Wednesday, October 6, 2010

21 Jan 2009

After a well earned holiday the team launched into the New Year with a New Year’s resolution
- to be much nicer to our opponents than we were last year. As you all know, the guys were
ruthless, particularly one guy towards the end of the year.

In the New Year’s spirit we gifted the first match of the year to the opponents. We hoped
that this would make up for us beating them in the grand final last year. The only thing worth
reporting from that match was there was nothing to report. Other than Charuka and Las
contributing with the bat while Aneesh and Sacha talked a bit with the ball, the only thing to
report was that it was a nice day.

So we decided it was time bring back Stanley from Sri Lanka. An emergency sos was sent
to Colombo asking him to cut his holiday short. He said from his holiday resort that he
would only come back if the coach was sacked. The lack of brains and trust immediately
gave the coach the boot. No one is quite sure who the coach was though cause he had
never been spotted at any of the practice sessions or team bonding sessions that were
never held. But the lack of brains and trust has confirmed that the coach has been sacked.

This game was meant to be a walk in the park against a team we have beaten quite easily
in the past. And Sacha’s contribution with the ball should have ensured it was a walk in the
park. Sacha balls looked like they were tied on a string. He was swinging them to the left and
the right and making them do all sorts of funny things. But mostly he was just fondling them.

What ever it was he was doing, it was working, cause they were dancing all over the place
and the only runs the batsmen were getting were byes and fours through the slips. When
the batsman finally managed to get bat on ball, it went straight up in the air to Rickster. He
was so excited by the prospect of adding another catch to his growing total that he started
doing some Travolta disco moves. At the end of his disco routine, he picked the ball up
from the ground and passed it back to Sacha who had to then try again to get the guy out.
Wisely (Sacha is not on the lack of brains trust) he decided to just bowl the batsman out.

One ball was so good that the batsman came and asked Sacha for his autograph. Truth is the
only thing good about it was that the batsman missed a straight ball and got bowled, which is
something our batsmen are very familiar with. Sacha then managed to get the next batsman
to nick a ball that went straight into the keeper’s hands before ending up in the hands of first
slip. In the end, second slip claimed the catch.

Sacha ended up with 4 wickets for hardly any runs. We had them 7 down for about 50 runs
which got us a bit concerned because we needed more runs for Stanley to chase. That’s
when they sent in their secret weapons – a China man with a curry.

This was a deadly combination. The China man was determined to keep everything out and
even used his hands to stop the ball from hitting his stumps. When we appealed, the umpire
decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was doubtful that the China man was aware
of all the rules of the game according to Rajitha, who was bowling at the time. However,
according to Charuka who was behind the stumps and quizzed the batsman on the intricacies
of the game, it appears that he had a good grasp of all the other rules of the game.

Whatever the case, the China man kept the ball away from the stumps while the man on
the other side had the runs flowing. The partnership ensured they got past a 100 before we
finally convinced the China man to play a shot. He did and it went straight in the air to Rajitha
who was so impressed with Ricky’s disco moves that he did a few of his own. Like Ricky, he
too ended up picking the ball off the ground and passing it back to the bowler to try again.

Eventually Sameera managed to get the China man out and we finally cleaned up the tail. We
had to get 123 to win.

Stanley was sent out alone to get the winning runs. He was asked to take his time. Rajitha
kept shouting ‘no hurry’ while Ricky just kept shouting.

The first ball was a wide. The second ball got despatched to the next suburb. Three fielders
were seen jumping over the neighbour’s fence, dogs were heard barking and eventually they
came back with a ball. The next ball was sent straight back into the same neighbour’s house.
The three fielders went back. This time the dogs didn’t bark and the neighbour invited them in
for a cup of tea. The neighbour then put on his whites and agreed to get on his roof and catch
the next six.

So Stanley sent the fourth ball straight down the ground towards a different neighbour now
that neighbour at the square boundary had plugged that hole. At the end of the first over, we
had 20 runs on the board! Looked like we only needed another six overs. Stanley then took
strike on the other side. He hit a couple of more fours before Ricky shouted to Stanley to get
out so that he could score the remaining runs. Stanley obliged and went back with 27 in nine

From that point on, the bowling suddenly became unplayable. Wickets started tumbling
and there wasn’t a run to be bought. The neighbour on the roof went back into his house.
Charuka and Rajitha made it into their twenties before finding the pavilion. Ricky was given a
promotion after he got on his hands and knees.

He was a bit concerned because the neutral umpire was someone that he had given out
lbw when Ricky was the neutral umpire earlier in the season. Ricky’s karma had come back
to pay him. So he was seen buttering the umpire all day and was at one stage even seen
grabbing the ump’s left butt cheek. Fortunately for Ricky the ball never hit his pad. In fact,
fortunately the ball was missing everything including the keeper.

Ricky did eventually go nuts and knock the ball around the park before getting out to a China
man bowled by an Indian man. Aneesh, aka Rambo, then came in with the scores tied and
promised not to loose the match – which would have been impossible unless he managed
to score a negative run, which upon reflection would probably not be beyond some of our
batsmen. The field was brought up and he was surrounded. Rambo was not going to take any
prisoners and he tonked his first ball to the boundary. The fielder who felt the wind of the ball
passing his left ear was seen thanking his lucky stars before pleasantries were exchanged
and we called it a day.

In then end we stumbled over the finish line with only a couple of wickets to spare.

16 Dec 2008

While this match didn't exactly go as planned, and for the first time this season we actually
took a beating when we were cruising to another victory, it was one of the best matches we
have been apart of. In fact it was absolutely spectacular. It literally all happened. Actually
that’s probably a gross understatement.
Let’s review. Since the start of this season we have had some spectacular games and each
time we have a great match we think it's not going to be possible to top that. All those
matches we have won easily. Not so this time - and yet it was the best match of them all.
Those of you who were with us last year will recall the match we played where we needed an
outright win to get ourselves into the semifinals. We needed about 24 runs off two overs and
we got there with balls to spare. That match is etched deeply in the memory of the boys who
were there. Well, we now have another match that tops that, believe it or not.
And with matches like that, it doesn't matter whether you are on the winning or loosing side,
as long as you were a part of it. Or so they say. You be the judge.
This last match had the same ingredients of the India-Australia series - the one where
Laxman and Dravid played beyond their skins and turned the series around. Our opponents
were the number 2 side in the grade and they showed us why. We were lacking a number of
our senior veterans who said they had better things to do. Missing in action was Nirav,
Prasad, Rajitha, Chani (who appears to have been deported) and Rajiv who has yet to come
back from his fishing trip. Back in the line up was Sacha and we had a new old face Kailash –
aka KK.
Our opponents started the first day by batting and batting well. We got occasional wickets but
they had regular partnerships and kept the scoreboard ticking. Lasith did some serious
damage with the ball along with Aneesh getting some good swing and line. But our efforts on
the field were nothing to write home about. If anything, half the guys wanted to go home after
having to chase leather on a pretty hot day. They were not scoring fast, but they were not
getting out easily. We did however inch towards their last man.
In true Christmas spirit, they sent out Santa to bat at number 11. He was in a jolly spirit and
proceeded to hammer a few shots. He needed his elfs to help him get from one side to the
other. We were hoping to run out one of the elfs, but nothing doing. Ricky finally went to Santa
and asked him to grant a wish. Santa agreed. He then asked Santa to get out so he could bat.
He did. They ended on 238.
We had only 4 overs to see out the first day and no one wanted to bat because everyone was
tired. Lasith agreed not to bat because he was going to Lanka the next week and thought it
better that Rajitha bat on the second week instead. So Stanley took the reigns.
On the way out, Stanley said he'd take the strike. He wasn't kidding. In four overs we scored a
total of 70 runs! The other opener only scored 2 of those runs. Stanley got to 50 in 16 balls.
The opposition were all either on the boundary or hiding behind trees. The scorers had their
helmuts on.
Baner who had shown up at the grounds to support us agreed to do some umpiring and he
too made a call into the pavilion on his iphone for a helmut. Stanley had taken his AK47 out to
the middle again and was spraying bullets left and right. It was a good end to the day. We now
had to only chase 168 the following week. At our present run rate, we would only need 12
The following week came and we went back out to bat. Stanley picked up where he left off
and we had 147 on the board in less than 15 overs. He passed his 100 before everyone had
realised. The other opener had made it to 4 at this stage.
During this rampage, Santa got a bit worried about Stanley accidentally knocking one of his
elfs out of the sky and approached our bench. He said that Stanley should not be playing in
this grade. Then we lost a wicket. Fortunately it was the other opener who was merely a
cardboard cut out on the field. With less than a 100 runs to get and Stanley still in a foul
mood, it looked like a walk in the park.
But then Stanley got out. On the way back, Santa shook Stanley's hand and told him that he
was waisting his talent in this grade and should play somewhere else. As a team we agreed
that this Santa was definitely waisting his talents on the cricket field and should be posted as
our next ambassador to Afghanistan, where he will surely find a diplomatic way to tell Osama
where to go.
Everyone agreed that the remaining runs to get was so easy that they left it to the next
batsman to do until of course we ran out of batsmen. It didn't help that one of Sam's best
students was umpiring and he was firing his finger left and right - all it took was a bird to chirp
and he was sending batsmen back. One of their bowlers - a spinner - ended up with seven

