Stone CC vs. Bredgar CC, 23 July 2022

Another hot day beckoned as old foes Bredgar made the trip to the home of village cricket. Walkie cunningly avoided being awarded Shitbag (just) by deviously contracting Covid on Friday evening, but after a begging Saturday morning text the Candyman heroically answered the call and wins my vote for Player of the Year. With Oakfield happily surviving the blazes of the recent hot spell – despite a pair of planks firing up a disposable barbecue right behind the bowler’s arm at one end during the game – and everyone turning up bright and early this week, I won the toss and stuck Bredgar into bat in a timed game. They usually give us an arse-kicking, and we hadn’t beaten them in (*consults Keenan files*) exactly four years…

With the Walkie Talkie full of lurgy and snot, Muttley and Slates opened the bowling this week. Mutts got his filthy leg stump yorker going early on to dismiss their Number 2 and Dino juggled a lofted chance before safely keeping hold of it to give Slates his first wicket of the year. The same two combined again a little later, but this time Dino’s juggling got out of hand and it went to the deck. Scrappy and Sashi were next into the attack, with the Bredgar skipper still going well at one end, but once the SashMan got his radar right he smashed through the middle order, ending up with 3-24. Scrappy was on much better form this week and nabbed three victims himself, including their skipper who eventually fell for 40 with me snaffling a diving slip catch with my right man-tit. Time for a spot of spin – enter Candyman and Paul to wrap up the innings. First up, Scrappy took a remarkable diving catch in the covers off Camo, then Muttley held on to a great catch out in the deep to give Paul the final wicket, turfing Bredgar out for just 112 and well inside their allotted time.

As it was rather warm, we decided on refreshments and grub before we began our reply. Regular openers Gracie and I both got ourselves out in exactly the same ways we get out most weeks, with me lofting one to mid off (who dropped it) before doing the same thing to mid on (who didn’t) for 1, then the big man missed one jagging back through the gate for 5. Dicky in at Number 3 made 4 before he slapped one to point, and Stone were 18/3. Surely we weren’t going to fuck it up again? Step forward the in-form batsmen of 2022, Sashi and Muttley, to drag us towards victory. Muttley clubbed a lovely 38 in a partnership of 55 before he chopped one onto his pads which the ‘keeper caught easily. Sashi had dug in at the other end, and who better to join him than Stumpy to see the game out. Unfortunately, Sash was bowled for 13 with the score on 92, which brought Slates to the crease. His run-a-ball innings of 11 featured one very expensive quick single as he went arse-over-tit and ripped his pads open, before getting bowled with eight runs required. In next was Candyman, who had earlier promised to hit the winning runs with his love truncheon. Wisely, he decided to use his bat instead and we romped to victory with four wickets to spare.

It was great to bounce back to winning ways with everyone contributing something to the victory, and we showed excellent team spirit all day. With only the non-boozers (wisely) not joining us at the post-game session, it was pretty much a perfect day. Awards – no Shitbag this week, despite Candy desperately nominating people left, right and centre (almost earning the award himself), while Big Pat went to Muttley (again) for his 1-20, two catches and 38 runs.