South Bank Cricket Club won the toss and elected to field
Movie Pitch: I know What You Did Last Weekend. A look at cricket last weekend. Or 5 ago...
Working Title: Bubbles. (Inside the bubble no-one can hear you appeal.)
A few weeks ago at a ground far far away....CRICKET!!
EPISODE V: The Village Strikes Back
It is a dark time for cricket. Although Lockdown has somewhat been lifted Cricketers have had to adapt and overcome many obstacles in order to play. The government has systematically been forced to introduce new and unusual methods to overcome a ravenous disease striking the most vulnerable.
Evading the dreaded Covid-19 a group of rebel cricketers, led by Oliver Morgans, has attempted to establish a match to divert people's attention from the chaos of 2020 on the southern perimeter of London, Dulwich Sports Ground.
The Evil Covid-19 will stop at nothing to prevent this happening....
Oliver Morgans: Captain. Wicket Keeper. Han Solo Type.
Toby de Mellow: Vice Captain. Youth Team Leader and Luke Skywalker-esque.
Ek Gupte: Indian Tweaker and Slapper. Confirmed Bachelor.
Prashant Misra: Bosh. Bosh Bosh Bosh.
Chris Bosshardt: Dr Bossy. Chief Medical Officer.
Graham Pontin: Scottish Support Officer.
Andrew Caddick: Chris Pitcher.
Bilal Hussian: Boom Boom. Weapons Officer.
Abrar: Lanchashire/Yorkshire Officer.
Giles Tupper: Irascible Pilot.
Sean Dean: Sean Bean.
Also starring: The de Mellows as the de Mellows. (James Branch)
Scene: The setting is the sunlit grounds of Dulwich Sports Ground. A large area set aside for groups to engage in sports and dog watching. There are many groups attempting sports. Some better than others....
Arriving early for the contest, Giles and Ek. They will soon be joined by others...
A bright and cheerful Saturday morning holds the promise of cricket and other related pleasures. Earlier, the mighty Village had been warned by Chris Pitcher (Played by Andrew Caddick) to pack sweaters and be prepared for the onslaught of the summer weather in the UK. However resident forecaster-in-chief Pitcher appeared to have made a slight error. The conditions will be fantastic for the day. Giles and Ek exchange conversation relating to the forthcoming nuptials of Ek. Unfussed by the evil Covid-19 delay, the tweaker continues to relax and enjoy the sunshine unconcerned by the prospect of marriage. As the Village begins to congregate, discussion swiftly focuses on the absence of dog. Dulwich being a location famed for large Labradors, the missing animal provokes intense debate amongst the Village as they arrive. The opposition Captain is keen to focus all attention on the match at hand and repeatedly seeks the Village Captain. Arriving with Scottish Support Officer Graham, Captain Morgans departs to conduct the usual gambling.
Scene: Gambling complete. Morgans attempts to determine how to proceed.
Having spent an extended period of time working as the Captain in name only. Oliver Morgans has over-prepared for the task at hand. Many hours have been spent working on a strategy to guide the Village to success but already these plans lie in tatters. A chance conversation with Pitcher has led to the discovery that his bowling may or may not be an exhaust port on a Death Star waiting to get punished. Further complicating the issue is the delayed arrival of Abrar. Originally intended to open the batting he is running late due to traffic. Oliver rapidly reorganises his options and nominates Bosh and Graham to open the batting. Abrar turns up just in time, but it would be poor form to immediately push him to enter the crease. The openers will be Graham and Bosh. The Umpires Pitcher and Tupper.