wickets. We needed 20 runs to win. While the other team sent Santa in to finish the job for
them, we sent Santa’s nemesis – aka KK. KK has been known to terrorise young kids (mainly
under fourteens) in his neighbourhood on the cricket field. His acts of terrorism lasted two
We ended up 20 runs short. We were one batsman short as Rajitha was sick in bed, so it was
all over red rover. Everyone was playing what if scenarios. If only Rajitha was there. If only
Stanley had scored 220. If only we knew how to bat.
The time was about 3.30. We had sent a couple of the boys to the store and they had come
back with supplies - sausages and cheap beer. We all patted each other on the back and said
bad luck, let's celebrate.
But before we could open the beer and get the barbie going our skipper was on the field
talking to the opposing skipper. We saw them shake hands and then he ran back to tell us
that their skipper wanted to bat again and we had to take the field. This didn't bring out the
best in the guys. Nevertheless, we did a few stretches and headed out into the hot sun again.
Their openers came out slowly and shut shop immediately. They refused to play at anything
and we could not find the stumps. Our plan was to simply get 10 to hit the pad and count on
Sam’s pupil to do the rest. We didn’t succeed. We could not for the life of us figure out what
their plan was – why did they want to bat again if they were not going to try and pull off an
We couldn’t take the suspense any longer and decided to ask them. They said they had no
plan and wanted to know why we asked them to come out and bat again. The truth had been
revealed. We had been duped by our skipper who had wanted to play on, not theirs. Our
skipper then decided to pull another ace out of his sleave – seeing that the game was going
nowhere slowly. He told the umpires within hearing shot of the batsmen that we would bowl
another three overs and call it a day. This got everyone excited, especially their batsmen who
thought they had done their job and won the match.
So much so that we got 2 wickets in the over that followed. Then Charuka kept changing his
bowlers until he found 2 guys who could bowl and before we knew it, we had them all out for
50 runs.
So given that we were 20 runs behind them in the first innings, this meant we had to get 71
runs to win this game outright. The only problem was that we only had 45 minutes to do this
Problem? What problem? The solution was simple - Stanley. We asked him to take his AK47
and get out there. He did. He forget to load the AK47 this time and fired a blank. He was back
in the hut on the second ball. By the 4th ball, the other opener was back in the hut and we
were now 2 down for no runs chasing 71 with only 9 overs to go.
Considering we were short a batsmen and the remaining batsmen only managed to score
less than 60 runs in total in the first innings, we started preparing the bbq. This was when
Charuka turned to the second page of his plan - the one he refused to share with anyone
He started going hammer and tong at the bowlers, while the batsmen on the other end were
dropping like flies - actually even flies have longer life spans than that. The target was always
well out of reach - we needed something like 15 runs an over at one stage and with Stanley
on the way home at this stage, the cause was getting further lost.
Aneesh then tonked a six that gave us some hope. Charuka kept hitting the ball and reaching
the boundary and all of a sudden we were down to last over and we needed only 8 runs.
Aneesh, however, had managed to get himself out and Ricky our superhero made it out to the
middle and got a single first ball. Then we got a wide. Then Charuka hit a four. Then it was a
dot ball and Ricky ran like crazy only to be run out by the keeper. We now needed 2 off three
balls and Sacha made his way out to middle. He was on strike and we all looked at Santa to
ask him for one more wish - a single to get the scores tied. He told us to get stuffed. Sacha
in his usually cool manner did get the single and the scores were level. We had 2 balls to get
the remaining run. Charuka clocked the next one for 4 and we were home! It was the Stanley-
Charuka show. Charuka ended on 48. They have told us that nobody needs to show up next
week as they were going to print out 9 cardboard cut outs and use them as fielders while they
do all the work.
Three innings, 25 wickets, 270+ runs in one day and we came out with another outright WIN –
with one ball to spare! It truly doesn't get much better than that. Surely? If it did, you wouldn’t
want to miss it. Be there next time!

1 May 2008 Year in Review

Year in review

Looking back, it was a season to remember. As we all know it couldn’t have ended any better… well,
it would have been nice for the opening batsmen to have each scored a double century and then
contribute 5 wickets each in the grand finals, but other than that, the script couldn’t have been written
any better.

Here are some of the highlights…

Start of the season was interesting when the first discussion was around finding a skipper. Long time
skipper Charuka had been given orders from his immigration officer that his visa was going to be
revoked if he didn’t stop spending half the week organising games and the weekend playing – especially
since another kid was due in the middle of the season.

Nirav meanwhile, who was also expecting to take on nappy duties mid-season realised he needed a
good excuse to get to the grounds each weekend. The best excuse was that the guys had elected him
captain and as the captain he was required to be at every match.

This meant we had two confirmed players – the skipper and his deputy. The challenge was to find 9
others. The two veterans started working the phones, calling everyone in the white pages. When they
had no success with local suburbs, they started calling their uncles and aunties…

Uncle Baner came to the rescue and decided to call in a few favours... Baner is known as the Godfather
in some dodgy curry circles and was contacted to supply a few warm bodies… Charuka meanwhile
didn’t want to lose control to the Indian mafia so he approached a few Sri Lankan dodgy brothers and
found a few machangs.

The average age of this lot was 37.5 thanks mainly to Prasad. This resulted in an emergency meeting
that ended in all the aunties and uncles being called back … This time they were asked to volunteer
their sons for an important cause. One of them volunteered their daughter, which is when super star
Ricky became an elite member of squad. Ricky said he had a few friends and a winning team was born.

The senior brains trust held a meeting to develop a winning strategy for the season. They are still
working on this. They realised that some succession planning was needed considering how hard it was
to find 11 players who would show up on time. So all team members were instructed to produce sons
this season.

The team chiefs Nirav and Charuka set the example while future leaders Chani and Dilshan decided
to impress the management by becoming fathers mid-season. Rajitha claimed he too had fathered a
son, but admitted he didn’t remember his son’s name or where he had last left him. He then immediately
went back to sleep, so further discussion was put off till next season.

It was agreed that mandatory practice sessions were unnecessary. It was also decided that the batting
line up was on a first come first serve basis. From that day forward, Ricky showed up at the grounds
before everyone else with his pads on. Baner used his mafia connections and to secure the other
opening spot.

The season didn’t exactly get off to a flyer. Nirav and Charuka had to work the phones at the beginning
of each match trying to find 7 replacement players 10 minutes before the start of each game. Only the
dynamic duo opening pair Ricky and Baner could be counted on to be there at the start of the match.

An emerging strategy of the team was to throw your wicket away and rely on the bowling attack to find
a way to win the match. For instance, at match 3 of the season, we were 4 for 2 (that is 4 wickets for 2
runs) until the there was a solid partnership that got us to a far more respectable 6 for 6. Yet we won
the first innings points at the end of the day. Of course it helped that Prasad tapped into his many many
many years of experience and tonked a century.

Another highlight of the season was the disappearance of long time player and mainstay of the team
– Eddie. After contributing some valuable runs with the bat and byes with the gloves he disappeared
mysteriously last spotted at a pub called “Nooneknows” by no one special.

The season then got some momentum with a few good wins along the way. Baner tonked a brilliant 26
in front of the fanatics – a group of three followers that follow him everywhere!

Eventually the team strategy of using the opening batsmen to see out three or four balls while the other
batsmen padded up was reviewed mid-season. Some bright spark decided to reverse the batting order
to give the tail enders a chance to bat up the order, which they were doing anyway. From that point on,

Baner and Ricky were fighting each other for the # 11 spot.

Baner and Ayesh came together in Game 7 against a very irritating opposition and almost pulled off a
brilliant win. Unfortunately for all concerned we were informed that an almost won is a loss when the
match report submitted claimed that we almost won the game.

The season’s bowling honours were shared between Nirav, Chani, Sacha, Atif and Rajitha – that is
when Rajitha decided to show up. He claims honours on bowling averages but has been duly informed
by the statistician that nobody gives a damn about averages. As we all know Atif won the fastest ball
of the season award on his way home one day. But then he sold his sports car and won slowest fast
bowler of the season award… Nirav got the Mr consistency bowling award in addition to be being the
best bowler of the season. He consistently kept bowling even when he was hammered all around the

Sacha’s express pace, relaxed manner and ability to get wickets when required was a highlight of the
year. Chani who was able to get the ball to turn off the pitch at pace more than any of the spinners was
a handful for most of the league – beating the bat consistently …

Other noteworthy awards go to the likes of Ricky who scored the most runs for the opposition
in just two overs in one match. This opposing batsman was almost recruited to play in the IPL.

On the batting front, well… there weren’t really too many honours to be shared... Prasad claimed
top honours with the most runs all season… his average was very impressive when all his not outs
are taken into account. Unfortunately for him, he too was informed that nobody gives a damn about
averages and that retiring after scoring a hundred is considered out as far as the team is concerned.
This was also a way of ensuring that he doesn’t single handedly get us promoted 4 grades next year.

But it must be noted that Prasad’s average is 50 this season when the not outs are factored in… Even
Ricky Ponting should be batting after Prasad based on that alone! Other noteworthy performers include
Lasith who has made the opening spot his own. Nirav contributed more than a few valuable captain’s
knocks. Ayesh was always worth watching when he rolled up his sleeves, while Chani, Dilshan and
Rajitha contributed a few swashbuckling performances. Let’s not forget Charuka’s batting in the semis
ensured a score that was defendable…

Most importantly the Dias & Las contributed by creating the DL formula that has made it fair for the
batsmen, especially the ones who have struggled to perform…

Sam was voted umpire of the season by all the other teams and was quickly relegated to scoring
duties by our team. Sam was also voted “Mr Selfless” of the year for his dedicated contributions all
season – showing up to the grounds and assisting with a variety of tasks even in games where he was
unavailable to play for the side.

Aneesh also gets an award for trading in nappy duty for a great bowling performance when the team
was short of resources…

Remember the match against the team called Radiant that were not so radiant on the field? After
numerous altercations and lessons on the rules of the game by their skipper we only managed to
post 118 runs… they then got themselves to 105/3 and slowed down at the end of the day to not lose
any more wickets… The following weekend, the skies opened, the thunder roared and the sun set on
what was meant to be a radiant day… Charuka was heard laughing all weekend… He passed on his
condolences to the not so radiant skipper the following weekend when he bumped into radiating team
member at the India / SL match in Canberra… Charuka is still laughing…

Other classic performances include the match where we needed to pull of a miracle. Towards the end
of the season, we had slowly slipped down towards bottom. We needed to pull off a few good wins
to ensure a semi-final spot. A crucial match – Atif’s last match with the team – was against a team of
young guns… It was one of the best matches in a long time. For a change everyone batted well and we
managed to get them to follow on. They then got out late on the second day leaving us about 22 runs
to get in 2 overs on a field that required hitting sixes to get boundaries. Nirav and Prasad decided not to
waste the usual two balls it takes for the openers to go out and come back and asked them to sit back
and enjoy the show…

And what a show it was… they clobbered everything to all parts and got the runs with balls to spare…
The outright win ensured us a semifinal spot albeit the 4th spot!

