Clowns turn out for Sunday pie throwing

 The Horsell ground was treated this Sunday to a cricket match of high comedy value and old fashioned good natured play. Skipper Asbo, actually sporting a T-shirt from his own range of ‘Asbo-wear’, should have been wearing large floppy shoes and a big red nose such was his contribution to the frivolity. In the end cricket, fair play and old fashioned farce were the winners as W&H yet again dominated a team but without reward (Thameside Wicketeers were 9 down and hanging on for grim life at the end).

 A hint of the later hilarity was present at the start as our Aussie beefcake Scott kept wicket for the oppo, shouting encouragement to their bowlers and appealing strongly (and on his own) twice. You get no loyalty these days. Against this backdrop great grandfather and great grandson combo Peter and Matt opened solidly. The youngster had pads that were squeaking like a flock of mice as he trotted between the wickets but this didn’t seem to put him off as he unfurled a range of excellent shots on his way to a quick, and smutty, 69 – squeaky but not clean. His great grandfather took a more studied approach, as befits his 200 odd years of experience, on his way to a fine 30 – again featuring a number of graceful drives. Mike Walsh (1) came between the Allans, so to speak, and really didn’t raise the quality of batting, although his petulance over getting out to a ‘brave’ lbw decision was at least amusing. Peter eventually gloved one to the keeper and walked, despite no appeal from the oppo. Some thought this a fine example of old world values, others that the old boy was feeling satisfied, slightly tired and in need of a reviving cigar and stroll around the ground – you decide (there’s no phone vote).

 This brought the younger generation together with Ferrari and Albert running between the wickets like men twice their age as both injected the pace that the innings then required. Quick singles and the odd glamourous boundary had the side well placed before both fell in quick sucession, Albert for 28 and Dave for 16. Jerry (14) ran well and held down one end now while Mandar and Lloyd both scored a quick 6 a piece. Aussie beefcake was next in – he smote a couple of huge shots and had the opposition worried until he missed a boundary and was forced to run. Any fair man (and the man himself) would admit that this is not one of Scottie’s key skills. Despite a lot of movement (arms, legs, spare tyres) Scott can appear tied to a bungee rope when trying to get from one end of the square to the other. It was this image that confronted the audience now as he fell short and was run out, despite throwing his bat at the crease (note to Scott – this only works against very stupid umpires – so normally worth a go on a Sunday then).

 This brought Asbo to the crease for what must be his finest hour yet. Obviously loving his new T-shirt the boy decided to leave getting changed until the last minute. Not a wise move. In his rush to get to the middle Asbo exited the changing room with his trousers on back to front, to much laughter from his teammates. One teammate then remarked how funny it would be if the back to front batsman got out first ball. Not a long shot given his performance so far this season. So first ball up, Asbo heaves, ball in the air and sure enough he’s out – his only relief being that he gets to reverse his trousers. Truly village.

 Faisal then batted for his average and at the end of all this comedy the boys and men reached a heathy 195 all out.

 After a fine tea W&H took the field in fine spirits and Mandar and Faisal opened the bowling. As usual Mandar was right on the button with a maiden, regularly passing the edge and once catching the edge, with Scott and Peter so surprised at his luck that they neglected to catch the ball. On the basis that the batsmen were lucky and the fielders rubbish Mandar decided that he better do it all himself by aiming at the stumps, it worked and they were 10-1. At the other end Faisal kept it neat and was unlucky (or robbed depending on your view) not to get two pretty obvious lbw decisions because the umpire was ‘unsighted’. Faisal’s breakthrough came as Sal caught a tricky one coming out of the sun. Thameside had got off to a quick start with some decent boundaries and Mandar snatched the next wicket, a rare lbw (from the other end). First change saw outstanding vice Chochtrain and the Aussie. Chochtrain started badly but then, buoyed by a fine catch from Asbo, got into his stride and started to turn the ball sideways with his usual variety of pace bounce and uneccessary appealing. Wickets kept falling for the young spinner from this point, two in two balls with the chance of a hatrick only denied by some cowardly fielding from Matt ‘all talk and no trousers’ Allan. From this point it became a game of survival for the Wicketeers as Scotie kept the other end tight until Asbo decided to bowl himself and employed an unusual new strategy of bowling 4 balls an over as wide full tosses, presumably hoping for a miscued catch or some other piece of ridiculous luck.

So with five odd overs to go and one wicket to get the brilliant but selfish Chochtrain continued his search for his first ever ‘five-for’ with ever more stupid appealing and a desperate late attempt to bribe the umpire. For the final over the choice of bowler was obvious, but Mandar was feeling stiff and so our Italian stallion pranced up to bowl a bewildering display of spin. Dave gave us the final comedy moment of the game with his final ball. It went wide and saw the rest of the team appealing strongly to the umpire that it had to be given as a wide. Unfortunately the ball was not judged wide enough despite the appeals from the home side and Thameside had survived 10 overs of extra special (and extra awful) spin bowling.

 So W&H 195 for 9. Top score Matt (cowardly) Allan with 69 (snigger) supported by his greatgrandfather Peter with a 30 and Albert on 28. Thameside Wicketeers had a good go but ran out of batting in truth. Notable bowling for the boys was the outstanding vice with 4 for 37 off 11 (that’s 3.36 an over for the students of the game) an incredible, given his unorthodox hand grenade style, 2 for 15 off 5 from Asbo and Mandars usual excellent display perennially under recognised with 2 for 23 off 9.

 So as the clowns retired to the bar to decide on the most funny moment of the day the final word was left to Faisal “I had heard that Sunday had been declared the new Saturday but didn’t believe it until now, what a chuckle, I really must do this again sometime” - if asked obviously Fais, if asked.

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