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Carib Beer XI vs Network Rail - June 4th 2008

By Guest Match reporter Steve Turner

Following the washout of our warm up match last week and a double booking that meant we had to spend an hour watching 10 year olds show us how the game should be played, a new season for the Carib Beer XI finally got underway against Network Rail at Finsbury Park. Notable absentees were Messrs Cordey and Rogerson, the former presumably enjoying tucking into some fine local sausage in Frankfurt and the latter most likely doing the same on the beaches of Spain.

The delay did at least mean that for the first time the team was able to indulge in a genuine warm up, including slip fielding practice (not that there’s ever been a need for the team to use slip fielders in anger on the pitch). That said, this good work was soon undone when Mr Gooch arrived with a 24 pack of Stella, half of which was quickly consumed before the match had even begun! Category D game anyone?!

When the match finally started, Mr Turner got the team and season off to a fantastic start. After a plumb LBW shout was turned down (by the opposition’s umpire) on the first ball of the innings, the second and third balls both clean bowled opposition batsmen leaving them 0 for 2. As the team celebrated wildly, they turned to their captain and newly revealed ‘party boy’ Mr Haigh to receive his instructions for bringing in the field for the hat trick ball. However, although Mr Haigh has previous form when it comes to taking a bowler off rather than allow him his hat trick ball next over, nobody could have predicted his suggestion to change the bowler in the middle of an over! Despite claims that it was to spare the opposition blushes, the team recognised this was clearly a callous attempt to deprive them of their glory and retain the headlines for himself! As it turned out, the confidence was to be short lived as the new batsman made full use of the small boundaries and dispatched ringer Butler’s one over of airey twirlers (bowled in a style that can only have been a tribute to absent secretary Cordey) for 16 runs.

An intriguing sub-contest took place in the following few overs between ringer Uttam bowling accurately at pace against opposition ringer and star batsman Nishan. It’s not often the Carib team is witness to ‘proper’ cricket during our matches but one glance for 6 over square leg off a pretty swift delivery was worth witnessing. Ringer Uttam wasn’t perturbed though and finished with two wickets in his three overs. Unfortunately, Mr Haigh’s figures of 1 for 31 off three were not his most impressive as he received the full treatment, but he was by no means the only one to suffer and so would have been forgiven had he not made the tactical misjudgement of running out the opposition’s worst batter, allowing their star ringer to return to the crease for another assault!

The final score of 144 for 7 was not only the second most runs conceded in an innings by the Caribs, but took place off just 15 overs rather than the usual 20. It is also worth noting that the rule of ‘two runs for an extra with no additional ball’ that was introduced to save time after the late start meant that had the team deliberately bowled every delivery wide, we would still only have conceded 180 runs, but would have saved ourselves the considerable humiliation, not to mention leg work of fetching each of the 9 sixes that was belted past us.

Messrs Turner and Weaver opened the batting for the Caribs and started slowly against accurate bowling. Turner fell for 4 but Weaver continued on to a patient and well played 16. There was some excitement amongst the team that he might even go on to carry his bat without having to retire, which would have been an interesting first. Ringer Uttam also scored a good 16 and ringer Butler, making history as the first Carib player to wear a helmet out to bat, made 14 runs including consecutive sixes. The final major contribution of the Carib innings was Captain Haigh who retired on 21 as top scorer. Sadly, with the run rate approaching around 25 an over, the latter stage of the innings was not one to remember, although Mr Gooch did his best to make sure we did. Having been reading his Graham Gooch batting guide during the off season, he was keen to spend some time in the middle. Therefore whilst at the non-striker’s end, Glen recognised that there were only a few balls left in the innings and hurtled off for a quick single to grab the strike, consequently running out his batting partner Wicketkeeper Bowen by almost the entire length of the pitch. Mr Gooch showed no remorse until he realised that he had forgotten his newly acquired ‘Goochie’ moustache and unable to get truly into role without it, he was promptly bowled for a two ball duck.

The innings ended on a reasonable 97 for 7 from the 15 overs and defeat by 47 runs. However, there were signs that the team can go on to better things this year and as everyone settled down for their post match pint in a local hostelry, they were clearly not disheartened, even when subjected to a lengthy discussion between Mr Gooch and the barmaid on the fascinating subject of “Britain’s Got Talent”.

Network Rail win by 48 runs

Network Rail
Fowles   Bowled Turner 0
Derbyshire Not Out 29
Jaf   Bowled Turner 0
Nishan Not Out 33
Zac   Bowled Uttam 0
Dave Not Out 24
Terry Caught Willis Bowled White 2
Taps Caught Bowen Bowled Uttam 0
Steven Not Out 22
Goodman Caught White Bowled Haigh 1
Draper Run out 4
EXTRAS     29
TOTAL   For 7 (15 overs) 144
Turner 3-0-12-2 Butler 1-0-16-0
Uttam 3-0-26-2 White 2-0-15-1
Willis 2-0-24-0 Haigh 3-0-31-1
Weaver 1-0-11-0
Carib Beer XI      
Turner Bowled Mandelson 4
Weaver Bowled Rolton 16
Uttam Caught Goodman Bowled Rolton 16
Butler Caught Nisham Bowled Derbyshire 14
Haigh Not Out 21
French Caught Rolton Bowled Fowles 1
Rayner Bowled Fowles 0
Bowen Run Out 0
White Not Out 0
Willis Not Out 0
Berry D.N.B.
EXTRAS     25
TOTAL   For 7 (15 Overs) 97
Taps 3-0-17-0 Derbyshire 3-0-34-1
Mandelson 3-0-20-1 Fowles 3-1-6-2
Rolton 2-0-12-2 Steven 1-0-6-0