The semis and finals were amazing with everyone showing up in good force and spirits – Baner
promised to bring drinks and like ducks to water, everyone showed up – early! Practice sessions were

organised during the week that nobody attended… and everyone contributed in one way or another…
Ricky’s catching and Sacha, Chani and Nirav’s bowling got us home… and this was against the team
that was #1 on the ladder. But we knew better…

Then the finals was against a team that we had not beaten all season – which was part of our grand
plan… Our batsmen were on strike this match except for a few stars like Rajitha, Nirav, Prasad and Sam
who are not members of the players union. Then the bowlers and fielders performed like they never

After the grand final was in the bag, the senior brains trust came out and claimed full credit for their
strategy that they are still formulating…

In the end, looking back, the one thing that will be remembered from this season is that 16 guys and one
gal got together at the beginning of the season… they shared a common passion … met once a week
and had a great laugh (with each other, at each other and at themselves)… they did just enough to
make it into the semis… like all great teams that are made of great team members, they then rose to the
occasion and won the bloody trophy… everyone contributed in one way or another… most importantly
at the end of it all they had turned into good mates…

3 Mar 2009

It's been a while since the team has had to endure this drivel - thanks to the rain, a forfeit, the rain and
the rain. This last match also got interrupted by rain, but we still did get quite a match in.
The first weekend we won the toss and the skipper chose to bat. Unfortunately for the skipper no one
else in the side chose to bat. Stanley went out alone and got stuck into his customary quick-fire innings
except this time the fireworks were like the 9pm fireworks on New Year’s eve – they ended early. This
meant someone else was going to have to score some runs for a change.
Las and the other opener then went out. Las started taking quick singles. The other opener, who has
long forgotten what a quick single is, simply held his ground ensuring that each time Las ran he had
to run back, which meant two runs for the team and no sweating for him. In fact, this opener is now
so used to going out and simply holding his bat in one hand while giving the thumbs up with the other
hand as Stanley has perfected the art of hitting five boundaries followed by a single to protect the poor
Las, however, had yet to perfect this art. He eventually took a quick single and forgot to run back.
By the time his partner had taken his first step, the keeper had not only removed the bails, but he had
finished his drinks break and was in the middle of a lengthy conversation with first slip. In fact because
the stumps had already been put back together, the other opener thought he was not out and took guard.
The umpire had to usher him off. We were about 40/2 at that stage.
Now with the prolific run scoring opening pair back in the hut, the TAB had revised the total target to
55 all out and even that was only given an outside chance of happening. That’s when the skipper, who
had announced his retirement just the day before due to surgery to his middle finger, made his way to
the middle.
It’s not quite clear how he managed to get a crooked middle finger. Some say he was sticking it in
places that it should never have been, others say he gave Sam out too enthusiastically using his middle
finger and his finger has never been the same. All we know is his middle finger stood out like a …
well, like a sore middle finger.
No one even questioned why the skipper was heading out to the middle in the middle of his retirement.
This weekly retirement story is now so old that nobody even noticed. It is, however, unclear how the
skipper passed the fitness test considering the doctor had ordered 10 weeks of keeping his middle
finger to himself. Whatever the case, the skipper took a leaf out of Graeme Smith’s book and batted
with one hand.
Exactly what happened after that is somewhat vague. Suffice it to say not many runs were scored by
the procession of batsmen that were making their way to the middle and back quicker than it takes to
get a big mac.
The skipper and Las decided to unselfishly allow the likes of Prasad, Ayesh and Rajitha to bat who in
turn unselfishly allowed tRickster and Sameera to bat. Prasad too had made a return from retirement
but then promptly announced reretirement after his short innings, this time claiming back trouble. This
brought back memories of another member of the team who announced his reretirement due to a sore
left knee, or was that right knee – he was never quite sure. Yet as many will recall when it comes time
to bat, all those aches miraculously disappear. More on this later.
We were running out of batsmen fast when we realized that we still had Rambo (aka Aneesh) and
Amitabh Bachchan – the secret weapons that were once again flying under the radar – actually they
were just behind a tree having a fag. Rambo padded up. He stretched to the left, grunted, then stretched
to the right and mourned in pain. He then sat down, completely exhausted.
We were counting on Rambo and Amitabh Bachchan to do one of those epic Indian movie heroic
rescues as they had done in the previous match we lost. This Bollywood movie however was a low
budget production without enough juice to produce a happy ending. Rambo’s wicket went flying out of
the ground while Bachchan danced all around the pitch and didn’t do much else.
We ended up with 158 runs or something like that on the board and had to hit the field.
Rambo was thrown the ball and asked to get us a few scalps. He misunderstood this request and
proceeded to attempt to decapitate the batsmen.
Unfortunately our Bollywood Rambo was greeted by two master swordsmen with bat in hand. They
carved him up. Whatever Rambo threw down, it went faster to the boundary. The only ones who were
likely to be decapitated were the poor fielders standing between the boundary and the batsmen. Even a
few trees lost a limbs.
That's when Amitabh was called upon to use his charm and woe the batsmen out. After a taking a little
medicine himself, he managed to send both batsmen back and was on a hat trick. The hat, however, had
no more tricks left in it. The opposing skipper and another poor sod took over the reins. Rambo was
still on his mission. Finally he managed to decapitate one batsman. The poor sod swung at the ball only
to find his head spinning and a few stars appearing in broad daylight. The poor sod wobbled off the
field and sent a replacement to bat.
Rambo was pumped. He had success. The opposing skipper then called for bad light saying it was too
dangerous. We told him that the danger lay not in the bad light but in the fact that his batsmen didn’t

know how to bat. He agreed, but then said he couldn't play in the pouring rain. We said fair enough and
were happy to leave.
The following week the opposition were looking good, heading for their target quite easily. That’s
when we asked Stanley to put an end to this nonsense. He took the ball, stood right next to the umpire
and hurled them down straight at the wickets – that’s all it took. Before long most of the batsmen were
in the hut and we managed to wrap up the innings with about 28 runs to spare.
We decided to go for second innings points. The skipper ordered Stanley to go score a 100. He was told
to take his time. Ricky put his hand up to bat up the order as did Prasad. As you will recall Prasad had
just announced his retirement due to a sore back, which was now miraculously better – now that we
were batting. Ricky was padded up before the openers.
In ten overs, we had 168 on the board with Stanley recording 108 to his name. The skipper said that
was enough and called the batsmen back. That was 168 for no loss in 10 overs! Ricky had tears in his
We went back in to bowl and Stanley was asked to take 9 quick wickets while Rambo again started
trying to decapitate the batsmen. Unfortunately they managed to get the 200 runs required before
Stanley could get them all out.
True to the team’s new year’s resolution, we created a win-win situation over the weekend instead
of simply sucking the life out of the opposition. The opponents were grateful and shook our hands
Next week’s team has been announced – it’s Stanley. His son might join him just to keep him
company. Howzat!

Indians in town

First things first. The young guys – Lasith, Ricky and Ayesh – have been
supporting the club by volunteering for a number of activities even though
these activities do not include staring at good looking blondes. The three of
them have already done umpiring and canteen duty and deserve recognition
for their thankless efforts. The old guys have promised to volunteer for all
activities that include staring at blondes. Charuka has agreed to dye his hair
blond. The old guys now say they need to spend more time with kids.

Second things second. As you will recall, this writer has been on strike ever
since the negotiations with management resulted in a three-fold pay rise
which was deemed completely unacceptable. However, due to the incredible
team performance this last weekend, this special report has been drafted to
spread the good news. Future such reports will only be drafted when the team
performs in a similar manner.

Ok, now to the cricket.

Everyone from the subcontinent has been walking with their chests out and
noses in the air after the thrashing dished out on the weekend.

For those of you who were there, you know what I’m talking about. We
ended up winning the match by an innings and some 200 runs! Yes, I am not
talking about our brothers back home, I am talking about the brothers in the
Parramatta district cricket.

On the face of it, it sounds like an incredible performance by the team. In
reality, it wasn’t. The team did hardly anything. Two guys in the team pretty
much did everything while the others contributed with a lot of clapping and
sledging of the two guys who did all the work.

The obvious question is who those two star performers were. Well, as
Sherlock Holmes would say, “Elementary Dr Watson. Let’s get there through
a process of elimination.“

We won the toss and chose to bat – simply because the skipper couldn’t be
bothered bowling. The usual openers did the usual thing. One opener was
back in the hut before the first over was over. The second opener followed not
much later.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with our team tactics, don’t be fooled.
This is a tried and tested strategy that saw us win the grand finals last year.
Every time the openers don’t do anything, the team posts a huge score and
we win in style. The senior brains trusts of the team settled on this strategy
after trying numerous other strategies that failed. This was the one strategy
they could count on to occur every match.

And once again the strategy worked like a charm. One down batsman
Charuka scored his mandatory 13.5 runs in 3.5 balls before aiming at a bird
and only managing to swat a fly. He handed his bat to Rajitha. Actually, he
had to first use his bat to hit Rajitha on the helmut to wake him up when

he got back to the hut and found Rajitha snoring away. Again for those of
you unfamiliar with the team tactics, this is a standard occurrence. Rajitha
then bounced into gear, grabbed the bat and offered a little resistance to the
opening bowlers who had yet to warm up.

Before long captain Rav was at the crease eyeing the boundary. As you might
recall, all our top batsmen have a habit of eyeing the boundary very carefully
as soon as they get out to the middle. It is usually to make sure they don’t trip
over the rope on their way back which usually happens in a couple of balls.

Rajitha eventually gave way to Ayesh after scoring a few runs and not
succeeding in running his partner or himself out. Ayesh was pumped, but
then again he always is. In Hayden fashion Ayesh dispatched the bowling
to all parts. This resulted in a change of strategy for the opponents. They
decided rest their opening bowlers. The problem was they only had opening
bowlersy. Ayesh got all his Christmas presents at once and was like a kid in
a candy store. He hit a four, followed by a six. However, unlike some other
team members, he was very unselfish and decided to allow the remaining
batsmen an opportunity to enjoy the pies being chucked out there. He felt we
had enough runs and gifted a catch. We were on about 90 runs.

He was right – we did have enough runs on the board. In fact we had enough
runs to bowl them out twice with. Unfortunately only Ayesh knew that.

As was usually the case, the senior brains lack of trust started was busy
revising the team’s expected total to 95. After the first three overs we had our
eyes set on 40 runs all out. We had now gone through three revisions and
were hopeful of making 95.

Someone forgot to tell the skipper that we would have been happy with 95.
Or may be he thought we wanted 95 from him. Whatever the case, he took
matters into his own hands and asked Prasad to sit tight on one end while he
despatched everything into the trees. Between overs he almost despatched
the water boy into the trees as well – he was swinging wildly. One of the
neighbours got so concerned about the damage being done to the roofs in the
area that he dobbed Rav in to the Wild Life Protection Agency. There were
reports of a few birds dropping out of the sky.

