The Trinidad Test
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Carib Beer XI vs RSSB, Fishponds, Tooting, Tues 21st June 2016

After nearly a month off due to the shocking British summer weather a rusty Carib team arrived at a surprisingly sunny Fishponds ground. We were playing our regular opposition of the RSSB team who we had played some tight encounters against in the past, but who were responsible for handing the Caribs a right old thrashing in 2015. Yet again this season there were some late Carib drop-outs and we were down to 8 Carib members. However we were boosted by the return of Carib Treasurer and supreme Nurdler Carib Berry. We were also supplemented by ringer Dave, keeping up his 100% appearance record for the season, still wearing The Most Expensive Trainers In The World. Unusually we were missing our usual wicketkeeper, the butter-fingered Carib Bowen. However Northern Bakery Pie Magnate Carib Cordey was on hand and was keen to take the gloves for the first half of the innings before agreeing to swap with Carib Holmes to allow Phil to bowl his usual spell at the death.

Carib Skiipper and Best Batsman Mr Haigh was present and he brought order to the proceedings by agreeing with the oppo to dispense with the toss and allow them to bat first. As we were playing right on the point of the summer solstice Martin also suggested we play normal rules for wides and no balls, much to the trepidation of the weakened Carib attack.

However Bouncer-Bowling Carib Worthy was present and able to take the new ball. Immediately the potential folly of the no ball/wides rule was presented. Jarrod bowled wide after wide, his usual half trackers often rolling along the floor to the batsmen due to the soggy pitch. Then in an attempt to pitch the ball up he bowled some extremely high full tosses that were so far over the head of the batters that there was never even a hint of danger to them from the wild beamers. Somehow Jarrod managed to bowl a full four over spell for the expense of only 23 runs, presumably the batters were unable to find a rhythm due to the variety of Jarrod's bowling. At the other end, the new ball was shared by the Caribs newest member Carib Swanand (Shaun). Luckily for the Caribs Swanand bowled a much tighter spell, before he was wisely taken off by the skipper to be saved for the death overs.

The middle overs saw the usual entrance of the skipper himself. However rather than being able to take advantage of his opening bowlers removing the top order and having the oppotunity to pick up some cheap wickets it instead fell to Martin himself to finally break the opening partnership, finally taking the first wicket of the RSSB innings in the 10th over, with the RSSB team on a healthy 70-1. There was also a semi-controversial incident off Martin's bowling when a near run-out was fortunately avoided for the RSSB team when the ball deflected away of the non-striker's bat, allowing the RSSB team to complete a single. Mr Haigh, displaying all his MCC sportsmanship ethos thought it was rather irksome that the RSSB team took the run, but as the batsmen had already half started running, before the mix up they were within their rights to take the single as it was an accidental deflection. As the RSSB Glenn said at the time "it's in the rules Marty!"

A tell tale sign of the weakness of the Carib attack was the fact that Carib Moss was required to share the middle overs and in fact was asked to bowl his full quota of 4 overs. Fortunately for the Donkey Drop style bowler the RSSB top order had now been forced to retire on 25 and so the middle order of the RSSB team was now at the crease. Moss still needed some excellent boundary fielding, particularly from Caribs Holmes and Worthy on the straight boundary, who saved the slow bowler a good 10 - 20 runs. Also fielding well on the day was one of the Carib Essex Boy clan, Goochie. Never one to use his hands to stop the ball, he had however perfected the boot stop, saving all of the bowlers many a run, showing football skills that surely should have earnt him a place in the England Euro 2016 squad. Call him up Woy!

Anyway Carib Moss, boosted by the assistance of his fielders found something approaching accuracy and managed to lure an RSSB batsman into a false shot and a thin snick behind to stand-in wicketkeeper Pie Magnate Cordey. Now if the situation had been in reverse and a chance had fallen to Carib Moss off the bowling of Cordey then at this point in the match report there would be a long explanation of how Carib Moss dropped yet another easy chance. So not wanting to break with tradition and apply any truth to the incident it was obvious that Cordey had dropped an absolute sitter. What more chance does he need with those big fat gloves on!

Carib Moss however did not allow himself to be deterred, helped by the still excellent boundary fielding, Moss decided to dispense with the off stump line and caught behind wicket taking method and miraculously bowled a ball on middle stump that was somehow missed by RSSB Hab, presenting the loopy slow bowler with his first wicket of the season.

The death overs saw the bowling partnership of Caribs Cordey and Swanand (Shaun). They both bowled good spells, and the wickets now started to arrive. Phil with his usual quick darts off no run was able to surprise 3 of the RSSB batters and bowl them out. Swanand was also rewarded for his earlier accuracy and picked up a couple of wickets himself, including one caught at midwicket by the returning Carib Berry, demonstrating to Carib Cordey how to catch a ball. Carib Moss also decided to follow the lead of Essex Boy Goochie and decided to stop a full blooded drive at mid-off with his foot and then proceeded to try and show anyone who showed the remotest bit of interest the huge bruise this left him with on his left peg.

Carib Cordey also threw in one of his highly optimistic shouts for LBW which was obviously turned down by the umpire. However in the confusion Carib Holmes, now wearing the wicketkeeping gloves was able to quiclklu field the ball and run out RSSB Will who was trying to sneak a leg bye.

