18 & 23rd January 2020 @ Booralee
Kingsford Apaches 4th Grade vs Beverly Hills – Full Match Report
by Kal Yanic
‘Twas a dark and stormy afternoon; ominous thunderclouds of rain and uncertainty threatened overhead, as the Apaches trickled into Booralee Park. The radar’s multi-coloured splotches appeared to be moving our direction, perversely reaffirming the dark-grey unlikelihood of days’ play taking place. Happily, however, the rain pissed off East ways. Not even the “foul” weather of sweat-sticky humidity could dampen our spirits now.
Taking over the captaincy duties, club president/cool guy1 YAP opened proceedings through the serendipitous butting-of-heads with the leader of the opposition. However, despite disgracefully losing the toss, we managed to end up taking the field with favourable bowling conditions — cloud cover lent itself to some sideways movement, while the luscious meadows of long grass prevented any boundaries along the deck. Whether this befuddling outcome came about through some trick of charisma, or some psychological mind-game, we will never know.
SEYMOUR and OTTAVIANO opened up with razor sharp spells. Their accuracy and consistency bewitched the opposition openers, who appeared as though they wanted to be anywhere else other than out in the middle (in fact, the constant complaining of one batter in particular, assured this). The oppressive pressure applied by the Apaches eventually generated the first chance of the game, when Seymour, in a stroke of tactical genius, moved a fielder right into what would be the path of an uppish shot the very next ball. However, he was unlucky to be denied a wicket by MUNDUL’s Nuttelex-fingers. Unfortunately for the batters, this did not dampen his spirits, as they continued to be barred with rather asinine and sometimes nonsensical chirp. At least O’SULLIVAN, who joined in on the bants, was amused. Kingsford continued to maintain the overall pressure, restricting the opposition to a glacial run an over. We were unlucky not to take a wicket, as a flurry of edges flew over, dropped short, or carried wide of the slips cordon.
This gamestate continued for about 15 more overs until WHEELER was handed the ball, cracking the opposition order with a handy catch off his own bowling (1/22). The floodgates had finally opened, with HAMPTON knocking the stumps out with a fine piece of bowling from the other end (2/25). Hampton continued our fine bowling form, and was swift to knock over the middle stump of the other opener (3/32). The collapse was on. Wheeler had his second soon after, trapping the batter’s leg right in front, with the official umpire obliging (4/34). Whatever streak Wheeler was riding was enough to overturn our misfortune in the slips, as his next over yielded an edge to the cordon, nicely taken by Captain Damage (5/35). Although the opposition were able to briefly stabilise for a few overs, hanging in and stringing together a small partnership, it was too late. Wicket fever had been transmitted to Yap, who deceived the batter into sending a loose shot right down CHINMAY’s throat (6/49). Not long afterwards, Seymour rattled the stumps, finally and deservingly getting his name into the scorebook with an absolute peach of a delivery.
It was at this point that I realised that the opposition had only brought 8 players with them. Change of innings!
Chasing a meager 54 runs, Ottaviano and Mundul stepped out into the middle. The opposition, no doubt feeling slightly dejected from standing in a half-empty field defending a pittance, had not taken too kindly to Mundul’s constant yammering. This, unfortunately for Mundul, translated into some fairly mean-spirited and nasty chat of which he was the target. More unfortunately for Mundul was that he was bowled in the 3rd over to a rather mediocre delivery. Fortunately for KETKAR, next in, the opposition decided to lighten the mood with more “positive” chat. More fortunately for Kingsford, Ketkar and Ottaviano were able to put together a very tidy partnership, chasing down the bulk of the opposition lead between themselves. This featured some nice aerial strokeplay, as well as some handy running between the wickets. However, this was cut short after one of Ottaviano’s more loose shots flew right into the hands of a fielder. Ketkar stuck around for a little while longer displaying some similar bravado, before getting out in similar fashion. Thankfully, we suffered no further loss, as MILLIGAN and McCREADIE saw out the day’s remaining overs. Come Stumps, Kingsford were sitting pretty on a 30-odd run lead. A good day’s play, especially considering that the sun and breeze had f*cked off the earlier humidity.
*** INTERMISSION ***
Despite the fact that the gamestate was sitting rather favourably for my side, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit put off by all the bad vibes which had been sent my way. In particular, one piece of chat stuck in my mind — as I was leaving the ground, I was snarkily advised to “have a nice week, *mate*”. I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that this feeling was going to affect me all week. In fact, the feeling of being affected started to overtake the feeling of being denigrated itself, especially in considering that the former feeling may last all week. I concluded that I had been cursed, that the Evil Eye had been placed upon me. On Monday, I began exploring ways to remove the Evil Eye — the most information I could find was that the Evil Eye more pertinently affects those who believe in the Evil Eye. This advice was obviously not helpful. On Tuesday, I had to face my cricketing demons at training, with a fiery young man bowling bodyline chillis at me in the pouring rain. I felt that my batting ability had somewhat degraded. On Wednesday, as I woke up and moved to open my curtains, I walked directly into a giant spider web. I do not recall giving this spider license to construct an apartment building in the middle of my room. As such, both spider and web had to be removed. Later that day, I fell from the top of a ladder at work. I was fortunately uninjured, but some bottles of orange juice below me were not so lucky. I believe that in this moment I freed myself from the Evil Eye, as, come Thursday, I was no longer afflicted and nothing remarkably terrible happened for the rest of the week.
