusted so as to make for an interesting and good spirited game. Comrade Captain asked the communist colleagues if any of them particularly wanted or did not want to bat. Comrades Brandonovski and Chipmunski spoke forth and so Vlad, not given to autocracy or dictatorship, moved them up the order to 3 and 5 respectively from their original positions of 10 and 11. He was therefore surprised when each of them in turn choked on their sandwiches when he communicated this to them during the tea break.
Tea over and Comrade Lt. General Markov Cobramavitch opened the batting with Comrade Vladimir Boringski. Comrade Cobramavitch offered a performance of true communist grit, scoring a solid 22 runs in an epic innings lasting 16 hours and 42 minutes. Comrade Vlad hit a nice 4 run boundary, Comrade Analitch’s powerful bat guiding the ball easily through midwicket. However, the strain of captaincy possibly taking its toll on him, he was dismissed lbw by opposition bowler Duleep for 5 runs. A more cynical communist might have muttered that the ball was going at least a foot down leg side and that comrade umpire Chipmunski could be seen to visibly smile at the decision, patting his hand on the crisp 100 rouble note in his pocket, handed to him surreptitiously by the bowler the previous ball. However, Comrade Vlad knew better than that, and retired to the pavilion without questioning his communist comrade, with the bruise on his left rib cage from an earlier ball which had bounced up menacingly. Comrade Brandonovski, the mighty Pete Brandon, then strode confidently to the crease, as is his custom, and scored a valiant 16 runs; well done comrade! Comrade Captain’s secret weapon number 2 then strode out to the crease – Jon Fowler aka ‘Ivan the Terrible’. Vlad was now umpiring and issued himself a wry smile as the debutant was about to unfold his wrath on the quite frankly disgusting capitalists. However, the tight opposition bowling, in combination with unpredictable and nasty bouncing of the ball was too much, and Comrade Ivan was unlucky to find a ball bounce up sharply and come off his bat on to the stumps. Bad Luck, Ivan, but we hope you will come back to join us another time.
The opposition were now beginning to sense that what had initially seemed would be an easy SCC victory, now looked increasingly like it might be an Exiles victory. Captain Vladimir, now umpiring, had a temporary moment of despair, and realised all his strategies and plans might come to nothing, and his sportsmanlike communist aims might have been too conservative. His head was in his hands. However, Comrade Brandonovski rallied to him and gave him some good solid Yorkshire advice that the decisions made had been founded on firm principles. Comrade Vlad took to his position again with renewed hope. Chipmunkski was next to bat; a good innings, but he fell to the bowling of Harvindor. Comrade Analitch was next in. The Comrade Captain umpire was pleased to see that Analitch’s batting performance had improved in bounds and strides since the beginning of the season, and now looked very confident with solid strokes. The Captain was therefore disappointed to have to give him out lbw to Bailey’s difficult bowling. Comrade Robski was next in, but fell victim to the bowling of Harvindor.
Many runs still left to get, very few overs left to get them in. We were in need of a miracle. One man was fit for the job, and in he came – secret weapon number 1, Comrade ‘Dynamite’ Daglyev, the people’s hero. Even so, the Comrade Captain thought it might be too late, even for the people’s hero to change the fortune of the game; the hill left to climb was very steep, and there was little time left. Comrades Dacha and Hodderov sought to aid him as best they could in these difficult circumstances, swiping at the ball to try and claw back the desperately needed runs. However, they Exiles bowling was too tight and strong and they both fell. Worthy of note was Hodderov’s first ball which he glanced beautifully down to the fine leg boundary for 4 runs. Final batsman and our last hope then came to the crease, weaving from side to side due to the high percentage of alcohol still in his blood stream – Comrade ‘Mad Hatter’ Soldya. His aim – TO STAY IN!!!! He must hold up the other end while Daglyev sets about his task. The normally joking and man of comedic brilliance showed none of this jocularity, striding helmeted to the crease with steely reserve. The target seemed unreachable and yet not impossible. Things seemed to be going to The Exiles’ way. Daglyev, although an outstanding batsman, was not quite in flow and there seemed to be something blocking; the run rate needed getting ever higher each over. As a last resort, the Comrade Captain umpire looked up to the heavens and prayed to his God to intervene. As if in answer, there came a turning point in which the fortunes of the SCC suddenly lifted. Daglyev wielded the bat with elegance and flair, stroking shots to the boundary with graceful ease, while still managing to hold the strike. Even Comrade Soldya, when unexpectedly finding himself 3 balls to face took on the challenge. His aim was just to say in.
However, Comrade Captain from leg umpire could not help but feel that the SCC communist ethic does not rely solely on defensiveness. He shouted in very un-umpire fashion “Come on Soldya, show them what you are made of!” As if in response the comrade, tasked only to block, smashed the ball over the bowler’s head to the boundary for 4 runs. Superb! The hopes of the SCC were raised. The flow continued, Daglyev steered us to victory with skilful shots and with only 4 balls to spare; Daglyev 63 not out. Final Score 161 for 9 off 39.2 overs. Once again, Comrade Hooperov fuming at defeat and a sense of being robbed, and a car on its way to take him to anger management classes! Comrade Vlad would therefore like to request that Comrade Daglyev receive the Order of Lenin for his brilliant contribution to the game and also for his allegiance to the SCC over the last year. Also he would like to request the Order of Marx for the team as a whole for their outstanding effort and performance.
Well done comrades and all hail the SCC. It was an honour to captain you for the day!