The Trinidad Test
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Carib Beer XI vs Old Boys, Greenwich Park,

Wednesday 30th June 2021

The Caribs 3rd game of the season gave us the perfect opportunity to extend our winning run to 3 games, if this was to happen it would be coming against our second ever opponents - a cursory glance at the history books show that our first game in 2005 was against the Bank of England, followed by AEAT Old Boys 2 weeks later. We felt we had a good chance as the Old Boys are a team who the Caribs have a long history with, there are individual fierce rivalries, most notably Carib Cordey and Old Boy Rob Moss, who both were unavailable for selection much to the disappointment to all who have witnessed the historic on field battles. and the Old boys are the team we have had the most success against, but this wasn’t necessarily going to be the case, the previous night had seen history caste aside as England smashed up Germany for the first time in an important game in 55 years – was this to be the week for perennial underachievers? Time would tell.

The Caribs, still smarting from the WhatsApp tongue lashing dished out by Captain, Chairman and MCC member Haigh were assembled at Greenwich long before the 6pm deadline, most certainly in fear of the ramifications for any repeated levels of tardiness. There are rumours that word of Martin’s nastiness has spread as the opposition were also fully assembled and upon sighting Martin, the innocent children who had had the audacity to practice cricket on a cricket pitch quickly fled to less intimidating surroundings as he strode to the middle to take the toss. The omens were not good, Martin defied the history books, won the toss and elected to bat. It was also decided that extras would score 2 with no additional deliveries being needed. – this is always a relief to some of the more part time bowlers in the Carib ranks.

The usual conversations of who would open and who would come in where ensued – “Mr Weaver, fancy opening?”, “Goochie, where would you like to come in?”, “I’m not sure, maybe 4 or 5?”. At this point the nasty streak in Martin re rose to the surface “you always say that, you do know where you want to come in, its always 4 or 5”. Sorry Martin, please don’t hurt me.

Mr Weaver, without enough on his plate, with wicket keeping, collecting subs and being the friendly side of the captaining team as vice, was joined in the middle by Gordon to face the first ball under overcast, but dry skies.

The Old Boys attack lacked much in the way of a threat, but scoring in the early overs was a little pedestrian; singles, doubles and extras being the only scores for the first 4 overs. Mr Weave was dispatched in the second over, clean bowled, bringing out in form Rishi, who in his last innings had scored 39. Unlike Samson, losing his hair has done nothing to damage Rishi’s ability. He soon started scoring heavily again, and this also inspired Mr Berry. Both Caribs retiring in quick succession after 18 (Rishi) and 23 (Gordon) balls.

These retirements bought out Amateur Jude Law look-a-like Tom and very briefly, helmeted Goochie who it should be noted is suffering tennis elbow and so has lost some of his fluency with the bat. Tom carried on where Rishi and Mr Berry left off scoring regular runs with an occasional boundary. Goochie scored at a healthy run rate of 60 before missing a straight one to be clean bowled on 3 from 5 balls, this unfortunate event meant that Goochie returned to the boundary and started thinking about taking to the field, and included an observation that regular wicket keeper Bowen was absent. Knowing that Rishi is an excellent substitute WK, Goochie asked Rishi who was sitting in front of him with his curly mop of hair blowing gently in the breeze if he would be donning the gloves, multiple Caribs quickly pointed out that Rishi was umpiring and that it was in fact Sid sitting on the floor, this then descended to accusations of Goochie imitating Boris Johnson, Bernard Manning or Prince Phillip.

Goochies out bought out Martin to partner Tom for the majority of the last over of our innings. Martin also scored at a good rate, with the Caribs on a little over 100 with 4 overs to go. This score could have been higher, but for the heroic fielding of some of the Old Boys, who literally put any part of their bodies in the way of the ball to stop boundaries. There will very likely be a few bruised beer bellies and shins this morning.

It seems this position and rate of scoring was not good enough for the crowd as Nitin in particular started getting on at the batmen to take advantage of the wickets in hand. Both players did accelerate with Martin finishing on 24 from 23, 1 run shy of retirement. Also geed on and also nearing retirement Tom holed out for 23 from 27 allowing Adam to come out for a one shot boundary cameo to close the innings on 143 for 3. Although the berating from Nitin clearly had some positive effect, no one is quite sure what the reply from Martin was at the time, although it very possibly included expletives. It must also be noted the contribution that Archie made to this score, the running of the Caribs since the introduction of Archie a few seasons ago has certainly improved with many extra runs being secured as the collection of 3s and non-boundary 4’s on the scorecard show.

