From Captain Special…
After several months’ worth of rain over the last week, Fairfield Oval was almost unrecognizable with Its trademark concrete hard outfield replaced with a lush forest of thick greenery. This, combined with the boundaries being set to regulation MCG proportions, was enough for the collective hamstrings of all those present to quiver in trepidation of what was to come.
Radar and Special opened up in as-expected contrasting styles with Radar smashing a rollicking 24 from 12 balls to get us off to a rapid-fire start. Unfortunately, a steady flow of wickets though the early overs saw us in somewhat of a precarious position at 5 down after 10 overs.
With the run-rate still healthy, Pup and Rev, two of the great cricketing minds of our generation, came together to form a highly controversial tactic at the crease. In the coming overs, this ploy became clear to all those in attendance. It was to value their wicket, manipulate the field and work their way into their innings with singles and twos. This tactic went against the very ethos of every pub league regulation ever conceived and will likely lead to the forfeit of 50% of their match fees.
60-odd runs later, Pup had retired and Rev was dismissed for 29 which brought an even mixture of agony and hilarity from the hearty crowd who had gathered on the sidelines for their chance to witness history being made. A great mixture of hitting and finesse from Flanders, VP and Big Dog through the final few overs saw us post a very defendable total of 173.
Spirits were high as we went out to field only to see the first ball of the innings fly over mid off for six. However, memories of this ominous start were swiftly forgotten as Flanders chalked-up two wickets and Pup chimed-in with a direct hit run-out off his own bowling to have the Rose thee down within the first four overs.
We continued to build the pressure with tight bowling from The Animal, Local (who only conceded three runs from his two overs) and Big Dog, which was all combined with an amazing all-round team performance in the field. This pressure resulted in two more run-outs from Pup and Rev to see the Rose reeling at 5-64 at drinks.
Any fears of a fluky first session in the field were quickly snuffed-out after drinks as Rev (held together with sticky tape, heat gel and anti-inflam tablets) wound back the clock with loopy swinging deliveries taking two for eight including a caught and bowled. VP then chimed in with an unbelievable maiden over before Dutchy and JRod wrapped up the tail with a scalp each to have the Rose all out for 84.
An unbelievable team performance made this game particularly easy to captain. Special mention has to go to our bowling and fielding performance. The pressure was never let up and the spirit of the game was maintained throughout (except for Radar’s utter disdain of the stumps).