Burn, baby, Burn: Chris goes infirm-o

HPH York Vale Cricket League Division 1
Ovington 134-9 (D. Cole 39*)
Burn 136-9
Burn won by 1 wicket.

I apologize to Mr Tune for the terrible title of this post, but dreadful puns are my forte, and I can never turn one down.  Worryingly, I actually thought it up before the game, which suggests I should probably be burnt as a witch.

Anyhow, it was a cool, grey day down at the Knavesmire and the brand new sightscreens were in place.  Captain Cole won the toss and chose to test them out immediately, so Messrs Ashby and Steel were sent to the crease.

They started steadily enough against some tidy Burn bowling, and when Barry walked after snicking one to the keeper, Chris Nickle continued were he'd left off.  We were 62-1 after 17 overs.

Unfortunately, Mr Knickall then tried to launch J. Bingle, Burn's spin bowler, out of the ground and was snaffled on the long-on boundary.  Tashby chased a wide one and was caught behind, and the Tuna Fish miscued a full toss into the air and was well-held by a fielder running in from midwicket.

A short while later, Steve had been stumped and Andy lbw-ed, and the wheels had not only come off the innings, but they'd been stolen, sold for scrap and melted down. We were 78-6.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Cole, and our skipper showed how it could be done.  With a bit of support from myself, Paul 'Hugo Chavez' Mizon, Souchy and Beau Brummel, Dave ensured we saw out our full allocation of overs, and 134-9 was almost a passable total.

Then the naked cyclists went by, and some local kids practised pole dancing on the sight screen struts, and we ate a delicious tea.

Burn came out to bat, and our new-ball pairing of Mizon and Ni (atomic number 28) fairly bristled with intent.  A couple of loose early balls went for boundaries, but after that it was play-and-miss and play-and-miss.  One of these included a noise that had bowler, keeper and most fielders certain of an edge, but the batsman didn't walk and the umpire didn't give it.

Cue much animosity and recriminations, not to mention some words that would not be permitted on Countdown.  The game threatened to boil over.  I will therefore court controversy by stating that, from my non-ideal vantage point in the covers, I thought the batsman hit the ground not the ball.  Clearly the Vale league needs to invest in a DRS.

After that, banter was free-flowing, and the umpires and bowlers were freely fuming, but no wickets came.  Somehow or other, the partnership passed 50, and a bowling change was brought about, with Brum and Barry taking over.  And a short ball from Brum was pulled straight to square leg, straight to Chris.

He failed to catch it, and crumpled to the ground in a heap, which I thought was due to embarrassment.  It quickly became apparent, though, that the ball had struck Chris on the head, and he was not in a good way.

Medical assistance was called for, and within no time at all, an ambulance had been sent out.  They arrived impressively quickly, and Chris was thankfully ok, eventually being able to walk home.  It did rather put appeals for caught-behinds into perspective.

And when the game eventually restarted, the wickets began to fall.  First Brum got into the action with a quick couple, then Barry too.  As the runs required fell, so did the wickets.  The Burn captain, Ed Clark, hit some lovely shots, but was running out of partners.  And then Barry struck twice in two balls.

The danger man, Clark, was still in, but at the non-striker's end, and Steely had three shots at Smith, the no. 11, a self-described rabbit.  Like Bugs Bunny against Elmer Fudd, though, the lagomorph survived.

So now it was Colin Niggle against Clark, who just happened to be the umpire who'd rejected his early, controversial appeal.  And the first ball of the over was a full toss and Clark smote it to the long-off boundary, and over it, and that was that.  Game over.  Burn had won by one wicket.

A close, exciting match with a disappointing (and rather late) conclusion.  But after competing so well with only ten men in the field, it's not all doom and gloom.  Especially if Mr Tune is soon fighting fit again.