Scene: Opening Partnership
Graham and Bosh march to the wicket. Opening for South Bank will be Charlton and Hayes. Both Graham and Bosh start positively. Boundaries for both batsmen as they begin to build a batting balance. Both Bosh and Graham are looking in good touch as they set the Village on their way. Hayes is the pick of the bowlers, generating decent pace and lift, he threatens both batsmen and demands respect (although the pink headband suggests maybe less respect...). Bosh and Graham repeatedly find the boundary with a selection of shots which indicate the long fallow period caused by the dark force of Covid-19 has not hampered them in any form. Graham started to collect these runs with various sweeps to the fences whilst Bosh began to strike cleanly. The openers are under no pretence. The Target for the Village at this point is 220. After 10 overs the Village have advanced to 40-0 and have forced a change of bowlers. McIntyre and Wragg enter the fray for South Bank, bowling Left arm seam up and Right arm Off-spin.
Scene: Attack of the Village
Having set the Village on their way Bosh decides to have at McIntyre. Having decided on a par total of 220. Bosh is determined to attack and take advantage of a quick and bouncy outfield. The 12th and 13th over disappear for 13 and 19 runs respectively. The makeshift opener is proving Morgans right to send him in. A couple of sweetly stuck 6's contribute massively to the Village assault on technique and decency. 1 such shot precisely hitting the boundary rope at deep midwicket. However, in the 15th over, with Bosh continuing to attack attack attack, he plays all around a straight ball. Bowled McIntyre for 46. A valuable knock and one which sees the Village 83-1 off 15 overs. This brings Toby/Tobi/Tooobyi de Mellow to the crease. The lefty is a key wicket for South Bank and they will be keen to see the end of him before too long. Graham and Toby continue to build the total for the Village but with more circumspection than before as they continue to build form and touch after the long delay to Cricket. Drinks arrive at 20 overs with the Village on 110-1.
With set batsmen at the crease and with plenty of firepower back on the park benches, the Village feel confident of reaching 220 plus. Graham is looking good for a big score and Toby has found his way back into playing cricket at the same high level as last year. Abs looked good last weekend and Deano and Morgans have good run scoring potential. South Bank are well aware of the threat of Toby/Tobi/Toobyi and are determined to remove him before he takes the game away. Morgans is feeling confident and happy, whilst other Villagers enjoy beers provided by Deano and the excellent batting so far. After the drinks break Charlton, the opening bowler, and Mendleson begin to approach the Villagers....
Over 22: Mendleson the bowler. Toby the Batsmen. Toby, either top-edges/gets the ball high on the bat, and sends the ball high but not hard to deep mid-wicket. Out Caught Thornton for 15. Abrar in to bat. The batsmen cross. Next ball. Graham receives a ball which leaps from a length, all he can do is prod it forward to James. Out Caught for 35. Next in S Dean sent out to face the hat-trick delivery. Seen off. Next ball lifts from a length, and Deano is out for a duck. Caught Weeks Bowled Mendleson. Next Over. Charlton to Abrar. 1st Ball seen away. 2nd ball. Gloved behind, Caught down the leg-side for 0. Ct Weeks Bowled Charlton. The Village have been hit for 4 wickets and 1 run from two overs. The new batsmen are Morgans and Bosshardt. Neither have played cricket in nearly a year. The comfortable Village scene has been shaken beyond all reason. Batsmen rapidly changing, scorers having to be found, umpires scrambled out to the wicket and total carnage. All in all another excellent homage to 90's England Cricket performed by the Village.
Scene: Don't tell me the odds.
Having skipped the middle order, the Village are attempting to rebuild through the Captain (A Han Solo type) and Dr Bossy (A Dr type). With hopes of 220 now rapidly diminishing and Mendleson still with 5 overs left and the excellent opening bowler Hayes to return the Village were truly under the pump. However, the watchful duo rebuilt what their fore-batsmen had built before them. Grinding out 37 valuable runs from 9 overs, Bossy and Morgans bring the Village to the total of 150-5 off 31. With Captain Morgans still hoping for a score of 220 to defend they have begun to accelerate. McIntyre having been dispatched for 9 off the last over.