Another neighbour thought it was a better idea to send a peace offering
instead of upsetting Rav any further. He personally delivered some masala
tea and Indian sweets. Rav, however, was unmoved.

Finally Prasad got wind of the refreshments in the pavilion and he hooked –
he ran back to the hut faster than we have ever seen him run before. Rickster
was more than happy about this development. He ran out to the middle as
fast as Prasad had run off. Some of the opposition fielders had blinked and
not even realised that Ricky had replaced Prasad.

Ricky gave Rav good support. Like the rest of us, he stood and cheered
Rav’s every shot and managed to duck out of the way when Rav’s bullets

occasionally came his way. Then he too felt it was time for another cup of tea
and headed back in a very unselfish manner.

Sam then strolled out and pledged his support to Rav. Unfortunately for Sam,
the umpire on duty was one of Sam’s best disciples and the very first ball
that Sam faced he was given out. No one ever found out why Sam was given
out, but Sam said he had no issues with the decision and was actually very
proud of his student. He said it is a proud moment for all masters when the
day comes that one of their students outshines the master. Sam said he was
really impressed with how quickly this umpire was able to draw his ringer out
of his pocket and raise it without provocation. It all happened even before he
could blink. Sam was seen talking to the umpire after the match getting a few
pointers – literally. He was later seen practicing the quick draw in the car park.
The team is bracing itself for the repercussions of this.

This left the job of supporting Rav to his century in the hands of Amid and
Pranav. Please note that when Amid showed up to our first match he was
asked if he batted, to which he promptly said no. He was then asked what
type of bowler he was and he said he didn’t do that either. While most team
managers would have been stumped by this, we signed him up immediately
cause we knew we had found an equal peer.

His orders were to hold up one end while Rav blasted his way from 50 to 100
at the other end. Amidst this storm, Amid had other ideas (pun intended).
Before the scorers had time to write his name down in the book he blasted his
way to 44. Nirav managed to get enough strike to score his maiden century
for the team. He then clobbered a few more and headed back for his tea and

Meanwhile Amid was left hanging on 44. Pranav was now given orders to
support Amid to his 50. Pranav said no problem. He too, however, had other
ideas. He started pelting the ball to all parts as well. Amid was now edging
close to his 100. Pranav was pumping his way to 50. The senior brains lack of
trust then decided to put an end to this blatant lack of respect and inability to
follow orders. More importantly the top order realised their spots on the side
were in serious jeopardy and quickly declared.

With all forecasts out the window and 314 runs on the board, the goal was
to get a wicket before the end of play. The scorers had a bit of trouble
tallying the scores because they had never had to count that high before.

Rav who was as fresh as a spring chicken took the new ball. The only
problem was he was the only bowler on the side who could chuck the ball
faster than he could walk. He said he was too tired to bowl from both sides,
so we asked Lasith to take the other side, considering he contributed nothing
with the bat – even with the new revised version of the DL formula that now
factors in what the batsman had for dinner the previous night and whether or
not they had a good night’s sleep, he managed to score himself only 2 runs.

We did get three wickets before the end of play and suffice it to say, all the

wickets came from one end and the runs from the other end. The following
week, the remaining seven wickets came in no time. Nirav who continued to
bowl this time decided to give Amid the ball from the other end. After Amid
showed us what he meant by not being able to bat, we figured his not being
able to bowl would be our best opening option. As expected, Amid decided
to add to his 75 runs with the bat by sending four batsmen back in quick

Before Nirav could consider a second change bowling plan, we had them
all out. We asked them to bat again. Once again, before Nirav had time
to consider a bowling change the innings was wrapped up. Lasith took a
stunning catch where he ran, dived, got up, ran again, dived again and then
the ball fell into his right palm. It was spectacular. So much so, that later in the
day when Las got another couple of catches, he refused to take them saying
he did not want to lower his standards.

Nirav ended up with 5 for one in the second innings following his 6 for not
many in the first. That was 5 wickets for one run, by the way.

Nirav and Amid thanked everyone else for coming and cheering them on. We
ended the match with a couple of hours to spare and were considering putting
them in again, but someone mentioned that the Indian match was on TV so
everyone rushed off.

So as mentioned earlier, while the performance sounded like a great team
effort, it wasn’t. The line up for next match will only be Rav and Amid. Don’t
expect a match report from that match, cause neither of them can write! In all
fairness to the rest of the team – all that clapping did take a bit of work. Well
done boyz. How’s zhat?

25 Mar 2009

LoBaT (the Lack of Brains and Trust) have issued a media release claiming all credit
for last weekend's semifinal result. As you are probably aware, we won the toss,
batted and scored 319. We then rolled them out for 40! So we won by 279 runs…
In fact, LoBaT go as far as saying their strategy was pure genius. The obvious
question is what was this strategy. Well, it turns out the strategy was two-pronged.
While the elite members of LoBat were waiting to be rescued from the room they
inadvertently locked themselves in last week, they decided to identify the winning
formula of our team by reviewing the team's past victories.
They realised that all the matches where we scored a lot of runs and thrashed the
opposition by an innings occurred when the top order unselfishly handed over all
responsibility to the middle order who then rapidly handed over responsibility to the
lower order. We then relied on the opposition to capitulate due to no fault of ours.
This meant that we were going to be reliant on the lower order to make a great
contribution. Armed with this piece of intelligence, LoBat immediately ordered
Stanley to stop scoring centuries and asked him to be unselfish by allowing the rest of
the team to bat. They then also announced the batting line up had Stanley at the top
and the rest of players listed at number 11! This they said was a fool proof strategy to
get back to our winning ways. Of course, it was not quite clear who the fools were.
A far simpler strategy would have been to have Stanley as part of the lower order,
but LoBat were not accepting any questions. Stanley kept his end of the bargain,
not wanting to upset the fragile old egos of the LoBat. He was back in the hut in
the second over. Mind you, normally being back in the second over would not have
stopped Stanley from scoring about 40 runs first, but in this instance, he obeyed
orders and hadn't scored more than a couple.
This immediately put the cat amongst the pigeons. The skipper looked at all his
number elevens and picked one of them saying he was being given a promotion, not
because he deserved it, but simply to piss off Ricky.
This resulted in the Dias & Las (D&L) combination once again finding themselves
out in the middle. As usual, they were facing a pumped up opposition that had
believed they had won the match now that Stanley was out. Truth is even if the
opposition didn’t believe this, everyone of us was of this opinion. We did, however,
put up a brave face.
Most of you will recall that D&L are the founders of a world famous D-L formula
used to calculate a fair score for each batsman. The revised 2009 DL formula now
factors in the freshness of the bowlers and fielders, the sleepiness of the batsmen, the
shine on the new ball, how much time the batsman had spent doing gardening and
blowing leaves off the roof before getting to the grounds and a host of other intricate
factors. Based on this, D&L had already put on 100 runs even before padding up.
Well, to make a short story really long, Las scored a swashbuckling 43 while
his partner carried out his usual art of making simple bowling look unplayable.
Eventually Las departed after setting a decent foundation. This brought the next
number eleven batsman to the crease. Prasad was in no mood to bat although Rajitha
kept shouting ‘Stay there’ between his snoring.
He departed shortly making way for Charuka who has been batting beautifully in
recent times with 9 fingers. He came out and made the bowlers look like grade
schoolers. His partner kept asking him to calm down so as not to make him look too
bad. Nothing doing. Charuka’s partner finally put an end to his misery and departed
This kicked the innings into gear. Well at least, it resulted in Rajitha waking up and
making his way to the middle. Charuka and Rajitha started going hammer and tongs.
Occassionally Rajitha even shouted ‘Stay There’ to himself to keep himself going.
This was in between his kissing of his bat. He has got quite a lover relationship

going on with that bat. Fortunately the rubber on his bat doesn’t keep coming off like
Eventually, however, after his standard 33 runs, he threw in the towel and asked Nirav
to take over. It was not quite clear what Nirav had had for lunch, but everyone wanted
some. He hit anything that was close to him to the boundary with disdain. The fielders
were careful to keep their distance from him between overs. He clocked 50 in no time.
Even the neighbours whose houses were pelted didn’t have enough time to come out
and complain.
Then Sameera went out and ran himself out unselfishly to give Ricky a chance
to spend more time out there. But Rambo jogged out to the middle first and then
jogged back to simply warm himself up to bowl. Amitab and Ricky were finally out
there as the last pair. Ricky hammered one straight to a distant fielder and stood his
ground while Amit was halfway down the pitch. There was an exchange of a variety
of noises between the two of them that ended in Ricky screaming ‘banchot’. They
both walked back to the pavilion hand in hand – Ricky swearing and kicking the
ground the whole way back while Amit was laughing along with the entire pavilion.
The scorebook was listed with 8 bowlers from our side. Unfortunately due to Rambo
and the skipper’s inability to bowl rubbish like the rest of the bowlers, there was a
steady procession of batsmen back and forth. Rambo was on a hat trick twice and
ended the day with 6 wickets. The skipper bagged the rest. The other six bowlers got
to polish the ball. Sacha was promised a bowl, but as always when the skipper has the
ball in hand, the next in line spends the whole innings warming up. The skipper told
him that he wanted him warmed up for the finals.
Charuka and a couple of the guys then rushed to see the end of the Parammatta-Seven
Hills clash and learnt that Parammatta had played Moin Khan as a keeper eventhough
he was not on the card. So although they won, it has left a question mark as to who we
will meet in the finals.
LoBat are now struggling to come up with a strategy without knowing who the
opposition is. They have said, however, that whatever the strategy is, they will not
be sharing it with anyone to make sure it doesn’t leak to the press. Thank goodness
for that – the whole team is hoping they will keep it to themselves. How’s Zhat?

17 Dec 2007

Match summary...

It was a day of firsts - almost... It all started with stand in skipper
Charuka showing up to the ground on his lawn mover to ensure we did not
have a repeat of last week’s balls getting lost in the inner ring field
and batsmen using that as an excuse for not scoring...

Rumour has it that Ricky also showed up to the ground early - he drove
to the grounds with pads on and was about to head out to he middle when
the skipper threatened to run him over with the lawn mover.

The skipper won the toss and elected not to field in the stinking
heat. Baner was given a much overdue promotion to the opening spot in
front of his two biggest fans – his kids. When the other opener and the
one down batsmen were no where to be see with 5 minutes to go, Ricky
promptly padded up again – it was not to be.

