This week the Knights were to play their first game at what is considered to be our true home of Knightwood. With Lee wetting himself in excitement following a pitch inspection a few days ago, this also seemed to brush off on the team who all arrived on time (yes ALL arrived on time for once) to aid in setting up the ground. With set up completed without any dramatics the Knights then began rigorous pre-match warm ups including casual underarm throwing and catching, chasing the club mascot (Dave’s dog Frank) to retrieve the ball as well as a healthy intake of tobacco and Frijj milkshake. Looking to get changed for the match and the warm ups winding down, Dan decided to prove his fielding ability through attempting a high catch whilst backward clattering through chairs, ungracefully falling over whilst defending his face from the ball… an excellent fielding display and one we were more eager to see in the match.
Assessing the pitch (3 times in Barbers case) there was great indecision whether to Bat or Bowl first, and Lee winning the toss decided through his extensive cricketing experience that bowling was the best way forward. Needing to bowl tightly, the Knights began by utilising the double pace attack of Pete and Chris in the hunt for the first wicket. Through starting with 2 Maidens coupled with tight bowling and fielding pressuring the batsmen, the first 8 Overs only went for 10 runs! Looking for a breakthrough, Chris’s continual pressure paid off, with the batsmen taking the high route producing an excellent catch on the run from Sam. With Pete now finishing his casual warm up and now bowling with some extra pace the batsmen now began struggling leading to an excellent double wicket maiden placing Ramsdell at 14-3 off 11 Overs. Changing the bowling it was agreed Chris’s economy of 1.8 an over was too expensive and Kev now entered the attack. Bowling an excellent Maiden first over, the opposition number 5 decided to take the attack to Pete instead and did so by hitting an excellent 6 which almost cleared the boundaries of the Leisure Centre. However through lashing at every ball, Pete certainly enacted his revenge bowling the batsmen out on his next over.
To keep the Batsmen (and our fielders) appeased, Kev now decided to test the batsmen’s hitting ability which led to a missed catch (and missed hospital trip) from Dan and Alex using his knee to help the ball over the boundary for 4 (obviously he had discussed fielding with Chris too long during the warm up). With Steve now eagerly watching the match and distracting Lee with his shirtless pecs?, Pete continued his good bowling spell finishing with 2 Maidens, only conceding 11 runs and saving himself from grief in this report… (for now). With Ramsdell building a steady 5th wicket partnership, drinks were reached at 52-4 with Steve looking to hoard the 8 litres of fluid for the remainder of the match. Changing the bowling attack, Dennis and Sam looked to bowl slower tighter lines to take the 5th wicket and create pressure on the lower order batsmen. With Dan now assuming a close fielding position and the team considering whether fetching a bench to put behind him would improve his performance, the Knights kept on top of the runs with Ramsdell only able to muster 64 off 26 Overs.
Looking to take the attack to the Knights, the opposition began looking more aggressive in their shot selection until advancing down the wicket to Dennis. With a quick change to the delivery, the batsmen missed it and Barber caught the ball… this then followed with a brief pause, taking in the scenery and bemused by the situation Barber held the ball until all that was heard to break the silence was Sammy bellowing “BARBER!!! STUMPS”. A quick bit of glove-work and the batsmen was stumped, however little did I know that Sammy was about shoulder me over the stumps to provide further encouragement and literally force the stumping. With the new batsmen showing a lack of technique and Chris feeling sexually aroused by my wicket keeping….. the Knights using their new found sense of man love saw Sammy take a quick spell of excellently bowled wickets placing Ramsdell at 76-7.
With Ramsdell reeling and Kev being lightning in the field, showing impeccable timing and judgement through stepping on the ball as opposed to performing the long barrier; the opposition feeling dishevelled lost another two quick wickets and at 84-9 the remaining number 7 hit a lofted shot at Pete and walked off before the catch was even taken.
At the interval all players enjoyed an excellent tea prepared by Chris in the usual notice period of just 6 hours. With an excellent array of sandwiches and even discovering my love for Battenberg cake, the Knights certainly felt good about their performance in the match so far, evidently the co** ups of Denmead and Twyford remained forgotten for now.