However, opening bowler Hayes has returned.... Bowling in his final over Hayes strikes. South Bank's captain having been determined to break the Village once and for all, he had turned to his opening bowler long before the end of the innings. Hayes Struck with his 3rd ball of his final over. Bossy out ct Weeks Bowled Hayes for 22. This brought confirmed bachelor number 1 to the crease. Ek. With the Village well behind the scoring rate for a defendable total on the rapid outfield, the force would surely be required.
South Bank circulated their bowlers, having expended the valuable overs provided by Hayes and Charlton. Hayes 1/28 off 8 and Charlton 1/35 off 8. South Bank would need Mendleson and McIntyre to attack the Village to deny them a competitive total.
What happened will live long in the memory. Captain Morgans, relishing the responsibility (and the lower than average batting position...(Cough cough)) began to counter-attack. Supported well by Ek, the Village would add 74 runs from 9 overs. Morgans delightedly pumping his fist when he connected with a dulce et decorum est Reverse Sweep. Onanism aside it was a beautifully judged counter attack by the skipper. Aided by some inept umpiring (Morgans hit a 4 off the final ball of the 39 over and was allowed to take strike for the 40th and then hit two 4's in a row), the Village plundered 44 off the final 4 overs. Ek however was dismissed for 22. Caught off Mendleson. Mendleson would finish with 4/40 off 8. Whilst in his first official game as Captain, Morgans ended on 63 not out. The Village assault at the end raising the total to 224/6.
Intermission: Close Encounters of the Crusty Kind.
During the Village innings a welcome sight greeted those on the sidelines, former Miami Vice Star James de Mellow and his hollywoodesque family visited the Village, a glorious sight to behold and a welcome one at that. Hopefully the former Miami man will return at some point soon for the Village...
Having been warned that tea may or may not be provided. The Various Villagers had brought ample supplies. Drinks were to be self-provided and tea also. However, to our great joy Dulwich Sports Ground provided an excellent ploughmans. Consisting of a very crusty roll and a hunk of cheese plus a scone and accessories. We were to be well fed before taking the pitch.Captain Morgans having been forewarned of the potential hazard of C Pitcher bowling, attempts to negotiate with his bowlers with regards to opening. Meanwhile on the always essential lifeblood of the Village (aka social media) various characters from the immediate Village history weighed forth on the strength of the Village Bowling attack. Morgans was to be blessed, they declared, with a formidable attack. Pressure duly built from internal sources, Oliver would have to be at his best to conjure the victory that was required. He decided on Dr Bosshardt I presume and Tupper to open the Village Bowling.
Scene: Dr Bossy/Mr Tupper
A beautiful warm day has been enveloping the Village. A well worked counter attack had seen a competitive total reached. A comfortable tea had brought comfort and joy. And now to finish what had begun.
The Village attack would begin with Gilo. Starting with intent and purpose he began brightly. Immediately he drew an edge which flew over the slips for 4 from Dollin. However as this was the second ball, and this was as good as it gets for the wayward opening bowler. The rest is an unfortunate read. Forgetting that this wasn't a county class wicket like last week, he would continually drop short, then drop wide, then bowl wides before finishing with half-volleys. A miserable start from one end for Morgans and the Village. With a previously strong bowling attack available to the Captain, the last thing needed was an opening bowler delivering pure dross. He would have to be hoicked from the attack post-haste. Gilo out of the attack after 4/36. Unfortunately for South Bank, the good Dr was in fine fettle. As the polar opposite of what was occurring from the other end, Dr Bossy bowled superbly. At high pace and with good movement every ball seemed set for a wicket. Openers Thornton and Dollin doing well to keep him out. In the 6th over, the Chief medical officer struck. Bowlin' Dollin for 12. A great wicket built through economy and accuracy. With a few good LBW's unfortunately being turned down the Medical Officer Struck again. Repeating the surgery on the batting team, he removed Singh for 0 in his 4 over.
