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Carib Beer XI vs St Martin in the Fields, Battersea Park,

Tuesday 26th July 2016

Late July saw the Caribs arrive in Battersea Park for a game of cricket against Haigh’s Church Choir, or to give their official name, St Martin in the Fields CC. After a battle through the park, passing the local Casanova’s wooing the local totty with the help of acoustic guitars; we arrived quite late hoping for a short match before God withdrew light for the day. Carib had managed to bring together 8 players, while a late influx of Indian talent saw St Marts with 12. Haigh didn’t want to break the 8th commandment and steal, so he completed the transfer of ringers Adnan and Pragnesh to the Carib ranks.

St Marts brought along some part of the local retired congregation to support, all of whom waited expectantly for the game to commence. There was a pause for breath as Haigh commenced the toss (it’s not adultery). The Carib regulars, Adnan, Pragnesh and the St Marts vicar all realised that this was a big toss to win. It was cloudy, getting late and Haigh had shown the negotiation powers of the third dust mite who failed to get on the Ark despite his size advantage making him invisible to Noah’s eye, so we were playing 20 overs with an extra ball for a wide. Relief, we won the toss –we can bat during the day, and bat at night. But no, it turned out that Martin has a certain bat like quality (the animal not the cricket term) and can use echolocation. Time would tell if the rest of us had this skill or whether Batman had just blown our chances in one Judas like act to improve his averages in relation to his once loyal team. This wasn’t a case of “Saint” Martin electing to field.

So we ate our bananas and ventured on to the pitch to play some cricket. What followed was an hour or so of nothing unusual. Gordon arrived, Swanand bowled well and took some wickets, Weaver was brave behind the stumps, Gooch stopped boundaries with his feet, Batman was consistent in his bowling against the lower order, the ringers bowled impressively and Mossy’s averages were made even more difficult to recover from. On the catching front, there was the usual mixed bag of a wonder catch from Alex, “catch of the season” from Willis (as described by the frequently playing Caribs and Jonty Rhodes who was walking past at the time, not the author of this report who said it just went cleanly into the psalm of his hand). Weaver and ringer Adnan dropped a few toughies and Mossy was like King Canute who stopped the water, he didn’t catch it. All in all, we trudged off (ringer Pragnesh in bare feet) with 111 to chase. An unlucky omen?

As the last drop of sunlight disappeared, Batman chose his batting line up. It was the failed garden improvement businessmen, Holmes and Moss who were elected to face the openers. Batman whizzed off to umpire, calling Willis on as sub fielder to his obvious dismay, and Gooch and Weaver were left to score and talk to the St Marts retired congregation. It was slow going, and most runs were coming from wides & byes with no-one able to see the ball, no matter how bright and orange it was. King Canute played a fantastic off drive through square leg for 4, as we stumbled through the overs and wickets. The highlight of the innings was probably the look on the St Marts supporters faces as Gooch arrived back at base having kicked over his stumps for 2. Clearly standing too near the stumps with size 18 feet wasn’t the problem, but the f***ing umpire who didn’t give a f***ing wide the over before meant it was impossible for Gooch to stay upright on this occasion. The remaining Caribs on the boundary issued apologies and Gooch partially calmed down, electing to take up some scoring duties next to a St Marts “bell ringer” I think Gooch called him. Batman had a decent knock, but I suppose he could feel the good vibrations from what felt like a beach ball to him. Unfortunately, it turned out that the rest of the team did not have echolocation skills, we planned to use our eyes and we landed up on 96-8. It was a good effort given the obvious sight advantage, and maybe next year we can either get a better captain or buy some balls with bells in.

We congratulated the opposition and parted on our separate ways. Batman demonstrated that echolocation doesn’t help you ride a bike as he stacked it 3 yards after starting his short journey home. Divine intervention perhaps, but his Carib comrades dashed to his support demonstrating that there were no hard feelings to the captain, despite him making them stand 22 yards away from a rock hard ball being thrown at 60 mph at them in the dark. Some Caribs made the journey home, but the few made their way to the local boozer to decide whether it was worth nuking 2/3 of the world’s population to make Gooch’s occasional family day trips to the London more enjoyable.

Oh… and Willis’ 2 year, 3 innings, 20 ball, not out streak came to an end.

Barry Willis

Carib Beer XI Lose by 15 Runs


St Martins      
Charnley   not out 25
Wells   B Haigh 6
Kamran C and B Willis 15
Saggid C Holmes B Pragnesh 17
Demming lbw B Pragnesh 0
Sherien   B Kant 15
Greenbow   B Kant 11
A Lay   B Haigh 3
Fitzgerald   not out 0
Norman   B Haigh 0
EXTRAS   8b 3lb 3nb 10w 24
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 111-8
Kant 4-0-13-2 Haigh 4-1-20-3
Willis 4-0-31-1 Adnan 3-0-16-0
Pragnesh 4-0-10-2 Moss 1-0-10-0
Carib Beer XI      
Holmes   B Charnley 14 (32)
Moss   B Saggid 4 (11)
Berry C Sherian B Charnley 5 (8)
Rayner hit wicket B Greenhow 2 (4)
Adnan lbw B Charnley 0 (3)
Haigh   not out 21 (26)
Pragnesh C and B Kamran 18 (14)
Willis   B Demming 0 (4)
Kant   B Saggid 5 (10)
Weaver   not out 0 (5)
EXTRAS   3b 24w 27
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 96-8
Lay 2-0-6-0 Saggid 3-1-7-2
Lombard 2-0-19-0 Charnley 4-0-12-3
Greenhow 3-0-16-1 Wells 2-0-17-0
Kamran 2-0-8-1 Demming 2-0-5-1