The first over went as usual - the below average bowlers were made to
look like first class cricketers as the opener played and missed at the
gentle-slow-medium pace of the 12 year old. The opener was ducking and
weaving while the yorkers were barely missing the stumps.

Then Baner took guard. He immediately got off the mark with a sauve
leg bye that went in the score book as a run. A couple of balls
later, after a bye, Baner was back on strike. He received a pearler.
Baner lost sight of it as soon as it left the bowlers arm and yet he
managed to get a huge edge on it. The ball headed towards the boundary,
after taking the edge of the off-stump. Baner was left bewildered. He
contemplated claiming he had actually nicked the ball and the bails had
fallen off as a result of a bowel movement.

Dilshan who was umpiring at the time confirmed that it was a peach
of a delivery. He said the ball pretty much went straight and swung
drastically after it took the wicket out of the ground. The bowlers
were looking deadly at this stage.

This brought star young batsmen Prasad to the crease with the score on
precarious but not uncommon 1-2. We had almost made it to the end of
the second over for the first time without losing a wicket, but it was
not to be. Asked why Prasad simply doesn’t open the batting since he is
doing that job by default, he said he prefers to come in after the ball
has at least one scratch on it. He says he also likes the challenge of
playing a bowler who's confidence has just been boosted.

The other opener was still struggling to get off the mark. He finally
got an edge that was slowly finding its way to the outfield and he set
off for a run but it was not to be. Prasad stood his ground, shook his
partners hand and then sent him back saying there would be no quick
singles on such a hot day.

A few abrupt expletives later, Prasad sprinted a couple of singles and
then faked an injury to put an end to all singles. Saying it was too
hot to bat, he then proceeded to hit everything in the air trying to
get himself out, following the example of the middle order last week.
Unfortunately, unlike the middle order last week, all Prasad’s shots
cleared the boundary with ease.

It was around this time that Ricky was spotted on his hands and knees
praying for a wicket to fall. His prayers were answered when Prasad
eventually managed to hit a catch softly enough to the fielder.

This resulted in stand-in skipper Charuka making his way to the centre.
He strolled out to the centre with confidence and promised not to
practice the cha cha cha out in the centre this week. In fact, he said
he was planning a long innings. It was not to be. About five balls
later, he was drafting his follow up email to last week as he walked
back to the pavilion to continue his scoring duties.

Ricky was seen licking his lips and practicing a few straight drives.
Chani then walked out to warm applause after announcing his retirement
from retirement. His wife asked him to get some clean nappies and then
locked him out of the house.

Meanwhile Sam was earlier spotted pacing the boundary furiously after
losing his opening spot to Baner. He had been banned from umpiring
and with Charuka hogging the scoring he had nothing to do. Somehow
he managed to sneak onto the field unnoticed, but not for long. He
was noticed when the very first ball that hit the batsman’s pad was
followed by a Dicky Bird style smile and a raised finger even before
the fielding side had appealed. Ricky was jumping up and down, hands in
the air, cheering on the sidelines.

Sam was quickly ushered off the field and asked to pad up and Ricky
was asked to sit down. Aiyesh then went in and steadied the boat once
again. During the drinks break Chani had gone missing. He was found
later after he had changed his dirty nappy. Then Chani felt sorry for
Ricky and decided to let him bat.

It was not to be. The skipper sent Dilshan. After a patient start of
watching two balls very closely, he proceeded to despatch everything to
the boundary with disdain. He got 30 something in less than a few balls
while Aiyesh refused to be outdone as well. The two of them got us over
the 200 mark!

More to come...

Ricky was back on his hands and knees, praying for another wicket. Atif
was due to go in before him. He begged Atif to let him go bat first.
The senior veteran obliged preferring to get some much needed sleep.

Ricky finally got his turn. He had just strolled out to the middle when
his phone rang. One of the boys answered it and was heard saying “Aunty
he just went out to bat, please hold the line.”

He almost lasted four balls this time, but it was not to be. He knocked
the cover off a ball straight to second slip and then stood there
practicing his cut shot, refusing to look at the umpire who had his
finger up – and it wasn’t Sam. Ricky finally stormed off with arms up
in the air, shaking his head all the way to the boundary. After he
answered his phone call, he proceeded to get some throw downs to knock
the edges of his bat in a bit more.

Atif then knick one. Fortunately Sam was not umpiring and he got a

chance to get clean bowled. Sam who was on the other side
stage then tried to hit a six with the bottom edge of his
managed hit the ball as far as his big toe. He did manage
the next ball before making his way back to the cigarette

Nuwan then decided to take a leaf out Charuka’s book and danced down
the wicket after the ball was safely in the keeper’s hands. He is
currently drafting up his defence and is up to Chapter 3 of volume 2 of
the team template. Lasith refused to play this week because his whites
were not clean.

We almost managed to bat through the day, but it was not to be. With
15 minutes to spare, we had to take the field. Some tight bowling had
the opposition under a bit of pressure and one of the batsman popped a
dolly straight towards long off.

Baner, who saw it coming, wanted to get through the day without a
fine. He decided to quickly run away from it to the left, but when
it followed him, he cut to the right. The ball had a heat seeking
device set on it because it followed banner to the right. He dived and
summer saulted before landing on his feet and the ball was now heading
straight for his groin. He quickly put his hands on the crown jewels
and managed to knock the ball to the ground before finishing up in the

He stood up and took a bow to a thunderous applause coming from the
rest of his team mates that had $ signs in their eyes. The slip cordon
was seen holding up scores of 9,9 and 8 while the keeper only gave a 7
saying the splits was a rough...

Chani then got the other batsman out twice – once plumb lbw then clean

At the end of the day, the opposition were left chasing 259 with 9 more
wickets in hand.

How's That!

6 Feb 08

Legal disclaimer – Just to be clear, all information and statements made in this column were gathered first, second and third hand through very highly unreliable sources. All these unreliable sources, except for Ricky, have requested anonymity. As such, all statements, no matter how true can not be used against the author of the column. All responsibility and liability lies with the readers of the column and by reading this article you agree to all of the above.

Legal disclaimer 2 – The use of the word “monkey” in this article should be replaced by Teera Maaki by anyone who takes offence to the term. And for those who take offence to Teera Maaki, this term should be replaced by Pissu Pora. Let it be known, the term monkey was used widely in the first version of this article and has been edited out by the legal department to avoid a Tribunal hearing. If the legals have somehow missed a few usages of the term, they take no responsibility for their failures.

Editor’s note: Sorry about that folks, but the legals in the office demanded that the disclaimers be included to avoid the hassles most reputable publications face when they reveal dirt on superstars…

Right then, let’s talk cricket…

It was a week of the usual – Atif getting his balls back to full pace after finally servicing his car, Prasad mastering th art of catching with his stomach, Baner developing his hand eye coordination with hammer and nail on his new house and Ricky developing his hand eye coordination with the latest centrefold.

Other noteworthy news was that Charuka came out of one of the shortest retirements in history of the game. He didn’t even miss a practice session. Story is Charuka had the team kit in the back of his car and after he announced his retirement Nirav called him up to ask if he could drop the kit off at the grounds. Charuka mistook this call as an invitation to come out of retirement and showed up in his whites. Fortunately for all concerned Eddie had still to return from his trip to no where special, so there was a spot right up at the top of the batting order.

Everyone was eager to get back on the field after being forced to stay indoors for so long. Saturday finally rolled around. But it was not your ordinary Saturday. It started with nobody believing they would get a game with most players worried about being swept away by flash floods. Ricky was busy fielding calls by team members asking if it was raining at the grounds. He shouted back at every caller that he was not running some Bangalore call centre dedicated to Masonic Park weather reports – he did add, however, that if anyone was interested in buying a few dodgy pirated movies, he had some new releases. He even managed to put on a pretty good fake Aussie accent and answered the phone as “James”.

He did say the sun was shining brightly in Baulkham Hills but nobody believed him. Surprisingly he was right –
Masonic Park was like the twilight zone.

Unlike our usual starts to the day, everyone showed up on time – probably because everyone was convinced there would be no game. There were no frantic phone calls and last minute recruitments of warm bodies. Nirav didn’t have to use his usual tactic of looking out for any dark skinned dodgy character that walked by the ground and then throwing a ball at them to see if they caught it. If they dropped it Nirav would recruit them to the side… This time with Charuka’s unexpected arrival we had a full side. What’s more, everyone was pumped.

Little did we realise that opponents who were dressed in whites were in fact escapees from the local zoo – this was to become apparent later in the day.

After Nirav did his usual tactic of losing the toss, we were put into bat. Ricky, upon seeing his name on the team sheet at No 8, promptly padded up and ordered a few throw downs. He was confident he would be batting in the third over of the day.

Prasad finally decided to open the batting officially after doing it unofficially for so long and after the last match where he didn’t get to bat. Sam immediately reached for the counter but was handed a pen and the scorebook and ordered to sit down. Sam was now a master at scoring and threatened to even bring his own pencil next week.

One-down batsman Lasith was forced to delay his walk out to the middle when the monkeys on field were dropping

all the catches the batsmen were struggling to give them. It didn’t look like the fielding side was capable of catching a cold. The batsmen were also having trouble playing and Ricky threatened to bring out a piano to see if they could play that.

Prasad who suddenly thought his last name was Jayasuriya started swinging at everything – so much so that the other batsman refused to get close to him when running between wickets and even between overs. Even the flies kept their distance. Turns out he had somewhere else to be and decided he needed to make his century as quickly as possible.

When the boys on the sidelines clapped Ricky for finishing a great session of throw-downs, Prasad mistook that as being clapped for getting his hundred. He put his bat up and took a bow and then proceeded to throw his wicket. He offered another simple catch to covers but the fielder was not interested. Prasad was more furious than the opposing captain. He solved the problem by making sure the next ball took his stumps out. He walked off only to learn he had just missed his century. He was one zero short of a century. He blames Ricky and is drafting up a defense. He has requested the template from Charuka.

Charuka is in the middle of drafting his own defense. More on that later.

Prasad’s exit resulted in Lasith making his way out to the middle. The scorer, who has requested anonymity, asked his team mates to not trouble him any further. Following orders, Las played a few classic front foot defense shots back foot close shaves before deciding to kick a ball onto his stumps. His defense is that after his last performance, he needs to bring his batting average down to the team average to ensure that he doesn’t lose his spot on the side.

