The Trinidad Test
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Carib Beer XI - Fixtures and Results - 2005

Carib Beer XI - Season Team Averages

Match 1 - Full Scorecard vs Bank of England Select XI (9th June 2005) Match Lost

What was expected to be a warm up match against a bunch of non cricketing work colleagues saw us register our first and only loss of our first official season as the opposition turned out to be somewhat stronger than anticipated. To make matters worse, the Carib Beer XI's run chase was hampered by some controversial umpiring decisions. In the event, we fell short of our target of 103 by one run. Unfortunately, this game saw the absence of Mr Haigh, our team captain, and the consequent increase in the amount of on field beer consumed as a result, may have contributed to our loss. Following the defeat, the stand in captain, Mr Willis, handed in his resignation in preparation for the return of Mr Haigh.

Match 2 - Full Scorecard vs AEAT (23rd June 2005) Match Won

Our second match of the season saw the return of Mr Haigh, and a return to form for the team as a whole chasing down AEAT's total of 64 with three wickets to spare. A middle order wobble saw us reduced to 26 for 6 at one point, however, a final wicket stand of 40 between Mr Cordey and Ringer Belcher saw us safely home. This match also witnessed the renaissance of Mr Gooch's bowling into a potent opening strike bowler, which saw both openers removed in the space of two devastating overs. After this start, AEAT were never able to recover and lost wickets steadily throughout the remainder of their innings.

Match 3 - Full Scorcard vs AEAT Old Boys (12th July 2005) Match Tied

Our third match of the year culminated in a thrilling last ball tie, which on a number of occasions could so easily have swung either way. The Carib Boys opened the bowling, and after four tight overs from the new ball paring of Barry and Peter the visitors were reduced to 3 for 3. However, some determined middle order batting from the Old Boys saw their score gradually achieve some respectibility. A gritty 24 from D. Lacy and a determined 23 from A. Sparkes were the outstanding features of a 70 run partnership which elevated the AEAT Old Boys to somewhere approaching 80, the partnership only being broken when Peter clung onto a difficult skyer at Mid Off from one of Phil Cordey's dobblers. From that point, the innings stumbled, and further wickets fell, including yet another difficult catch by Peter diving just inside the boundary ropes to cap an eventful birthday, but it was enough to see the Old Boys reach a respectable 90 runs from their 20 overs.

The Carib Boys' response again stumbled in the opening overs, and wickets tumbled more frequently that usual. Fourteen for nought (which included seven wides) became twenty for SIX and the match seemed all but lost, but yet again, the middle order came to the rescue. Mr Haigh, again leading from the front, batted with the sort of grit and determination that would have made Nasser himself proud, to retire after scoring 26 not out, including a towering six.

Another twenty three runs by Barry contributed to the revival of the Carib Boys' fortunes. At one point, the Caribs required 59 runs from the final 9 overs, but gradually, the deficit was reduced, when, in the final over, with only six runs to win, Mr R Moss came onto bowl. Five runs came from the first five deliveries, and the teams tensed for the final delivery of the match, with one run required by the Carib Boys to secure a well earned victory. As the last delivery came streaking down, missing the off stump by some ten feet, the whole team was on their feet, believing we had secured victory from a last ball wide.

Unfortunately, this was not to be, as at the last moment, Ringer Roy strode out towards point and clattered the ball back to the bowler. Realising his mistake, he began to scamper desperately towards the non strikers end, only, sadly, for the stumps to be thrown down, running him out, and snatching a tie from the very jaws of victory.

Match 4 - single wicket competition with BoE. (19th July 2005)

Match 5 - Full Scorecard vs Shell (4th August 2005) Match Won

If Nasser Hussain had been commentating on this game, the words 'came to the party' would definately have been used at least once, as this was the match that saw the Carib Beer XI step up their game to secure a stunning penultimate ball victory over a more than useful Shell XI that even included people who owned their own cricket whites.

The Shell XI batted first, and began by making good progress with both openers reaching double figures before too long. To make matters worse, the Shell provided umpires were remarkably strict, widing anything that passed either the wrong side of leg stump, or more than two feet wide of off, although to be fair, there were plenty that were much wider than this. However, the ignomony of watching them even calling our captain and manager Martin Haigh for a wide on one occasion, was too much for most of us.

