Full Scorecard: http://kingsroadcsc.play-cricket.com/website/results/3188770
A battling King’s Road fell to an 8-wicket mauling at the hands of Raynes Park Former (and current) Pupils, despite dogged resistance throughout.
On a blistering day, stand-in skipper and part-time grizzly bear Jamie Keating won the toss and elected to bat first, to the delight of his subordinates. Opening pair Peter Jackson-Eastwood and Adam Paterson strode to the crease, eager to improve on their stand of 1 two weeks earlier.
Instead, PJE wrote the latest chapter in his upcoming novel ‘Death by a thousand (mis-timed) cuts’. He left a gap between bat and pad bigger than Chris Brown’s ego, and was bowled by a 14-year-old wearing braces.
Opening partner Postman Patz fared a little better, but struggled to time the ball, spooning into the air to be caught for 6 not long after.
Matt Small had arrived at the crease at the fall of the first wicket, and played a remarkable innings whereby he turned the dropped catch into a scoring shot. Twice he chipped the ball to the fielder, daring them to catch him, twice they failed. Being a generous chap, Smally then allowed brace-face to clean bowl him instead. 10-3.
But every cloud has a de Silva lining. The Road’s number 4 has courted his share of controversy this year, but he set about here trying to reconcile this – a ‘ShawSham Redemption’, if you will. He struck four boundaries and looked in good touch before losing partner, debutant and PJE’s ‘only friend’ Charlie Joliffe after the ship (still suffering from an irreparable hull breach) had been steadied somewhat.
It then got worse when mid-off said Wham, Bam thank you Sham and took a comfortable catch to send the apoplectically cursing batsman back to the hutch for 22. Supreme Leader for the day Jamie Keating looked to turn the tide with a typically aggressive cameo, clubbing bowler Taz for consecutive fours through mid-wicket. But the Taz-manian Devil had his revenge not long after, Keats miscuing and becoming the latest batsman out caught.
Elliot ‘not quite as’ Small was looking assured at the other end, slowly rebuilding with some sharp running and nicely struck boundaries. But KRCSC’s other debutant Jack Johnson was left with banana pancake on his face when he too was caught. 61-7, and it was going pretty horribly.
Enter the maestro, and a shift in Momentum. Shaboodien knew that Mo runs were needed to post a defendable score, and he signalled his intent by rocking back to cut to the boundary early on, while also driving crisply. Taller but Small was growing in confidence, if not height, at the other end, smearing one short ball back over the bowler’s head for a commanding boundary.
He would eventually perish for 29, having put on 70 with the Mobot for the eighth wicket. Chris Brown was next, and batting so far down the order, he knew he couldn’t take Forever to get going, but he looked at Mo and thought With You, I can make a game of this. He thrashed, he slashed and he smashed his way to 29 from 27, but the ball was not Loyal, and Mo was bowled for 45 from 43, with nine boundaries, cruelly just short of his half-century.
Brown, playing for his average, farmed the strike by running a single first ball of the over to put Rossi on strike, “Ayo!” shouted the incredulous spectators. When Rossi fell for a virtuoso 6, KRCSC were all out for 182.
Their army of 14-year-old demon bowlers had done the damage, now the Raynes Park adults came out to bat, and with some intent. Breezy picked up the first wicket, the opener slashing outside off stump, the ball moving at lightspeed, and in a blur of panther-like Motion, Shaboodien at slip took a catch that made 21 other grown men feel 87% more attracted to him.
That was about as good as it got, the other opener just cleared PJE at mid-off (takes some doing) off the bowling of Keats, and every shot seemed to land safe and just beyond the reach of the fielder. Mo bowled with control to protect the short boundary, and everyone was treated to one over from Sham ‘m8 I’m not even a batsman you should see me bowl’ de Silva, who then promptly hooked himself after failing to take a 5-wicket maiden.
A-Patz and Jack Johnson acquitted themselves well, but the batsman by now were seeing the ball as if it were Rossi’s large, newly-shaven head. As debutant JJ watched the ball fly over the boundary for 6 he couldn’t help wonder where all the good people had gone.
Let us not disregard the effectiveness of Rossi’s new look though, for the Stoke-ish spinner picked up the only other wicket to fall, the ball pitching 15 yards outside leg, ripping back in, and kissing the off stump to widespread delirium.
Bruised, battered, and in some cases, burned, King’s Road realised that perhaps it just hadn’t been their day, but team spirit and a never-say-die attitude prevailed, as ever. If they can just learn to play cricket good, the sky is the limit.
Author: Peter Jackson-Eastwood