The anonymous scorer was seen shaking Las’ hand, thanking him. This brought star batsman Chani to the crease. He agreed that the weather was not too hot to bat and as such decided to stick around. After the drinks break at the 20 over mark of the day, the other opener decided it was time to get off the mark and attempted to get a run off the bat. He succeeded in lobbing the ball off the bat handle straight to the fielder who took drastic evasive action. The ball, however, managed to lodge itself in the middle of his palms and the entire fielding side erupted in disbelief.

Even our boys couldn’t help but clap – it’s not clear if they were clapping at the shocking catch or out of relief that the batsman was finally put out of his misery.

The opener made the long lonely walk back to the pavilion practicing the hook and cut shots that he threatens to use one day. The scorer shook his hand and thanked him for not being any trouble. Nirav jogged out to the middle putting in a few skips and forward defense practice shots on his way out. By the time he had reached the middle he was so tired he had to order a drink. He had a chat with Chani to ensure that no singles would be taken without careful consideration of the pros and cons. The exception to the rule was that if Nirav started to run, there would be no further debate. Chani nodded.

The agreement was put to the test immediately when Nirav hit a ball straight to a fielder and set off. Chani put his hand up and yelled no, only to see Nirav coming straight at him with bat raised and a look that made it clear it would be a lot less painful to run and make the lonely walk back to the pavilion. Chani ran like his pants were on fire and dived from half way down the pitch. The keeper who wanted to save his legs from amputation gave way to Chani.

Chani finally stopped sliding when he was half way to the boundary. A few cockatoos even made a detour and circled the grounds to witness the carnage. They thought a jumbo jet had made a crash landing.

Nirav then proceeded to clock the bowling to all parts, showing no respect to the bowlers that all the other batsman had shown immense respect for. His cameo was ended, however, when he tried to glide a ball between the keepers right and left glove and only managed to find the middle of both.

This brought Charuka to the centre. Charuka who recruited Michael Clarke’s batting coach last year made a public commitment to defend 20 balls before going for a wild shot. He managed to keep 10% of his word. He launched into the third ball sending it straight to a fielder. Fortunately for him it went to the same fielder that had already dropped about 5 catches and didn’t want to ruin his record. A few balls later Charuka received a ball that only batsmen of Baner’s stature are able to negotiate – it swung to the left, then to the right and back to the left before disappearing into thin air and magically taking off the stumps.

As mentioned earlier Charuka is drafting up his defense and is contemplating a law suit against MRF for making such shoddy bats which leave huge gaping holes between bat and pad. Baner is also contemplating a joint law suit. We are all eager to read their defenses.

At this point the skipper realised it was time go into damage control and gave orders to all remaining batsman to protect star batsman Chani – that is ensure he did not get out. Dilshan came out and carried out a few stretches, while eyeing the trees at cow corner. One particular tree that was flowering caught his eye. However, he decided to follow the umpires orders and agreed to stick to singles early on. He managed to take a single on the last ball of each over to ensure that Chani was protected. He then proceeded to sacrifice his wicket, again to ensure Chani was protected. That tree didn’t get to experience Dilshan’s love.

Ricky and Sam also had a similar experience. Ricky even decided to stay away from the vindaloo on Friday night to ensure no undue sounds were made at inopportune moments. He was tired of all the injustices he has had to endure by shoddy umpiring. In one of his previous defenses he insisted all stump mic recording be reviewed to clear his name. Unfortunately the toxic nature of the remnants of his vindaloo adventures not only destroyed the stump mics but also resulted in damage to the stumps – most of the stumps are a bit wobbly now. On the positive side, it has ensured the keeper moves as far back away from the stumps as possible – taking stumpings out of the equation.

On Saturday, Ricky contributed one of his longer innings of the season. He made it to the third ball before making his way back to the person on the phone that he put on hold before going out to bat. The scorer shook his hand and thanked him. The scorer also congratulated Ricky for not doing any damage to his average.

Sam too appeared to have an appointment to get to. He swung wildly at a good length delivery. It would have been a spectacular shot had he hit the ball instead of the fly that nose dived towards him. He was quite happy that he sent the fly for a six, but unfortunately had to make his way back to resume his scoring duties. As the professional commentators say, there is a very fine line between a brilliant shot and madness – if it connects, it’s brilliance, but if you get out, it’s madness. In Sam’s case, the team reviewed the replays and is giving him the benefit of the doubt and chalks it up to madness.

Meanwhile Chani was still struggling to get strike. We had gone from 60 something for 2 to 90 something for 4 and now 110ish for 8. Atif also insisted on protecting Chani. He managed to slip one through slips and took a single on the last ball. After that single he was convinced we had enough runs on the board and proceeded to declare. He hit a beautiful drive to long on and when the fielder stopped it, he walked off the field. Chani and one of the umpires tried to wrestle him to the ground and carry him back to the batting crease but he gave them the slip as well. The scorer stood up and thanked him.

The skipper made it clear that we had not declared by sending supersub Sunny out to bat. When Sunny came in, Chani pleaded for strike. Sunny obliged. Chani then struck it straight in the air to mid-off and was dumbfounded when the catch was taken. Sunny was furious that Chani had left him stranded like that. The scorer was happy.

A few minutes later we were on the field to rip through their batsman and wrap the game up… Unfortunately the chief escapee came out to umpire and that was the end of that. All appeals were promptly and firmly dismissed as going down leg. Even a knick that was much louder than Ricky’s famous vindaloo noise was dismissed as going down leg. At one stage Nirav was on his hands and knees pleading for a review of a “going down leg” decision. Charuka stepped in to clarify which stump was leg stump and all hell broke lose.

We were notified that the chief escapee had a PhD in something. We were then subjected to a lecture from him on clause of the Geneva Convention that apparently states an umpire has the right to claim the ball was going down leg in situations where he has no other defense or if at any time he has no idea what to do or say. A photocopy of this clause is being taken and will be mailed out to Sam.

This resulted in some very intense finger pointing last seen in this country when Arjuna Ranatunga made it clear Sri Lanka never agreed to the Geneva Convention. At this point, the game erupted into a number of intense meetings between all and sundry. During this chaos, Sam was seen arguing with himself. When asked who won that argument, he conceded that he lost.

Cooler heads eventually prevailed with Nirav gathering the troops and requesting all communications be directed through him. Sam had a bit of trouble with this as it meant he had to run up to Nirav every two seconds to continue the argument he was having with himself. Unfortunately at this stage Prasad was not around to give his measured point of view.

When the match resumed, Ricky was thrown the ball. He threw it on to Atif. Nirav had to then convince Ricky it was meant for him. Each fielder retreated behind their favourite tree. Fonseka was seen behind his favourite flowering tree. In an attempt to buy a wicket, Ricky gifted the batsmen a couple of sixes. When it didn’t look like the batsmen were going to honour their end of the bargain, Ricky reached into his pocket to renegotiate the deal. Unfortunately he was out of cash, so the ball was thrown to Las.

This was the last over of the day. Las asked the skipper if he wanted him to bowl with his left hand or right hand. The skipper said he could use his bloody toes if he wanted to as long as he got a wicket. So he told the batsman he was coming left arm over and instead bowled right arm under. The baffled batsman had his leg stump knocked back. Fortunately the chief escapee was the leg umpire and his protest that the ball was going down leg were drowned in the song and dance that accompanied the batsman off the field.

The day ended with the opponents needing another 15 runs with still more than a few wickets in hand and a match winning umpire still at the crease. Charuka, however, has hatched a brilliant plan to have the last laugh. He has ordered non stop rain for the week and weekend. This will also ensure Sri Lanka manage to get a couple of points. If that fails he’s got the zoo keeper’s number ready.

How’z That?

Semis - part 2

Sat rolled around and all of us somehow managed to find the grounds that was halfway
to Canberra. We got there in time to watch the opponents wrapping up a practice session.
Some of the younger guys on our side had never seen a practice session and were quite
curious as to what happened in these sessions. They were not sure whether to clap or

The more senior guys were happy to see the opponents wear themselves out before the
game. Rajitha (one of the most senior guys) quickly laid out his chair and went to sleep.

The toss was tossed and as usual we lost. We were asked to bat. Ricky padded up. Nirav
asked him to take his pads off. This has now become a standard routine. Nirav offered
a few throw downs to one of the openers who had no idea what that meant and politely
declined. He said he didn't like to eat too much before batting. Nirav acknowledged.

When it was time to head out to the middle, the openers headed out. It was such a long
walk to the middle that the more senior opener immediately called for a drink as soon as
he reached the pitch. The ground was huge and the grass was tall enough to hide a small
elephant. It was clear that runs were not going to come easily, but this didn’t worry the
opener because runs never came easily to him.

The innings got off to a flyer with the first ball being smashed for a quick single. Truth
is the ball landed in front of the fielder but due to the thick grass, the fielder had a bit of
trouble finding the ball so the batsmen were able to scamper a single. Not much happened
after that for about 8 overs or so other than many swings and misses while the batsmen
tried hard to get themselves out. Then finally one of the openers managed to get bat on
ball and that was the end of that – the ball went straight into the hands of the fielder.

Although the scorebook had only registered about 11 in about 8 overs, according to the
D-L (Dias- Las) formula that takes into account the new ball, the quality of the bowlers,
the freshness of the fielders, the height of the grass, the age of the batsman and distance
to the boundaries, Ndias had in fact contributed the equivalent of 180 runs while Las had
contributed about 30. Another good performance by the openers worthy of the man of the
match award.

So with not much on the board, we had lost our first wicket and it looked like it was
time to start packing the kit. Prasad made his way to the middle asking for directions
from the returning opener on his way out as he had left his GPS in the car. Prasad
and Lasith then guided BHCC to a point that was far from safe. Lasith swung wildly
at anything that was on the pitch and Prasad started going over the top. The lads in
the pavilion were struggling to watch and were too busy telling each other bad jokes.

Lasith eventually found a way to get out and made the long lonely walk back, sending
Chani to the crease. Las had amassed about 70 runs according to the DL formula.

Getting Chani to the ground was a story in itself. He claims to have been really busy all
week studying for some big exam and even threatened to pull out. When it was made
clear to him that his team came before his country and family, he agreed to find a way to
show up but pointed out that he was going to have to drive half-way around the country

to get there. It was made clear to him that we didn’t care.

