Fairlea West oval is a new ground to the likes of Pub Cricket and it was a nice deck near a mental asylum. Having awoken at 9:00 to the text from Rev saying I had to find two players, I was feeling the pressure of captaincy, Kim Hughes style.
With Phantom getting his British mate, Alex (Beano) in and Pup shrugging off injury, added to Local making his debut; we had an XI. Ed and Dutchy started off well, with Dutchy powering an unbeaten 30. I would later make it a 26. Ed pushed then pounded, hitting some great shots…which when straight to fielders, but by Drinks had an unbeaten 31. Local came and went, his rustiness proving tough to shake. Phantom was hardly sighted, J-Rod was elevated up the order. He watched Emu get bowled by a quality inswinger. I began to feel the pressure of captaincy, Alastair Cook style.
Alex (Beano) combined with J-rod and pounded a Flintoff-esque 27. Big Dog came and went searching for the big hit. J-rod was out on a handy 17 which included a well struck heaving six, leaving Pup facing the death over. Being on strike for 5 balls Pup made 17 lifting our total to 153. I was a smallish ground and we were about 15 runs short. It was interesting to note that 4 players in their team were newbies unaware of the no-LBW rule and as I umpired and continually waved LBW appeals away (Dutchy, Ed, Local were main offenders, and Big Dog of course) these blokes must have thought I was an @rsehole. That was pressure, Kevin Pietersen style.
Big Dog opened our cause after another quality Dutchie Bike BBQ. The dog created 2 great chances, unfortunately the captain had not put a fielder where they landed! Robbo bowled very well without result. Local came on to bowl quality off peg line and Alex Beano also bowled well. With wickets hard to come by eventually sharp fielding yielding a run out, then Ed tossed down a vicious zooter like delivery, which gave new wicket keeper Emu his first stumping of the day. Battered arm and shaved head Pup came on to bowl some old school swing.
Pitched up and shaping, he would end with figures of 1/8 off 3 overs. with some 12 runs to defend off 18 balls, I turned to Shotgun and J-Rod. Shotgun had bowled superbly capturing 3/15 with a wicket maiden in there. Approaching the last over it was still a run a ball stuff, and I was feeling the pressure of captaincy. Luckily, a sky ball popped up to long on, and as captain all I could do was run 40 metres at full tilt, make perfect position, fingers up and take a perfect coaching manual catch. Of course, I could have always left it to Robbo, who would have to have taken three steps for the same result.
Down to last, an unfortunate overthrow gifted them a boundary and the Funf boys grated through with 6 balls to spare. I am happy that we took last years BDNO champions all the way. Of course, we were missing Rev, so we will beat them in the finals.
Play of the day: Pups 5 balls (0,4,5,4,4)