The Trinidad Test
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NT vs Carib Beer XI, Greenwich Park, Thurs 12th May 2016

The opening game of the Carib 2016 season was an away match, but at one of our regular venues of Greenwich Park against Goochie's NT work team in glorious May sunshine. Due to some late Carib drop outs (including an emergency drive to Luton airport for Carib Sean) and the mysterious absence of ageing medium pacer Carib Rogerson we were down to 7 players. Carib Rohit (Ken) was also absent due to breaking his bowling arm in an untimely fall in the shower. As oppo captain Scott said "it's a dangerous business keeping clean". Given that Rohit had been our star performer in the shock win over NT in 2015 this did not bode well for the result today.

Fortunately our esteemed leader and best batsman Mr Haigh was able to draft in a previous ringer Henry Llewellyn. Then at even later notice Carib Moss was able to draft in a fellow Rotherhamer, Ringer Dave Wadsworth. Unfortunately Dave at 3 hours notice, and not being a resident of London, had zero sports kit available to him. A quick trip to a local shop enabled him to buy some shorts at a reasonable price (even for a Yorkie) and he elected to play in his work shirt. However that left the problem of looking for some size 12 trainers. A quick internet search revealed a shoe shop was close to Blackheath station. On arrival at Blackheath Dave quickly found the relevant shoeshop, however unbeknown to all, the Pares shoe shop actually has a second store for kids only. Dave entered the kids shop, in his desperation thinking a cruel joke had been played on him by his long time friend. Luckily the shop took pity and directed him to the adult shoe store across the road. That is where his luck ran out and Dave was forced to spend 50 (you can buy a house for that in Rotherham) on a pair of extremely poor deck shoes that even one time Ringer Barry Ross and spectator for the evening would not consider wearing. But remarkable commitment shown to making a Carib debut.

Anyway this brought us to 9 players and NT kindly leant us 2 fielders and agreed our lowest scoring batsmen could bat again. However much to the consternation of skipper Martin they insisted on the rule of 10 overs before the bowler changed ends, Martin's expression seemed to read that the MCC would not approve. However they did waver to Martin's influence and allow normal rules of LBW and being allowed to be our first ball.

Martin also rejected the oppo offer of not having a toss and insisted that go ahead. Remarkably he then proceeded to win the toss and duly inserted the opposition.

Given all the absentees we were a little short in the bowling department, however Bouncer-Bowling Carib Worthy was present and able to take the new ball. Jarrod bowled a good spell, taking a couple of wickets, perhaps somewhat assisted by the low bounce on the stodgy pitch, even Jarrod's bouncers were barely reaching above shin height. Mr Haigh shared the new ball and also restricted the flow of runs. First change was to bring on Ringer Henry who was also very tight in his first couple of overs and bagged himself a deserved wicket. So after 5 overs the NT score had been restricted to 21-3.

However any hopes of repeating the biggest sporting shock in history (prior to Leicester City winning the league) and the Caribs beating NT again were quickly dispelled by the need for skipper Martin to find 8 overs from the dreg ends of the Carib bowling repertoire. Carib Moss was relied upon to bowl 4 overs, probably as many as he had bowled in 5 years against NT previously. Somehow he only went for 28 runs in his 4 overs, probably deceiving the batsman by mixing up his deliveries (one ball a knee high full toss, followed by another that rolled along the floor), not allowing the batsmen to find a rhythm.

Yet, there was a highlight of the mid innings overs for the Caribs, when Carib Goochie came on to bowl his mandatory one over vs his NT colleagues. Fresh from some bowling practice from Coach Haigh, Goochie was able to upgrade his bowling run from a total standstill to a 2 pace effort. This seemed to help as he managed to totally fox NT Cliff for the first clean bowled wicket of his career!

Rotherhamite ringer Dave was then called upon to bowl an over, trying to play down his abilities by claiming I've not played since I was 14 at school (back in the days when he had a lot more hair, more resembling a Pat Sharp mullet, rather than his balding look of today). His rustiness showed with his first three balls being wide-4-wide. This was enough for skipper Martin and Dave was banished back to fielding down at fine leg.

Carib Weaver was also required to turn his arm over for a couple of mainly uneventful overs, apart from one extremely difficult caught and bowled chance that was more saving 4 runs than a wicket chance. The Carib catching skills were nowhere to be seen at this point, with a lot of balls dropping short of the fielders. Carib Moss still managed to throw in a dropped catch making an effort to try and make a ball dropping short in front of him. It also has to be said the total of only 2 byes given away was a remarkable effort by keeper Bowen given the extremely low bounce and erratic bowling on show.