He showed up in time and quickly padded up. We did warn him it was incredibly hot
out in the middle. He said not to worry because he wasn't planning on being out there
too long. But then Chani and Prasad decided the walk back was too long to make so
they stayed out there for a while – ordered drinks between balls. Prasad ordered a Scotch
on the Rocks but was knocked back by Ricky the bar tender who said his credit was no

They built a pretty good partnership until eventually Prasad decided to test the catching
capabilities of the opponents and gifted his wicket. Unfortunately for us they accepted the
gift graciously and directed him to the pavilion.

Prasad refused to go anywhere until the third umpire was asked to review the catch. Sach
quickly reviewed his camera footage and fount nothing but pictures of nude models in
his memory. All the guys gathered around the camera and there oohs and ahhs eminating
from the stands. The then pointed Prasad to the dressing room. Prasad notified the umpire
that the dressing room was locked and preferred to stay out in the middle. The umpire
said he didn’t care. Sach did manage to capture Prasad on camera as he crossed the rope
on the way back.

This wicket set the cat amongst the pigeons because it is usually around this time that
our side starts heading for the parking lot. Captain NG told everyone to relax as he
always does and he put on his cape and charged out to the middle with bat held high.

Sam had shown up as he always does to support the boyz and because there were two
ICC umpires out in the middle he was putting his favourite pencil to the task with the
score book. Dilshan was getting lessons from Sam on how to score and he was seen
using all ten fingers and even a few toes to count.

Prasad came back and asked for the rule book to see if he could identify any loopholes
and claim victory immediately. He found a formula to calculate who wins based on
the number of overs bowled a day. Problem was the formula required adding a couple
of numbers together and this required Prasad to sit down and ask for a calculator.

While Prasad was scratching his head, the rest of the boys were becoming a bit fidgety.
Charuka got ready. Every man and his dog started telling Charuka what to do. In the one
ear he was told to go have fun, while at the same time being told in the other ear to not do
anything silly.

He decided he needed to take a leak, but because the changing rooms were locked he
went and relieved himself on the closest fence that separated the park from the neighbor’s
house. Not long after that, the owner of that house came out with her dog and walked
the dog straight up to our kit and asked the dog to take a leak. Fortunately the dog was
a cricket lover and refused to piss in the kit and instead chose to relieve itself into one
of the guys bags. We all agreed that this was a fair considering the damage Charuka had
done to the neighbour’s fence.

During a drinks break, captain NG was ordered to not go for any big shots to which he
simply responded by giving the finger. Chani and Nirav went back and paved the way.
Then Chani did some fancy footwork but not much else and was given out plumb in
front. He had no hesitation in walking back although from the pavilion, which was about
half a mile away from the centre and at a 45-degree angle to the pitch, the ball looked like
it was clearly going down leg. There was a bit of cursing by a few of the guys.

The praying had started at this point because we were still below the 100 run mark
and normally when we get to this stage, the innings comes to a rapid fire close.

Ricky was on his hands and knees, but we all knew he was praying for another wicket
so that he could get to bat. Aiyesh was getting ready by rolling up his sleeves, but
then Rajitha finally woke up and decided to pad up. Ricky was not happy with that
development. He asked the guys to be quiet so that Rajitha would go back to sleep.

Then Charuka and Nirav got going and were on fire. They were finding the boundary
with ease and running between the wickets like there was no tomorrow. Nirav once
again decided we had enough runs and found a way to make his way back. Things were,
however, still very precarious. We felt that if we could get to 170 we would have a
fighting chance. We were still some 40-50 runs short of that.

Rajitha strolled out. Sam quickly put one run against his name and was about to give him
run out before he had even reached the crease, but then he did the unexpected. As soon
as he hit the ball he started running, and then the whole team started shouting for him to
crease his bat. So he creased his bat from half way down the pitch and got in safely, albeit

He then proceeded to score runs in an unprecedented performance. Sam was baffled by
this and was very irritated. He was expecting to put three runs against Charuka’s name
and 1 run out against Rajitha. Instead he was made to work. These guys blew away there
averages with this one innings.

Charuka top scored with a brisk 46 while Rajitha got his top score for the past 10 years
– previous high score being 16. Ndias pointed out that Charuka’s performance needed to
be attributed to Ndias’ coaching in the nets the previous night… He took the credit for
Charuka’s 46 runs, taking his own score to 49!

Eventually both Rajitha and Charuka handed their bats over to the rest in waiting and
they didn’t disappoint either. Sam was a bit disappointed with the amount of work he
was made to do, but even he was seen smiling with the total. Aiyesh, Sacha, Dilshan and
Baner put on some great partnerships.

At one point Ndias was asked to send out a message to the batman asking them to get a
few more runs. He went out and told one of them that their car was being stolen. That got
them him running.

In the end, Dilshan contributed 28 runs in no time while Baner hit a quick fire 9. We
ended up with 207 for 9 after 70 overs. No other team has batted 70 overs this season.

The boys were pumped on Sunday to rip into the opponents. Prasad and Rajitha were
busy losing another match across town and were replaced by Tricky Sam – that is Ricky
and Sam.

The morning started with Dilshan sending a frantic sms to everyone saying his small toe
on his left foot was in pain and he was not sure if he would be able to contribute much to
the side. He was told to use one of his other toes.

Chani then bowled two balls and started holding his leg. He spent the rest of the day
limping around but still managed to bag 4 wickets. Sacha took the new ball and was on
heat. Between Sacha, Nirav and Chani, the batsmen struggled.

They managed to score their required 3 runs an over. At drinks they were on track with
3 for 84. So Ricky was thrown the ball to give the batsman some relief… His two overs
cost as much as Nirav’s 17 overs. The opponents paid for Ricky’s beer after the game.

Then Dilshan was brought onto the field to intimidate the batsman by standing in first
slip. The very next ball flew off the bat and went straight to Dilshan who tried to get
out of the way, but his toe refused to corporate. In the end he had to protect himself and
the ball got lodged between his palms. He claimed the catch – that is he claimed that he
meant to catch it… We all knew better…

Nirav took a similar catch. He was so shocked that he caught it that he ran around the
pitch screaming with his hands in the air… The guys had to chase him and tackle him to
get him to stop. We were not sure if he was in pain or if it was the pleasure of seeing the
ball in his hands. Ricky gave him a big kiss and all was well…

The opening batsmen proved to be a serious thorn in the side and kept going. He finally
launched into one ball that was going for six about three feet off the ground. It was
travelling like a bullet until the mid-on fielder pulled off some incredible field and
knocked it to the ground, saving his team 5 runs.

The batsman then hit another beautiful cut shot that went straight into Las’ hands… Las
quickly ran away to avoid being kissed by Ricky. Ndias pointed out that had the previous
big hit not been stopped, Las would not have had the opportunity to take that beautiful
catch… everyone agreed that Ndias deserved all the credit for Las’ catch. He told Sam to
put that catch down under his name.

Then towards the end, another partnership started brewing. Chani tried to bowl one of his
faster balls, but due to him only having one leg to stand on, it was one of the slowest balls
he’s bowled all season. The batsman hit it straight up in the air. Ricky shouted at the top
of the voice that the catch was his. Everyone else shouted a big “NO” but it was too late.
The only other person close to it was Baner, but he fled the scene, deciding it was better
to console Ricky than have everyone console him.

All the guys immediately started walking towards Ricky preparing their words of
consolation even before the ball had finished going all the way up. Then it started coming

down and Ricky locked his eyes firmly on it. Ricky has had a lot of practice looking
straight up into the sky – something he’s mastered during his bowling.

The ball came straight down and landed on his thumb. He didn’t flinch. Somehow it
managed to stay balanced on his thumb long enough for him to claim it. All the guys
who had their boots ready to rip into Ricky rear end immediately patted him on the
back instead. Nirav gave him a big kiss. That catch more or less sealed the match.

Of course, Nirav still had to take a few more amazing wickets with some dodgy balls that
went to the left and the right and then the left again, but that catch was a definite turning

Nirav bowled one ball that was going to the slips as a clear wide so the batsman let it
go, but then it turned around, came back and took the off stump out of the ground. The
batsman stood there baffled as did the umpire and all the fielders… Nirav, however,
was doing laps around the pitch with his hands in the air and had to be tackled one more

It was a great win with everybody (except for our opening batsman) contributing to the
win. The opening batsman said he wanted to know what it was like to be carried by the
side, hence his decision to not contribute.

All in all, it was a great performance and a great ride to the finals… Just one more such
performance now and … everyone will be spared this drivel…

How’z That…

Semis - 19 Mar 08 part 1

Feb 16

Fantastic. That’s the only way to describe our last match.

At Sydney 2000 during the 100M finals the public announcer said, “Ladies and gentlemen, what a night. It’s not often
that we get to see history in the making let alone be a part of it. Tonight you will be a part of history...” He was right.
What followed was beyond description – you had to be there.

Last Saturday’s game was similar. You had to be there. For those who were there, it will be a game they will not
forget easily. For the rest of you, well, this will have to do…

Let’s start at the beginning. On the first Saturday the main surprise was that we got a game – the rain stopped long
enough to get a game. The second big surprise was to see Charuka’s name on the team sheet as 12tth man. The
official story was that he was getting a well deserved rest from the rigours of grade cricket. In fact the press release
stated that current player commitments to cricket and the launch of the IPL tournament was leading to significant
player burn out, so a rotation policy had been adopted to give players the required time out from the hectic demands
of park cricket.

However, as we all know press releases are not worth the paper they are printed on. Reading between the lines, it
was clear that Charuka was asked by the chief selectors (C. Abhayawickrama) to clock up some runs in his back
yard before putting his hand up for selection. Hence he brought entourage (batting coach and psychologist) to the
ground to give him a work over in the nets. Batting coach Natasha and psychologist Charuni worked on him hard.

Meanwhile Atif was playing his farewell game in front of a packed house before heading out to Asia to join a rogue
league in Singapore. He admitted they were paying him an obscene amount of money. He was going to hang up
his cup after he had a bat and bowl on the first Sat, to be replaced the second Sat by superstar Sam David who has
created a new cult known as “THUC” (Trigger Happy Umpire’s Club). But as with all other team retirements Atif’s was
no different – he showed up on the second Sat in his whites for a game.

Before the game started Ricky had his hand up. When asked what he wanted, he said he put his hand up to be
named man of the match at the end of the game. All the journos in the press booth diligently noted this down. Baner
just sat quietly with a smile that said “we’ll see about that”.

