Blog from the boundary vs Old Northamptonian 5ths – 17th August 2019

Oh my goodness, where to start? So much to fit in and so little time…

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away some of my foxes played poker on a Friday evening, it was meant to be a group trip to watch the Steelbacks, but the weather put pay to that, and whilst the pitch hunkered down for a night under its protective white sheath, I hear the boys had a smashing time at Tony’s (didn’t they Wolly – Winnie + Olly = Wolly), he’s basically got baby brain don’t you know.

Come game day the weather had cleared and I mooched up to the fortress to take my pew, the pitch looked great, despite a few damp patches that had seeped under the cover. Clearly taking no notice of recent results the ON’s skipper won the toss and inserted the foxes, surely we were on for a 250 on what looked like a road…

Following on from his hour-long net session on Thursday evening JR (Abercrombie to you) strode to the crease purposefully, behind him trailed JB, all discombobulated because Pinnington Bear had stolen the seat his drinks were sat in front of… we’re assuming JB knew his time was limited and that’s why he’d reserved his chair already?

JR decided to play snooker in one of the first few overs and literally toe ended an easy catch to midwicket, in came Anand the destroyer, and with some lusty blows, our run rate sprang into life. At one point I note that Anand was striking at 125.00, Justin just 15.00, tells you all you need to know. In fairness to him, JB was given out (scoring 11 – GP 48-2) for a horrific-looking LBW decision that was both going to down and firmly under-edged onto his pads, he was on his way and in came the bear.

Anand played cricket by numbers for a little while, swiping at the second ball of every over until he fell for an admirable 41 (60-3). Strangely the partnership between Bear & Anand, and then both John (10) and the Big Z (1) all yielded 12 runs, that’s some sort of weird record surely… The skipper elevated himself to a lofty number 7, and then lofted one to backward point for 1, but not before he’d put on 26 runs with Bear to take GP to 110-6. At this point ON’s finally decided to change their youth policy and actually use some (rather than the combined age of two of their bowlers probably being well over 100) – Kayan Ranina, all of 14 years old, a 6 stone ringing wet, bowled the Bear with a half-tracker that kept very low (he’s only got himself to blame) – and then Jon ‘Shizzle’ Tiley thought I’ll have some of the same, and stomped off nearly as quickly as he’d come for 2, slamming hid bat into the ground in the process.

GP 117-8 and Ricki Mistry and Olly Davies at the crease. You would expect me to cut to tea now with GP all out for 117, wouldn’t you? Well… you’d be bloody wrong. Oh my god, it’s very difficult for me to type the rest of this innings up without it turning into some sort of mills and boon meets 50 shades of grey, I’m besotted. Those two lovable rogues (delinquents) only went and smashed the leather off the ball – forming (in their words) and Aubameyang and Lacazette style partnership – ridiculous handshake included! In the last 10 overs, we saw Auba (RM – 29*) and Laca (OD – 22*) form a glorious 59 unbeaten partnership to take GP to 176 for 8 – maximum batting points – and it all culminated in Ricki hitting the most sublime 4 off the last ball of the innings! Well done boys, you made an old lady very very very… happy! It was like a champagne cork flying out of a bottle!

The second half as so often has been the case this season was tame by comparison, after a delightful tea made by that devilishly handsome Abercrombie (and others I hear), GP took to the field once more. The Bear and the Tiger (a fearsome combination) took the new pill and started plugging away.

Bear got one to come back in to the left-hander Bishop to start the fall of wickets, and then a number of over later got the young Payne to help a full toss back to the Big Z – who tried to emulate my dear JB by taking it right on the end of the finger ( a plaster fitting break ensued). Tony thought he’d trapped one right in front, but it wasn’t given. Bear up against Harjan Briah, and he middled one to my new favourite keeper (silver fox who?) John M, but didn’t walk (the umpire must have had his hearing aids turned to low because even I heard it). Bear (3 – 21 off 10) slipped in another and Tony (0 for 22 off 7) was replaced by everyone’s favourite (“Bat first Tony or I’ll Kill you”) Anand (4 for 22 of 8).

Good line and length bowling from Anand brought more wickets, the most notable being the one that Harjan Briah again middled, but this time only as far as a scampering Wolly, who took off, arms aloft like a young JB, circling his prey. “this is the best day ever”, oh if only his twitter followers knew he’d left his beloved red devils behind! Big Z (2 for 16 off 4) bagged a couple of Bunnies and ON’s were reeling at 82 for 9, where had it all gone so wrong for them? GP 117-8, in years gone by this is the kind of frailty my beloved foxes had displayed, letting teams score 50-60 too many and then collapsing when things got tough… not today though, my foxes are made of sterner stuff!

It was left to the youngest member of the side to bring home the bacon, the skipper throwing his youngest the ball after hours and hours of net practice (thankfully his hasn’t developed the windmill technique that his father has patented). Comically JJ hit John in the head on his first, single second ball, dot ball third, No-Ball fourth, and then with pace and venom with the 5th the batsmen could only help it straight up in the air…

Now you’d think the young whippersnapper would back off and let JB who was quickly approaching come in and snaffle the catch, but JJ had obviously seen the stats and Called JB off, pouching a lovely little C&B to finish off the innings – JB, I hear you’re now 100% for catches where you’ve been pushed out of the way by a 14-year-old too!

Well, it’s been totes emoshe as the youngsters would say, that batting effort will live long in the memory you two! And the youngster pouching his first-ever adult scalp, what a day – I’m off for a celebratory strum, I love my guitar me…