The season commences. Brandonovski skippers us into 2019 with Dacha as his vice. The weather was fine, perhaps with a freshening breeze but a good omen for the weather gods, I hope. When we walked up to the ground we noticed the stumps were alarmingly close to the boundary, marked by the road. Indeed, the wicket was the closest on the square and barely another 22 yards at its shortest to the boundary. Definitely a home team advantage and one they will bring to bear. The toss was taken and we were into bat, which given the sunshine didn’t unduly disturb us. Sat beside Dacha, I was happily ticking over the runs on their plush, electronic scoreboard.
Meadvedev and Hopperoff opened and settled us into nearly eleven overs of solid batting. It felt delightful, pad pad pad, grunt, clock, gentle applause. Fours and singles until at 34, Meadvedev was run out. Malikovich stepping out to replace him. Hooperoff still looking splendid and dare I say, dashing in his demeanour?
Malikovich was out of the stalls fast and his fourth and fifth scoring hits were both sixes. That boundary benefits all it seems! But an aggressive opening from Malikovich was a delight to see even if raising the blood pressure 20%.
Nothing lasts forever and Malikovich was caught behind off H.Sussum for 53 – fair play, comrade. Replaced by Arjun, our new blood comrade. Chirpy and bright start. Hooperoff now caught behind (a theme) and him for 64 – Brava! These are proper cricketing scores, comrades, proper cricket. Reeet nice.
At this point we were at 174 for 3 – Yes. That’s right. Let’s nor forget this performance as we read on. Our memories are too short. What did come next? Well let’s look at the figures:
A young gentleman called Batt took the last two there before going onto to bowl Malkovich as well and by tea we (as planned) we were over and out for 241. This is a princely score for which we should all be very proud – hurrah comrades. And yes, Sewelski, you were standing not out at the end.
Tea is a lovely affair and I snuffled more mayo egg and victoria sponge than any decent GP would suggest and I felt none the guiltier or worse for it. We waddled out and started our session in the field, the sun now waned and the weather more fresh.
The bowling attack was broadly devised in pairs with 4 overs each, returning if necessary. The first pair was Malikovich and myself, Yuri. Progression then brought in Medvedev and Dacha, Hodderoff and Hooperoff. It’s hard to summarise the internal dialogue a bowler has when the batting side are playing at home with a close boundary but it’s something along the lines of, “Oh shit, there it goes again. Fuck, where’s that one going? Oh for God’s sake!”. The ball sent clattering off for a six or a four from the slightest of knocks or a lucky edge. But they knew both their pitch and onions.
We were not shocking in the field and there was some lovely throwing visible from Hodderoff and Mullertov. Sewelski was very present in the game with some useful stops at the boundary and I was wearing my ten inch spikes which left me glued to the ground and unable to move when a ball sailed past me en-route to the boundary, sorry comrades. I find spikes a blessing and a curse…. A curessing?!!?
Bowling to note: Wickets from Malikovich and Hooperoff. Huzzahh!
Malikovich – 5.9 runs per over
Yuri – 6.6 runs per over
Medvedev – 7.4 runs per over
Hooperoff – 7.5 runs per over
Dacha – 10 runs per over
Hodder – 13 runs per over
I think the bowling figures are incorrect as I am sure that Hodderoff had more than 1 over?! Obvs, we weren’t entering them!
So we achieved a high score, we buckled down in the field, but the economy and their skill in finding the boundary with the available time mean, that although there were times we felt we could have it in our grasp, we lost it in the last half of the overs. But it was a great match and all players were magnificent – Huzzah!
Comment from Mallikovich: Malkovich run out to the middle like hes just popped a pill.
First ball comes in…….with a kick of his heels and a wisp of dust rising in the air, Malky preceeded (whilst mid air I might add) to perform as unelagant a version of the riverdance as youve ever seen.
Stumps strewn everywhere as though a culling had taken place.
His innings aborted at the first sign of life.
No one including Malky quite sure of what he had done or intended to do.
Still, we all had good laugh at his expense.