So NT had accelerated their score and were looking good for a big total. However Martin was relieved at this point to be able to bring back his opening 3 bowlers to see out the final few overs. The NT batsmen were well set though and Caribs Haigh, Worthy and Ringer Henry were not exempt from the punishment. However a few wickets were thrown in to slow the carnage a little, with Carib Holmes taking the first (and thus far only) catch of the season. Both Jarrod and Henry ending up with 3 wickets a piece.

NT had tallied up a very strong score of 141 leaving the Carib's with a tough run chase. Unfortunately for the Caribs the carnage continued in the opening overs of our innings with the team staggering to 17-5 after 7 overs. Caribs Holmes, Haigh, Goochie, Bowen and ringer Henry were all sent back to the enjoy the Greenwich sunshine from the sidelines, with opener Carib Weaver watching in despair as partner after partner came and went before we had barely had time to update the scoreboard.

Obviously at this point the match was already gone so Carib Weaver and Ringer Dave "I've not played since I was 14" Wadsworth started about a rebuilding effort. The NT team clearly also thought the game was done with their drinking intensity increasing, at various points NT fielders were wandering around distributing cans to team mates whilst the bowler was starting his run up. Mr Weaver was undisturbed by all this and played in his usual style, before accelerating towards the end of his innings, however he was then snaffled by a caught and bowled from NT Sid. This brought Carib Moss, bringing together the first ever all-Rotherham batting partnership in Carib history. Ringer Dave was slowly remembering how to bat and was eventually able to start posing the NT attack their first challenge of the innings, hitting 4 boundaries, before reaching a very respectable 27 not out. He did have a little luck along the way, being caught off a no ball at one point. At the other end Carib Moss was very much playing the supporting role in the partnership by employing the tactic of staying at the non-strikers end as much as possible (the absent Carib Willis would surely have been impressed by such a blatant attempt to improve his average). Carib Worthy came in, but had the misfortune of facing returning opening bowler NT Julka who quickly sent the tail ender back to the pavilion. However this allowed Carib Goochie the opportunity of a second innings thanks to the rule of the lowest scoring batsman being able to bat twice (his earlier second ball duck affording him this chance). So the innings ended with Goochie scoring his first runs of the season, but all in vain as the Caribs had been defeated by a sizable 59 runs.

The team retired to Blackheath for the usual post match discussion, including a blow-by-blow account of Carib Goochies experience in the after math of his HOT wings experience at the Carib orthodox Christmas dinner. So a defeat to start the season, but a great occasion as always. Hopefully with a bolstered bowling attack the Carib season may improve in the upcoming matches.

Carib Beer XI Lose by 59 Runs


Northern Trust      
Douglas   LBW Bowled Worthy 7
Jackson   Bowled Worthy 4
Payne   Bowled Worthy 0
Cliff Bowled Rayner 13
Minchin   Not Out 25
Sid   Not Out 14
Laqa   Bowled Worthy 23
Hipsey Caught Holmes Bowled Llewellyn 1
Dwight   Bowled Llewellyn 0
Norton   Bowled Haigh 15
Julka Not Out 1
EXTRAS   2b 1lb 4nb 31w 38
TOTAL   For 6 (20 Overs) 141-8
Jarrod Worthy 4-0-26-3 Glen Rayner 1-0-10-1
Martin Haigh 4-0-20-1 Dave Wadsworth 1-0-10-0
Henry Llewellyn 4-0-24-3 Andy Weaver 2-0-20-0
Andy Moss 4-0-28-0    
Carib Beer XI      
Alex Holmes   Bowled Dwight 1 (7)
Andy Weaver Caught and Bowled Sid 13 (23)
Henry Llewellyn Bowled Dwight 6 (9)
Martin Haigh Caught ? Bowled Julka 1 (6)
Glen Rayner Bowled Dwight 0 (2)
Andy Bowen Caught ? Bowled Minchin 2 (6)
Dave Wadsworth   Not Out 27 (32)
Andy Moss Not Out 6 (19)
Jarrod Worthy Caught ? Bowled Julka 2 (5)
Glen Rayner (2nd innings)   Not Out 2 (2)
EXTRAS   8nb 13w 21
TOTAL   For 9 (20 Overs) 82-7
Julka 4-0-11-2 Sid 2-0-5-1
Dwight 3-0-8-3 Jackson 2-0-14-0
Minchin 2-0-3-1 Douglas 2-0-16-0
Mohammed 2-0-12-0 Hipsey 1-0-6-0
Payne 2-0-8-0