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Carib Beer XI vs IBM, Greenwich Park,

Tuesday 7th June 2022

The opening match of the Carib season was the now traditional season opener vs long time opponents IBM. Things started in the usual style as well with Caribs Moss and Haigh being a good 30 minutes early and consequently having nothing to do, whilst waiting for everyone else who sensibly turned up on time. However, this excessive earliness did reap its rewards as a young Bangladeshi happened to be strolling past the cricket pitch on his way home. He spotted the keen Carib pair setting up the pitch and politely enquired if he could have a game. As luck would have it for young Sunny the Caribs had only managed to rustle up 9 players and so we were happy to accommodate him. Unfortunately this meant Sunny having to play the match in slightly inappropriate attire, being a nice pair of brogues bringing back memories of Ringer Wadsworth from 2016 - see report.

Eventually the Caribs and opposition team began to arrive including the return of Northern Pie Bakery magnate Carib Cordey. Phil's first order of duty on arrival was to enquire of the whereabouts of Carib Holmes, who has now moved onto new duties under the ultimate leadership of the Moggster. Carib Cordey was keen to establish any potential partygate links to Carib Holmes. With Alex's arrival and the publication of Ms Gray's report still outstanding it was thought best not to prejudge, but Phil was insistent the matter be dealt with to ensure the Carib Beer XI was not brought into disrepute.

Carib Holmes was the last to arrive at the ground, so the Caribs were already taking to the field so the matter had to wait. The IBM team were even more tardy than the Caribs so the toss was dispensed with (no doubt Carib skipper Haigh keen to avoid losing yet another toss) and so IBM were sent into bat.

Carib Team Secretary had done a fine job of finding 2 other ringers, so also making their Carib debuts alongside new ringer Sunny, were ringers Ramesh and Yusuf. So, with 7 official Carib members, we were able to have a 10-a-side game. The usual Carib opening bowlers of Caribs Nitin and Swanand (both still awaiting official Carib kit despite having about 10 years of Carib experience between them) were present and so took the new ball. This was after Carib umpire Michael remembered that bowlers typically need a ball to enable a game of cricket and passed on the shiny new orange ball after a short delay to Carib Swanand.

Carib Nitin fresh from the practice of playing for the NT team and with his neglect in not organising any practice for the rest of the Caribs, was not surprisingly the first Carib to find his straps. Starting an ongoing theme for the rest of the innings Nitin took a wicket from the first ball of each of his first two overs with some great fast bowling, with the ball speeding past the unsuspecting IBM batters and kissing the bails. A third wicket for Nitin followed leaving IBM struggling at 21-3 after 4 overs.

Carib skipper Haigh then changed things up a bit and made a double change bringing on ringers Ramesh and Sunny. It seemed this change coincided with IBMs strongest batting pair of Cumming and Cure being at the crease. The new ringer pair did not bowl badly at all, but the IBM pair were able to get themselves into the game after the opening pace barrage, including a fine six from IBM Cumming.

At this point there was an appearance from another long not seen Carib member of Carib Rogerson. Now an unemployed man with nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon he had met a fellow ex-Bank employee, one time ringer Barry Ross for an afternoon of drinking by the river in Greenwich. Remarkably Ross and Rogerson managed to tear themselves away from the pub and via a trip to an off licence made their way to spectate (not confirmed at this time whether they had taken advice from fellow Greenwich/Blackheath resident Carib Holmes on good places to buy takeaway beers for parties).

After a spell of rebuilding from IBM it was now time for the returning Carib Cordey and Carib Fixture Secretary/perpetual Carib Personality of the Year winner Carib Moss to be the 2nd change pairing. Carib Cordey continued the theme of a wicket from the first ball of his over, although it was a rank full toss that ringer Ramesh caught in the midwicket region. Other than this highlight was a tricky first over for Phil, understandably with him playing his first game in what we think was 4 years. Carib Moss also took a wicket from the first ball of his over, continuing the remarkable trend of the innings and with a ball that did actually pitch, even if it had come down from the clouds with ice on it. Another fine catch, this time from ringer Yusuf doing the trick. A tidy over followed from Moss with just 2 runs from it. The fortunes of the 2 Caribs in economy rate at least then took a dramatic reversal with Carib Cordey going onto concede just 5 more runs from his next 3 overs in a 4 over spell and another wicket picked up in more traditional Carib Cordey darted in bowling style. Carib Moss also rewarded with a 4 over spell somewhat deteriorated after the economical start, his final over was carted for 15 runs. However in amongst the no balls there were some half decent balls that managed to find their way to more Carib fielders giving Carib Moss a 4-wicket haul and placing him at the top of the early standings of wicket takers for the season, (bowler of the year anyone :)

Overall, it had been a good performance in the field with some good bowling, some bad bowling getting wickets and good fielding including from deputy Carib wicketkeeper Weaver.