*** END INTERMISSION ***
After a long and uneventful week severely lacking in cricketing action, Kingsford returned to Booralee Park. They were greeted with a beautiful sunny day, a freshly mowed field, and a tidy lead in the score. Unfortunately for the opposition, they had somehow managed to round up even less players than the week prior. Reassuring us that they had a couple of teammates still in transit, we lent them a fielder and continued the game.
Taking over from Milligan’s absence, Chinmay joined McCreadie in the middle. The energy from the opposition was as flat as a surfer’s nightmare, given the fact that they could hardly span the field with their understaffed cohort. Despite this, McCreadie found a way to hook one directly to the fielder and was caught out. With his leg trapped in front of the stumps, Chinmay was soon to follow. Thankfully, however, Seymour was able to steady the ship, building solid partnerships with CAREY and Hampton. Come the drinks break, Kingsford had extended the lead to 85 runs, making the decision to declare (6/139).
Coming back into the field once again, the Apaches were keen to make short work of an already weakened batting lineup. Seymour started off again in similar economic fashion to the first innings, with Hampton charging in ferociously from the other end, hunger for wickets in his eye, or as they say, absolutely “fanging” for it. He got his man with his first ball, nicking behind, a regulation catch for McCreadie and his gloves (1/5). However, far from floodgates opening up, the opposition put up much more resistance. Their keeper, in particular, hit back hard, providing the “dingers” which were sorely missing from Beverly Hills’ first innings. Yap was unlucky not to have one early after a chance in the slips went to ground. However, the Apaches maintained the pressure, and Yap would eventually get his man, again tempting the batter into a loose shot, collected by Carey (2/32).
Unfortunately, Hampton did something to his finger, and so had to be sated with his one scalp. Taking advantage of this dent in Kingsford’s bowling attack, Beverly Hills put up another period of resistance. The keeper continued sticking it out, with the Apaches regulars unable to get the breakthrough. With good bowling not working, it was time for a change. The ball was tossed to Mundul. Through deploying a strategy of some “short stuff”, while at first ineffective, he eventually baited out a big pull shot early doors from the newer batter, catching the top edge and collected by Carey, who worked hard to get under it (3/53). Mundul was unlucky not to have a second, after a fairly regulation catch was put down at cover. Shortly afterwards, SHARDUL, implementing the same strategy of “short stuff”, had his man. This was scarily similar to the previous dismissal — top-edged and collected by Carey, with the opposition keeper loudly calling for a run just as the ball was about to go to hand (4/70). Needless to say, the team wasn’t too happy with this behaviour.
However, with discontent and aggression brewing around the traps, and the opposition captain arriving to the middle, the Apaches would immediately have their revenge. Bowling captain to captain, Yap knocked him over with an absolute ripper delivery (5/71). “F*CK! I’m out for a duck!” exclaimed the opposition captain. Yes mate, yes you are.
With only a couple more wickets to take, the Apaches had all the momentum. Seymour, returning for another large spell, held up one end with Yap at the other, delivering some dangerous consistency. As pressure piled on, and a field heavily restricting the keeper’s go-to shots, the keeper had no choice but to be bowled by Seymour. Not long after, Seymour was rattling the cage again, once again striking the final blow to the Beverly Hills batting lineup. Kingsford restricted them to 106 runs, a slim lead of 21.
With not much to chase, the long-hallowed opening partnership of Mundul and McCreadie went in to finish the job. However, the hype had to be suspended until next time — McCreadie unfortunately was dismissed lbw to a good delivery, barely hitting his pad. Mundul, unphased by what the opposition admitted to as “mean” chirp, enjoyed himself knocking it around and pulling the short stuff. Carey, on the other hand, was much more eager to get after it. The ball seemed to be coming on much slower than he expected, and he was unfortunately bowled by a fuller delivery. However, immediately afterward, Yap announced that we had made the runs via a boundary the over prior. Unlucky mate. But a great outright win for the Apaches!
All in all, a slightly mediocre but nevertheless highly eventful game, particularly given the opposition’s lack of numbers and spirit. But hey, that’s park cricket. The lads went to Churchill’s to celebrate, and I must say that my glass of Reschs was much more refreshing than usual.
1I heard that he has a motorbike and leather jacket
Will: You know we’re going to expect all future reports in this format and quality?
— Kal: i will only do it if there is intermission worthy content
— Will: You’re right. The most interesting part of cricket isn’t cricket
Rohit: Love it! Hired as the resident chirper and hallowed opening batter
Henry: I enjoyed reading that!
Declan: Definitely the longest and most descriptive match report I’ve ever read-pretty sure it’s the first time the word serendipitous has been utilised. A true Poet!
Evo: Shades of under milk wood boyo
– Kal: I don’t know what that is but thanks
— El Pres: ffs slap yourself! And you call yourself educated….
—Kal: I only read manga