Scene: Boom goes Boom, and Chat gets Aggressive
As the day progresses the Captain must decide whom to bowl next. With a wealth of options Morgans has free rein to push home the Village Advantage. Replacing Gilo would be confirmed Batchelor Klav. Bowling with typical consistency he would begin to constrain the runs Tupper let fly away. With the good Dr done for his first spell after a mesmeric 6/2/6/2. The Weapon known as Boom Boom enters the fray.
After two deliveries Boom Boom has tweaked his hamstring. Morgans excellent bowling attack is down two players and with a third potentially with the Yips. The strategic dilemma facing the Captain was immense. Realising the potential in his vice-captain, he expected a strong response. The attempt to replicate previous Village Successes of having the left-arm spin of TRC and the right-arm spin of EK the bachelor was clear. However, with Toby somewhat rusty, the Captain attempted to raise his spirits. Informing the Bowler that 'He is better than this.' The Captain's young apprentice promptly sent down 5/0/39/0, which was probably the correct response to that motivational statement. With South Bank making it to drinks at 99-3, the game will be finely balanced. Continuing after the short intermission would be TdM and Andrew Caddick. Caddick is in possession of substantial evidence to suggest that his bowling would be a crime against various gods.
With the motivated TdM getting a couple more overs of bowling in the innings, the Captain elected to call on Bosh. However, slightly earlier in the day, the Scottish Support Officer supported Bosh, by encouraging him to at least look like he is trying with his fielding. Which may or may not have been received well.
Intermission: Andrew Caddick Bowling Compilation. C Pitcher proceeds to deliver an excellent spell. Bowling 6 excellent overs, removing the set batsmen Jones bowled for 8. Finishing with 6/0/30/1. Excellent pressure generated and by the time he was finished South Bank required 70 off 9 overs.
Scene: Return of the Uncle.
Bosh is demonstrating control and skill with the ball. The Set Batsmen are Hayes and most importantly of all, Thornton the opener. Thornton having passed 50 and looking capable of wrestling the game away from the Village. Bosh has kept it tight conceding 17 from his first 4 overs with set batsmen looking to accelerate. Morgans turns to his irascible Pilot. Having been punished earlier by Thornton and Dollin he is keen to make amends. In his 1st over back Gilo removes Thornton for 78 c&b with a bouncy straight delivery. He however also decides to comment on Dollin's Umpiring. Informing the Umpire that he may be an 'expletive expletive.' This somewhat irritates the Captain, who gets his idiot bowler to Apologise shortly after. Having been shown the way, Return of the Uncle removes Mendleson, Caught by Dr Bossy for 0. Then Tupper removes Hayes for 39, also Caught Dr Bossy. Both set Batsmen removed by Gilo, the Village have a clear opening to win the game. Next over Bosh removes Weeks, bowled for 2. Again in the following over Gilo strikes. Removing Wragg for 3. Caught Bossy. The Village have run riot. 5 overs 27 Runs 5 Wickets. Return of the Uncle having sated his fill of bowling is retired from the attack by Morgans. 6/0/29/2. Ek returns for an over to finish for 7/1/21/1. An excellent match for Ek. With the game nearly over the Vice-Captain proves he was better than this by affecting the run out of Fran off Gilo's 8th over. The Sweary Pilot recovering his figures to finish with 7.2/49/3.
Having been devastated by a sudden and calamitous attack on their batting, the Covid-19 Rebel Cricketers of the Village manage to fight for a Victory by 38 runs.
We will join them in future episodes!!!!
After Credits Scene: 'Are you feeding Lucky? Well, are you Punk?'
The typical Village Sesh ensues. There are Jugs'o'beer and the essential and OG Fag Factory (Which is cigarettes provided by Captain Morgans. Not anything dodgy or suspicious.). The Well-loved Labrador Lucky, appears to have been on a diet. There are plenty of 'do not feed the dog' signs around. This dilemma is compounded when Andrew Caddick orders Pizza for the Village. An excellent gift and a meal well appreciated but also closely watched by a hungry Labrador. With the Village enjoying the time. Night soon arrives and the Village disperse.