As can often happen to the Caribs this flurry of wickets then allowed the RSSB retirees to return to the crease which but a severe dent in the economy rates of our death bowlers. The last ball itself being a case in point where a comfortable single was turned into a 3 by not one, but two separate shies at the stumps. The first one was unfortnate with Carib Berry hitting the stumps from a square leg position allowing the RSSB team to sneak one more run. But then an ill advised second attempt at a run out resulted in another stoler run.

So at the halfway stage, the RSSB team had racked up 139-8, a very similar score to the NT match at the start of the season. However the extras column (despite the efforts of Carib Worthy) only included 12 wides and 3 no balls, a lot better than the 4 no balls and 31 wides of the NT match.

Carib Holmes, looking extremely sweaty after his exertions with the gloves was asked to take on his usual opening role, alongside Ringer Dave who was yet to be dismissed this season, with two 25no to his name. We had time to check the score in the England v Sri Lanka game taking place at the same time as our game where we discovered England had collapsed to 30-4, as the absent Mr Weaver messaged through his support, "if we can avoid collapsing like England then in with a shout". The Caribs had also been 17-5 in the NT match earlier in the year, so it seemed bettering 30-4 or even 17-5 should surely be possible. As it turned out a start of 30-4 would have been dreamland compared to the carnage that was about to occur.

The opening pair were quickly back on the sidelines for just a run a piece, bringing an end to Ringer Dave's not out streak, although now leaving him with an average of above 50 for the season. Carib Skipper and Best Batsman Mr Haigh strolled out to the middle, determined to bring some order to proceedings and batted out a maiden over. However at the other end wickets continued to tumble with Caribs Cordey and Goochie both scoring ducks. Meanwhile at the other end Mr Haigh was block, block, block, block. Carib Swanand (Shaun) was in at number 6 and also was quickly dismissed for a 2 ball duck. So the Caribs somehow managed to create an even worse start than the NT match and were 5-5 from 5 overs.

Carib Treasurer Berry was next in, and managed to face a record breaking (for this inninngs) 11 balls (albeit including a dropped chance) before he too was bowled for just one run. At the other end Mr Haigh was block, block, block, block. In fact Martin faced 20 dot balls in a row before finally getting off the mark, typically with a boundary 4, which was then remarkably followed by a boundary clearing 6. This clearly was a sign that the slightly lesser RSSB bowlers were now on, which was a relief to Carib Moss, making an appearance in the unusual position of needing to protect his wicket, given we just had Carib Worthy still to bat. So Martin and Andy were able to share something approaching a proper partnership, actually using up the bulk of the innings (61 balls) with dots. Not exactly 20-20 style, but at least saved the Carib team from total embarassment. Having allowed themselves time to get in, it was clear they should then actually get on with scoring some runs. Of course Mr Haigh was not to disappoint in this, as he raced up to his 25 not out in only 19 balls, obviously in addition to the 20 dot balls in a row before scoring. Remarkably even Carib Moss managed to get his eye in, taking advantage of the lesser bowlers to somehow hit 3 boundaries of his own. So after the early carnage the Caribs had managed to go about 8 overs without losing a wicket. Carib Moss then claimed he half threw his wicket away to allow Mr Haigh to return to the crease alongside last man in Carib Worthy, owner of the most textbook forward defensive shot in the Carib ranks. Jarrod managed to face 14 balls (virtually the same as 5 of the top 6 put together) before he too was bowled. As we were one batsman down this left Mr Haigh to bat on in a "last man stands" style, allowing him to make 33 not out off just 51 balls. Surely some kind of record for a man who faced 20 dot balls in a row. Obviously the chances of making a close game were long gone, but at least the Carib score was made up to 80. This meant an identical result to the NT game earlier in the season, with the Caribs losing by 59 runs. Our next match is scheduled to be against the Old Boys, so we hope for a closer match and a win in that one.

Carib Beer XI Lose by 59 Runs


Paul   Bowled Kant 35
Jamie   Bowled Haigh 20
Glenn   Bowled Cordey 38
Rob Bowled Cordey 17
Alex   Bowled Cordey 4
Hab   Bowled Moss 0
Jim Caught Berry Bowled Kant 1
Will   Run Out 7
EXTRAS   2b 4lb 3nb 12w 21
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 139-8
Jarrod Worthy 4-0-23-0 Swanand Kant 4-0-19-2
Martin Haigh 4-0-32-1 Andy Moss 4-0-30-1
Phil Cordey 4-0-29-3    
Carib Beer XI      
Alex Holmes   Bowled Sharp 1 (4)
Dave Wadsworth   Bowled Martin 1 (2)
Martin Haigh Not Out 33 (51)
Phil Cordey Caught (square leg) Bowled Martin 0 (4)
Glen Rayner Bowled Martin 0 (3)
Swanand Kant   Bowled Hab 0 (2
Gordon Berry   Bowled Gary 1 (11)
Andy Moss Bowled Hab 16 (30)
Jarrod Worthy   Bowled Gary 1 (14)
(last man stands)      
EXTRAS   1b 8nb 12w 27
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 80-8
Sharp 2-1-2-1 Paul Martin 4-1-9-3
Hab 4-1-15-2 Gary 4-3-1-3
Alex Moore 1-0-10-0 Rob 2-0-21-0
Tim 2-0-16-0 Jamie Boyd 1-0-6-0