The Caribs felt confident that they could defend this healthy score when the Old Boys came out to bat, The Old Boys batting line up lacked some of the talent of yesteryear and so the expected potent opening attack of Adam and Nitin was substituted for the slightly less aggressive bowling of Moss and Archie. Archie did his part with the ball, taking 2 wickets for only 3 runs off 2 overs, whilst Moss was slightly lee effective, conceding 15 runs without securing a wicket. 1st change saw the introduction of Nitin, instructed to dial down his speed for the sake of healthy competition he advised that he would bowl spin. Its possible conditions on the sub-continent are different to England, but spin isn’t typically delivered in excess of 70mph and was a little to fiery for some of the Old Boys, Nitin secured 2 wickets for the loss of 4 runs. With the Old Boys behind on the run rate, Martin felt safe in introducing no step run up Goochie to the attack. The lack of flexibility in Goochies right arm due to his injuries seems to have straightened out his action as he returned his best figures in a number of years, with 3 straight balls before tempting Francis into driving a straight one to the secure non juggling, nothing to see here hands of Archie who was fielding in one of the recognized positions near the middle of the wicket on the leg side.

The Old Boys continued to lose wickets without scoring many runs, this was due in large part to the outstanding fielding of Gordon who was mopping up everything within a 50 yard radius of his starting point. It was less due to Mr Moss who seemed more interested in chatting about field placements and getting other fielders into trouble with Martin for appearing to not be concentrating.

Further wickets fell to Tom - with a poor delivery whilst his best delivery hit the bails without dislodging them and also to Gordon who had a remarkable diving catch from Adam to thank for getting him a wicket. Sid also ran out Ford 1 before Martin took two wickets near the end, clean bowling Reed, before Ford 1’s identical twin, Ford 2 turned up and was caught by Gordon which closed out the match with The Old Boys still 94 runs adrift of the total needed to continue the rise of the under achievers – normality reinstated.

Before departing for the pub where conversations turned to the indiscretions of Matt Hancock, cricket kits appearing to have shrunk since lockdown began – certainly nothing to do with expanding waste lines and the chances of it coming home, Adam introduced us to the future of the Carib Beer XI, his son and daughter were playing in the outfield with a bat and ball – reminiscent of the innocent children from earlier, Martin walked over, a tongue lashing was surly about to ensue - neither of them were in whites for a start, but thankfully the victory seemed to have sedated his aggression, and everyone left happy, looking forward to our next match on the 5 July.

Carib Beer XI Win by 94 Runs


Carib Beer XI      
Andy Weaver   B Read 1 (4)
Gordon Berry   not out 25 (23)
Rishi Banarjee   not out 25 (18)
Tom Horn C Brown B Sparkes 23 (27)
Glen Rayner   B Brown 2 (4)
Martin Haigh   not out 24 (23)
Adam Tanveer   not out 4 (1)
Andy Moss      
Sid Chandra      
Archie Runacres      
Nitin Jain      
EXTRAS   0b 1lb 2nb 36w 39
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 143-3
Steve Brown 4-0-22-1 Nick Read 4-0-32-1
Ian Luciani 3-0-20-0 Ian Hood 2-0-13-0
James Francis 3-0-25-0 Dave Ford 2-0-18-0
Andy Sparkes 2-0-12-1    
Old Boys      
Wallis   B Runacres 0
Sparkes   B Jain 8
Rawlings C Jain B Runacres 0
Madden   B Jain 0
Francis C Runacres B Rayner 0
Luciani   B Horn 0
Ford   run out (Berry/Weaver) 4
Brown   not out 7
Hood C Tanveer B Berry 1
Read   B Haigh 1
Ford twin brother C Berry B Haigh 0
EXTRAS   0b 0lb 10nb 18w 28
TOTAL   (14.4 Overs) 49
Runacres 2-0-3-2 Moss 2-0-15-0
Jain 2-0-4-2 Rayner 1-0-4-1
Chandra 2-0-9-0 Horn 2-0-6-1
Berry 2-0-10-1 Haigh 1.4-1-2-0