With Dan and Dave opening the batting, the Knights needed to hit 85-0 if they were to achieve maximum batting points; listening to stato Dan agreed with this tactic and decided to bat slowly feeling that creating an 85 partnership off 42 Overs seemed a reasonable suggestion (and he wonders why no-one listens to Stato). The opposition possessing a bowler whom thought he was quick decided to instantly look for an injury, pitching the ball directly at Dan’s ribs calling a rightly deserved no-ball from Umpire Kev. With the opposition already riled and calling us a cheat the innings progressed steadily with both batsmen making a steady 33 runs off 10 Overs. Needing a change in bowling, Ramsdell shocked to see the ineffectiveness of the pace attack instead elected their dobbler to bowl and with 1 delivery Dave was dismissed Bowled for 17.
At this point in the innings, Pete had now exceeded his 8 Overs worth of umpiring and was looking to rotate (and certainly would be looking for a while), whilst Barber and Franklin were focusing on the scorebook. According to Tom Smith’s official cricket umpiring and scoring handbook, Cricket scorers must possess a level of concentration, detail and focus to ensure accuracy when recording the match events. However what the handbook does not account for is that of a hyper distracting young child in the form of Lee’s son Ollie. Through a combination of invading the table, stealing Chris’s glasses, clambering over the Scoreboard and squirting Lucozade at Barber, the Scorers job certainly was becoming a challenge.
Back to the cricket, Cameron whom was beginning his last foreseeable innings for the club instantly got off the mark and looked confident to chase down the remaining runs. Dan on the other hand continued to bat steadily, possibly not realising that keeping all the points was not possible anymore. In an attempt to create another breakthrough the opposition brought on another spin bowler G. Prickett. Almost at 50 runs, Dan looked to hit a 4 ball but the bowler had already pre-empted this leading to Dan being caught….. what a pr***. Next was Lee to bat, walking to the middle, the crowd (of sorts) went wild with so much encouragement, Dave saying “see you in a few” and even his wife wishing him a good duck. Lee and Cameron fortunately batted steadily, however at the sidelines Ollie was up to mischief again offending the club mascot Frank leading to much barking (mostly from the dog and a little from Dave).
With Ollie now deciding to trouble the scorers again instead, Lee after blocking 10 balls knew he needed to accumulate runs and through astutely observing the field, decided the best way to do this was to edge the ball over the keeper and slips. With the bowlers changing but the bowling still remaining the same, Lee and Cam continued a steady flow of runs reaching 66-2 at 20 Overs. With Dave now restraining Ollie through use of tying his shorts to a metal pole (more effective than Sam forcibly removing him earlier), at 81 runs Lee looked confident to carry us over the line….. until he missed the ball (must’ve been an “absolute jaffa” like all the balls of previous weeks) and got himself bowled! In all fairness however as pointed out by Sammy if we were to analyse Lee’s Wagon Wheel, the lines would only be in one direction and it wouldn’t be that of the bowler…. well batted skip.
With Alex walking to the middle and the opposition accusing Kev of cheating again, Franklin certainly was looking to get out there (not necessarily to bat), whilst Kev diffused the situation by saying “Oi, your annoying me now”. Alex at the crease, 4 runs to go, the Knights looked to easily win the match without losing another wicket…. well there was speculation maybe Cameron had psyched his brother into hitting the winning runs, but it certainly didn’t manifest itself well in practise with Alex being bowled for 1 and Sam entering to bat with a mere 2 runs remaining. With Barber ready to go in next and Lee saying how he would really look forward to a close finish in the 42nd over (I suspect he may have been slightly sarcastic), Sammy saw off the 26th over with the Knights still painfully on 83 runs. Fortunately Cam had enough of this nonsense and gave himself a great send off hitting the winning 4 in style and achieving the Knights a confident thrashing.
So, excellent bowling from Pete and Sam, and a good steady batting performance from Cam led to the Knights achieving a well deserved 22 points at our new Knightwood home ground. At the pub the win was warmly celebrated with Dan making friends elsewhere, Ollie still continuing his attack on Chris and Barber, Ian coming along just to mock and embarrass his sons and Pete’s younger brother Josh naively placing a bag of chips amongst the squad. A convincing performance and another excellent confidence boost for the Knights, next week we host Overton II at Knightwood again in an effort to emulate our efforts today….. Come on the Knights!!!!!