The Trinidad Test
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Carib Beer XI vs Dodgers,

Greenwich Park, Tuesday 9th August 2022

The end of the season returned the Caribs to Greenwich, their favourite oasis in South London. The sky was blue, the changing rooms were open, and all was well with the world. Carib Weaver was on the look out for sun cream.

"Who are you?" is not a greeting that Captain Haigh usually meets on the cricket field. The arriving Dodger was clearly one of their more recent recruits. Meanwhile, Rishi had been held up at work. Were there Conservative Party hustings that night, we wondered?

Opening, Caribs Holmes and Akansh traded singles and fours respectively. The latter was out to a smart catch, bringing in Carib Mateen to play a textbook innings at number 3. He set the tone with two boundaries in his first three balls, before laying down anchor for a lengthy stay to retirement. His later return to the crease saw another couple race to the rope.

This was peak heatwave, with not a hosepipe in sight, making for a fast and dusty outfield. These subcontinent conditions (surely ‘Carib’bean conditions? - Ed) made our side feel very much at home.

Carib Holmes kept his score ticking over, and as the possibility of carrying his bat came into prospect, he managed instead to break his bat. Having hoped that all Caribs might sign this memento, perhaps for installation above the fireplace, Carib Holmes was saddened to learn that it had been binned. Perhaps this was revenge by Carib Horn, who had been run out in a rare moment of madness and excess by his former Bank colleague.

It was clear that in these balmy conditions, Captain Haigh was here for runs, not for running. He scored three successive boundaries and retired before breaking sweat. This could have come a couple of balls sooner were it not for Captain Haigh’s stately, leisurely running style.

The Carib total was a mammoth 171, awaiting confirmation as an all-time record.

The Dodger innings got off to a very rapid start. Carib Weaver was tidy as ever behind the stumps, and Carib Moss athletic in saving ones. Carib Yusuf was unlucky not to round off a great season with a wicket. Perhaps hoping for a Duckworth-Lewis, Dodgers had one or two curious pauses, such as for a change of headwear.

Retirement was again the friend of the Caribs when the first three Dodgers were sent back to the pavilion on scores of 25, 26 and 27. With those out the way, maybe there was a chance with the middle order.

The Dodger umpire on duty surveyed the action with beer in hand, prompting either wry admiration or raised eyebrows among the Caribs. He didn’t notice the paparazzo at square leg, and persistent she was too. Carib Weaver diplomatically beckoned her to at least a deeper outfield position. Or perhaps she would like a bowl?

The heat at one stage unsettled Captain Haigh, who in an uncharacteristic lapse of concentration, lost count of his overs. He composed himself to pick up two quick wickets, dislodging the stumps on both occasions.

Carib Akansh’s persistence was rewarded with the next wicket, out for a duck, with Carib Horn taking yet another catch to round off a great season in the field. Carib Sunny, who had kept it tight throughout, bowled the next Dodger through the gate.

This being the final game of the season, it was a race against the dying of the light. As the shadows lengthened and overs ticked past, a full moon rose over the Blackheath End, and some spectators arrived with a portable speaker, thinking perhaps that they were at The Hundred. The Dodger rate had slowed significantly, leaving a tall order of (something like) 18 off the final order. Carib Sunny’s accurate bowling - an impressive feat in this level of darkness - ensured the outcome was never in doubt. Carib win by 11 runs.

To the sound of those late night street beats, Caribs celebrated their first ever victory over the Dodgers. Celebrations were cut short by a distant tannoy warning that if we were not out of the park, we’d be locked in for the night. This hurried up those Caribs keen for a burger. Carib Kant reported celebrations of our victory as far away as Nagpur. There was even an exciting suggestion that Carib Jarrod might return to the pace attack next season. In the meantime, Caribs all looked forward to Goochie’s end of season jamboree.

Carib Beer XI Win by 11 Runs


Carib Beer XI      
Akansh C mid-on B Powell 13 (10)
Alex Holmes   not out 28 (32)
Mateen   not out 35 (26)
Sunny   B Ahmed 7 (4)
Yusuf   B Ahmed 23 (11)
Tom Horn   run out (Alex) 4 (2)
Martin Haigh   not out 26 (16)
Andy Weaver   not out 2 (1)
Andy Moss   B Hilary 4 (5)
EXTRAS   7b 1lb 2nb 21w 31
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 172-5
Powell 3-0-30-1 Hilary 4-0-27-1
Millstein 4-0-31-0 Laken 2-0-17-0
Ahmed 3-0-27-2 Palmer 3-0-19-0
Charetty 1-0-18-0    
McBarron   not out 25
James   not out 26
Powell   not out 27
Charetty   B Haigh 6
Laken   B Haigh 8
Carr C Horn B Akansh 0
Dollin   B Sunny 7
Palmer   not out 11
Ahmed   not out 11 0
EXTRAS   6b 1lb 0nb 20w 27
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 161-4
Sunny 4-0-15-1 Yusuf 4-0-28-0
Horn 2-0-25-0 Akansh 4-0-22-1
Haigh 3-0-25-2 Mateen 3-0-23-0