40 overs, 8 overs/bowler, timed game.
XilesCC win by 117 runs with 9 balls to go.
Xiles 257 for 3 – SCC 140 for 9
The run down to my home county of Sussex to play cricket, is for me one of the finest things I could do with a morning. Vladimir Boringski kept me company and between us we plotted the overthrow of the imperialist Brighton Xiles XI and their devilish plan for the conquest of North Brighton, or London as we call it.
The sun was with us and baked the tin of my new Ford S-Max like a Sherman tank in the desert of Africa. This was the indeed the first day of a tour of duty in Sussex, Brighton Xiles and then on to Lindfield. We felt like the devilish rats of the 8th army – soiled, dirty, hot and sweaty and ready for some blood.
St James’ and Montefiore ground is between Hassocks and Ditchling and sits amiably below the South Downs. Quite superb. The pavilion is a great palace of slatted timber that welcomes and seduces the teams into a suitably competitive spirit and when Cobramovich and the Xiles’ Hooper walked back from a swift toss on the pitch, we were all set to play.
We took to the field first. A great team with some superb additions to help us out and both of whom I must credit thoroughly for their help: Geoff and Neal Freeman, aka The Freemanoffs. Having been at school with Neal and also having worked with Geoff (barely a few years ago!) I knew the dynasty and of their close family connection to Tich Freeman. Great things are due, thank you comrades.
Opening the bowling, The Richardson Brothers: Myself (Yuri) and Chimpmunkski. Xiles’ Captain David Hooper and ‘Will’ facing. Quite a good and relaxed opening was had and they were happy clattering balls away though not rapidly at first. But at 51 I got Capt’ Hooper LBW and with not an ounce of disappointment or sadness he strolled from the pitch, full of joy having scored a very admirable 31.
Not a lot developed for a while but when Chipmunkski and I finished our spells, he was at 28 off 7 with a maiden to boot and I at 34 with my wicket – not awful. then streaking into the sun and spitting 33 caliber balls turned our replacements Sewelski and Vlad the Impaler, Boringski. We must credit the former with a sterling performance and improvement. With every passing ball and over his line and length improved and we began to see the spin from his youth. Facing him our finest Vlad Boringski, drilling in great style.
However, the runs were building as David M had replaced the Hooper man, and it wasn’t until the 30th over and a score of 205 that Will was stumped for 58 off our most excellent guest, Geoff Freemanoff. The heat of the day was obviously not helping us and David M got up to 89 before an LBW from God Knows Who. 28 and 23 from Tom and Luke C. Neal Freemanoff gave a splendid rendition of an over and Brandonovski obliged us with a couple and hopefully more to come. But 40 0vers were up and 257 was scored for 3.
PAWS stands for Partners, Wives and Singles. Deal with it. Without them we would all be so much less of a team, so much less as individuals and bereft of certain key aspects of the game. One of which would have been tea. Brandonovski and Ilyeva had brilliantly planned the arrival of the nosh and with the help of the PAWS it was laid out like the feast of the ancients (I have no idea what I am writing about). We fell upon it and much like the Demolition of Rasputeles’ castle of Aluminium Foil, we were fed and ready for our innings (Please help me).
Cobramovich and Robski walked out into the late afternoon sun. Each eager and astute. A 35 minute partnership followed until Robski was caught off Tulley for 17. Three boundary 4s though and some lovely dotting. Cobramovich welcomed cmr. cms. Treasurer Ilyeva in until he was bowled Bradmore for 1. But his body has been clattered this season and we know he will be fighting fit for 2014.
Brandonovski now touched gloves with Cobramovich and did some fine Dorothy work until being taken by Tulley again. But any dotting over ten is worth praise. Vladimir Boringski is now in bat. Gosh, what a figure he cuts out there. I feel an aching sense of pride to see such a sterling posture and presence in the field. Cobramovich was obviously similarly impressed as he was shortly after caught off Bradmore after having provided the SCC with an admirable 21.
Then we gave Vlad some changing scenery at the other end for a while, Nealoff was there but a brief while – but thank you! Then Sewelski. Special note here I think as he banged away two fours before being taken Hales for 8. Then Chipmunkski and myself for 2 and 11 respectively and then to Geoff Freemanoff. Another fine figure occupying the crease and so splendidly so. Something in his pace and capability brought the Xiles into a sticky clamor of fear and silence. 15 runs scored and a couple of boundary fours – Thank you Geoff! Appreciated.
But all good things come to an end and so did we, 140 scored. This fixture and pitch is without doubt a keeper. Well done all around comrades, thank you to our captain Cobramovich and congratulations to the Brighton Xiles under David Hooper’s direction. We shall be back at St James’ Montefiore next year for sure.
Semper Sodales, fors et Victores!