With the break in the innings there was finally time for Carib skipper Haigh to enquire after the behaviour of Carib Holmes. Much to the relief of all, Carib Holmes was able to confirm his non-attendance at any parties, in fact he had no such invitations.

Carib Holmes, perhaps flustered from this interrogation was swiftly sent out to open the batting alongside Carib Nitin. It was a good start for the Carib pair doing well to keep out the many balls that seemed to be keeping low as the evening wore on. However after hitting a nice boundary Carib Holmes was out with an uncharacteristic slash at a ball to the point area. It was not clear if this was because Alex had a party to get to.

Ringer Yusuf who was not needed to bowl due to the unexpected wicket barrage from Caribs Cordey and Moss, was next up to bat. Unfortunately he received one of the shooting low balls and was out for a duck. Carib Nitin, after taking a while to get himself in, was still at the other end and formed a useful partnership with Carib skipper and best batter Haigh and they started a rebuilding effort. Nitin was out to another ball keeping low, but for a very useful run-a-ball 16. However Carib Swanand was able to build another partnership with Carib Haigh that kept the scoreboard ticking, albeit assisted by some extras courtesy of the IBM bowlers and a dropped catch of Swanand.

Meanwhile Carib Associate member Rogerson was going through a heavy practice session of both bowling and batting ahead of a possible appearance for the Caribs next week. Watch this space.

The Haigh/Kant partnership was going well until a perhaps controversial umpiring decision brought it to a halt. An extremely vociferous lbw appeal from IBM bowler Smith was mulled over for what seemed an age by Carib Holmes, now in as umpire before his finger was raised to send Carib Swanand on his way. Again maybe Carib Holmes was still feeling ruffled from his earlier grilling.

This led to a mini collapse with Carib Weaver and ringer Sunny departing quickly, and this also coincided with the retirement of Carib Haigh after another solid batting performance. This led to a partnership between Ringer Ramesh and Carib Cordey. Ringer Ramesh in particular seemed to be a reluctant runner, adopting a stand and deliver style and not keen to take any singles unless the ball was virtually at the boundary. Perhaps inevitably this led to the comical run-out of Carib Cordey. So, the Caribs were 7 wickets down, but only 2 still needed to win. Carib Moss hastily padded up and made his way to the non-strikers end to watch Ringer Ramesh finally achieve what he had been looking for and hitting a boundary, this negating the need for him to run and also win the game for the Caribs.

Carib Swanand kindly offered to take all three Carib bags home with him as our next game was also at Greenwich. This led to some confusion as all the Caribs were then ready to depart to the pub, but one rogue bag was discovered. After a very brief discussion that it might be a bomb, Carib Cordey decided to rifle through the bag's contents in search of a clue of the likely owner. This quick search turned up a driving licence owned by none other than Carib Holmes, and also no evidence of any booze bought for potential parties. So it seems that Alex must be in the clear after all. Carib Holmes had been assisting with the bags and so returned to reclaim his bag.

The usual suspects then made their way to the usual pub by Blackheath station where there was further talk of politics and parties. Ringer Sunny came along as well and looks to be a good find on and off the pitch for the Carib season ahead. A good win to start the season.

Carib Beer XI Win by 3 Wickets


J Mallows   B Jain 6
M Cumming C Ramesh B Cordey 20
S Smith   B Jain 2
J Wyatt   B Jain 0
R Cure   not out 31
Rish C Yusuf B Moss 1
I Sommers   run out (Yusuf) 2
A White   B Cordey 4
D Taylor C Ramesh B Moss 0
P Muleteir C Yusuf B Moss 2
J Mallows (2) C Kant B Moss 4
EXTRAS   1b 1lb 11nb 3w 16
TOTAL   (16 Overs) 88
Kant 2-0-15-0 Jain 2-1-6-3
Ramesh 2-0-13-0 Sunny 2-0-9-0
Cordey 4-0-12-2 Moss 4-0-31-4
Carib Beer XI      
Alex Holmes C (point) B Richard 5 (9)
Nitin Jain   B Rish 16 (16)
Yusuf Thanewala   B Matt 0 (2)
Martin Haigh   not out 26 (35)
Swanand Kant lbw B Smith 13 (20)
Andy Weaver C ? B Richard 1 (5)
Ramesh   not out 7 (12)
Sunny   B Alex 1 (2)
Phil Cordey   run out 0 (2)
Andy Moss     0 (0)
EXTRAS   7b 0lb 11nb 5w 23
TOTAL   (17 Overs) 92-7
Matt 4-0-20-1 Richard 4-0-16-2
Rish 4-0-24-1 Smith 4-0-16-1
Alex 1-0-7-1