The opponents who always choose to bat first in the hope that they will be able to recruit four passers-by to bat for
them during the course of their innings, won the toss and chose to do exactly that. They immediately sent in the night
watchman along side their only real batsman and bowler – the skipper. The night watchman’s duty was to simply stay
there as long as possible so that they could recruit as many pedestrians as possible.

This was great for us because finally our opening bowlers had found two batsmen that made them look good. They
pretty much left anything that was not heading straight for middle stump, which was pretty much everything. The
scorer’s had already filled in dots in advance in about 20 overs. Sam is considering a position with this team as their
official scorer next year.

When the night watchman stuck his bat out he managed to get a huge edge that saw the ball go straight to second
slip. Fortunately for him, our second slip, Atif, had no intention of catching it and promptly moved himself to the
vacant third slip position. The ball, however, followed him. He managed to protect himself by deflecting the ball the
ground in a move that any black belt karate expert would have been proud of. The rest of his team mates clapped as
he took a bow.

The very next over, the other opener also presented a dolly, again to Atif. This time he was not able to get out of
the way in time and was forced to take drastic defensive measures – he first used his right hand and then his left
to knock the ball away when it refused to go down the first time. Atif said he was intent on not even catching a cold
since he had to travel soon …

The dropped catches were not a problem because no runs were being scored anyway. In fact the fielders were
getting bored of watching the grass grow.

Atif was given the ball as the crowd had been chanting to see Atif bowl one last time. Interesting he cut his run up
and pace down by half. Polite inquiries into the reasoning behind this revealed that he had sold his car and was now
going through life at a much slower pace. Although the pace was so slow and he was in danger of being ticketed for
being well below the required minimum speed, the batsmen chose to leave everything alone.

With wickets being very scarce a couple of senior players had a quiet word in the skipper’s left ear and then the right
ear. The skipper shook his head in disagreement. The senior players swapped sides and repeated their suggestions,
this time starting with the right ear and then the left ear. This time the skipper nodded in agreement that we needed to
chase some runs to get some practice for the next match. We decided to unleash our secret weapon.

Against his better judgement he threw the ball to Ricky. All the fielders scattered. The skipper who was bored of
bowling dot balls decided to dawn the wicket keeping gloves. Ricky had the batsman in stitches after he finally found
page 2 of his bad joke book and cracked a couple of new jokes. He then tossed the ball up and let another joke rip
while the ball was mid-flight. The batsman only managed to hit the ball straight up in the air and Ricky bagged the
prize wicket with a caught and bowled.

Ricky quickly pointed at the press box and put his hand up. He felt he had done enough to be named man of the

But Dilshan felt he deserved the man of the match check instead after pulling off a couple of blinding catches. When
he was unable to get out of the way of the ball that was travelling at pace, he stuck his hands out to protect his
crown jewels and found the ball firmly lodged between his fingers. However, third time round he was not so lucky.
The ball was hit for a six and the only thing standing in the way of the ball and the boundary was Dilshan’s future
generation. He was standing less than 10 feet away from the batsman. Suffice it to say that Dilshan’s future son has
already dropped his first catch. Dilshan was disappointed with his future son’s performance, so much so that he
decided to lie down on the ground and hold the match up for a good 10 minutes before storming off the field, uttering
incohesively and refusing to play for another 20 minutes.

The skipper had seen enough and decided it was time to put the gloves aside and bowl again. He took the ball and
immediately found himself on a hat trick. Although he failed to get the hat trick he did manage to wrap up the tail very
quickly, leaving us a target of 78 runs to get with about 25 overs of the day to go…

As we all know, 78 runs is about 50 runs more than what we are normally comfortable chasing. Sam who was also
on the team rotation schedule had shown up at the grounds to provide some support. When we were struggling to
find a volunteer for umpiring duties, the skipper asked Sam if he would like to do the honours. Surprisingly he turned
down the opportunity but offered to teach a couple of the young guns (Aiyesh and Ricky) the art of raising the finger.

The batting got underway and we managed to slowly edge our way towards about 30 runs before the inevitable
happened. The bowler, who normally plays for his school’s under-12 year managed to get the ball to swing to the
right and then to the left before going straight pass the batsman down the leg. The ball clipped the batsman’s rear
end on the way to the keeper. The batsman admits to having had a healthy dose of masala dosai the previous day,
but vehemently rejects accusations that he made an undue sound as the ball passed him. However, there was a
sound and the opponents all cleared their throats in unison. The umpire failed to realise these boys were simply
practicing for the school choir and immediately raised his finger in Sam-like fashion.

Sam was seen on the side lines sporting a very proud look … The batsman was completely baffled and stood his
ground, not sure if the umpire was asking the bowler to leave the field for excessive appealing. When the batsman
was told to get on his bike, he walked off in a daze and was so confused that he walked straight past the pavilion and
ended up in the kids play ground. He was unable to speak for a while.

Atif was given a promotion, after he announced his retirement. He got off to a good start before walking down the
pitch and having a ball that would have been a wide down leg hitting him on the pad when he was half-way down the
pitch. The bowling side decided to clear their throats again, following the success of the first appeal and sure enough,
the umpire’s finger went up in Sam-like fashion.

The umpiring standard has prompted complaints to the cricket board, with the BCCI (Baulkhamhills Cricket Control
Inthepark) threatening to force the ICC to send these two umpires into exile to join Bucknor. The ICC has slapped
the two umpires with a fine for a Level 1.6 offence under the ICC Code of Conduct regulation. That section relates
to "pointing or gesturing towards the pavilion in an aggressive manner … upon the dismissal of a batsman."

Prasad and Lasith then came together to move the team towards the required total until Lasith managed to get
himself out in a very uncontroversial manner. This gave Dilshan an opportunity to come out and get us over the line
before the end of the day. At this stage we had to get about 25 runs in half an hour. As soon as Prasad got wind of
this he went nuts and started knocking everything. In two overs we were home.

Dilshan was then asked by Prasad to block out the remaining over so that he could open the batting the following
week and have a go. He nodded firmly. He got out the next ball looking to block the ball over the cow-corner
boundary. This resulted in a small dilemma as all the batsmen who had been padded up had already changed their
gear and were ready to go home.

Baner got an immediate promotion and five of the guys helped him pad up, similar to an F1 car doing a pit stop.
Baner was sent out to the middle without a guard and asked to see the last two balls of the day out. All the fielders
were placed around the bat. The first ball was a ripper and Baner played a beautiful forward defense that even
Tendukar would be proud of. The second ball was a full toss that got the treatment.

The day ended well and Baner was pumped to open the batting the following week.

Part II

The following week came and Baner faced up. It only took the bowler a few balls before Baner managed to get one
to swing to the left, then to the right and then instead of swinging back to the left it just disappeared between bat and
pad. This foxed the old master and he was on his bike.

Chani then made the walk out and realised it was far too hot to bat, so he walked back. Prasad agreed with Chani

and also made his way back. This left Rav, Aiyesh, Ricky and Sacha with the usual job of finding a way to give the
bowlers something to bowl at. Nirav, however, cool and calm as usual was confident we had enough runs, so he left
it to Aiyesh and Ricky.

Ricky asked the umpire for the off stump guard so he could claim everything that was plumb was going down leg.
Aiyesh was going well, hammering everything for quick singles. Aiyesh had his sleaves rolled up as usual all the way
to his shoulders to intimidate the bowlers. He kept telling Ricky to use his brain, rather than his bat. This confused

Then Aiyesh got one of those balls that pretty much went straight but will go down in the books as swinging right, left
and cutting off the pitch at a 90-degree angle to take off middle stump. This put all the responsibility of batting on the
shoulders of Ricky. Sacha came out and eyed the boundary. Ricky also decided it was time to find the boundary and
swung wildly at the next delivery. The ball literally broke the middle stump in half and Ricky and Sacha did find the
boundary on their way back to the pavilion as they carefully crossed over it without tripping.

With a 70 run lead, the opponents took the field and provided some good resistance. When the opening bowlers
failed to make a dent, Aiyesh started his chant “at his toes and up his nose”. No bowler has yet figured out how
to do this and it was suggested that Aiyesh find another page from that book he has been quoting all season.

Atif who had come out of retirement for one last hurrah was given the ball. Then Ricky was thrown the ball as well to
buy some wickets. In a completely unusual turn of events, the team started catching everything that came their way
and we finally started making some inroads.

When the last pair was at the crease, they still needed six more runs to make us bat again. This last pair proved to
be their best batsman as they kept going and going and going… Everyone was given a bowl and no one looked like
getting them out. That’s when skipper Nirav decided it was once again time for him to show how it was done…

He finally removed the last pair with another peach of a delivery. Only problem was that this partnership had put them
22 runs ahead of us and there was only enough time for 2 overs in the match. This meant we needed 22 runs in 12
balls on a ground that only permitted sixes and singles because the grass was so thick. The equation was simple
– two runs a ball. The opponents had an equally simple equation and were odds on favourite to win as they only
needed 10 wickets and had 12 balls to get them in.

The regular openers were asked to pad up and be ready at # 10 and 11 so they could draw the match in a last wicket
stand. Meanwhile, skipper Nirav took Prasad out to the middle with him with one simple order – swing like mad and
run like mad.

Rav took leg stump guard and then stood two feet outside leg. He tonked the first ball to the boundary, but it only got
as far as mid-off. We managed to get 2 runs out of it. We were on target. The second ball also got tonked and Nirav
then managed to hit one for 4. Prasad hit a skier which was dropped close to the boundary, resulting in two more
being added to the score and at the end of the first over we had 11 runs on the board. On target.

The second over started with Nirav hitting a solid drive in the air for 4. He then clocked the next one for 6 and
the scores were level. The third ball then got hit out of the park in Jayasuriya like fashion. We still had three balls
to spare! Ricky who was umpiring at the time had his finger raised but fortunately no one was paying attention.

All in all, it was definitely a captain’s knock with the bat and a captain’s performance with the ball. Ricky still had his
hand up to be named man of the match. And although the committee struggled between the seven potential man of
the match performers (R Kapoor, N Goradia, D Fonseka, N Dias, N Dias, N Dias, N Dias), the award was given to
Nirav for that incredible performance. Prasad did point out that without his running between the wickets we would
have been about 3 runs short. Ricky also rightly pointed out that without his umpiring effort at the end we would have
been one umpire short. Dilshan who had already left did not have a chance point anything out.

All this controversy aside, it was a match that will not be forgotten easily… it’s the kind of match you would pay good
money to see… Well done, boyz…