However, the Carib bowlers relished the pressure and wickets began to fall with increasingly regularity and the pendulum of momentum began to swing back in our favour and we did well to restrict th em to only 96, of which only 65 of those were off the bat, testament to the severity of the umpiring which would have been out of place in a 20/20 final. Nevertheless, the Caribs failed to be daunted by the total, and we timed our reply to perfection. Martin Haigh played yet another masterful captain's innings, retiring after bludgeoning a fine 26 to bring the Caribs within striking distance of the target. Earlier, ringer Fuller had played a watchful innings, taking around 40 balls for his 18. Luckily, however, he was out before the final couple of overs, leaving our very own Aussie ringer, Mr Rowlands, to shepherd the tail and swiftly knock off the final runs with one ball to spare. However, it has to be said that given the drubbing just handed out to the Australians at Edgebaston over the weekend, having an Aussie on the side no longer carries the kudos it once did.

Unfortunately, Martin Haigh is firmly of the impression that the absence of on field drinking during the match may have contributed to our new level of professionalism, and that consequently, he is keen that this should be enforced for all our games. Whether this happens, yet remains to be seen, and surely needs further investigation.

Match 6 - Full Scorecard vs AEAT / Shell (9th August 2005) Match Won

Although our final match of the season was originally intended to be nothing more than a knockabout, after asking about for ringers to join in, we realised we had managed to get enough interest for a full 11 a side game. This shows in what high regard the Carib Boys are now held, with so many people wanting to either play with us, or test themselves against us, and bodes well for next season.

The game was reduced to 14 overs a side, due to the person with the kit being delayed in Wimbledon, but was a frenetic encounter none the less. The AEAT / Shell All Stars batted first, and quickly stumbled to 6 for 3, attempting to push the score along. However, this was followed by a determined stand of 37 between Shell's Ned & AEAT Draper. In fact, these were the only two real innings of note, but ringer Draper's 15 came from around 35 balls, and used up many valuable overs. The situation was rescued somewhat by Shell Ned's hard hitting 24 which came at better than a run a ball and included 5 fours, but the stand was eventually broken by our captain Mr Haigh and from that point, the last few batsmen were only able to chip in, as the AEAT / Shell team finished with 67 from their 14 overs.

In reply, the Caribs batted with much more authority, and the opening overs saw Carib Cordey hitting a 7 ball 13 to get the innings off to a flyer. Martin Haigh then contributed a further 11, while Carib Peter top scored with 14. (However, this should have been 16 as Team Manager and Captain Mr Haigh stopped to admire his perfectly executed straight drive back past the bowler, and believing it to have gone for four, decided to stop five yards from his crease, only for the ball to be stopped inches short of the boundary, denying Carib Peter, or the team, any benefit from the shot).

Nevertheless, with the Caribs closing in on victory, Ringer Moss and our very own Aussie, Ringer Greg, began the task of knocking off the final runs. Unfortunately, Ringer Moss, realising he may not have been the man for the last ditch run chase attempted to swing at everything in an effort to get himself out, only for the dreadful bowling to miss the stumps every time he aimed for cow corner and missed. Finally, a ball hit the stumps, which brought Ringer Tanner to the crease. However, with the subsequent late loss of Aussie Ringer Rowlands, the cause could have been lost, but for a fine cover drive for four by Ringer Tanner off AEAT Moss, which saw us finally overhaul the AEAT / Shell score with five balls to spare.

It should also be mentioned that the combined AEAT / Shell (& Ringers) bowling attack proved to be one of the more formidable attacks we had yet faced, with Shell Ned and Ringer Graham both proving themselves more than useful bowlers. In this context, this was another pleasing victory, and means we have now only lost only one game from our five official fixtures in season one, with one tie. The only loss being our first official game, and, as already mentioned, the amount of interest we are now generating amongst London's Ringers, next season, with around 10 official fixtures, should certainly be eagerly anticipated.