Dumbslog Millionaires

T20 vs Halstead Templars @home 22nd Aug ‘20

Great excitement surrounded the arrival of the local rugby club to play the shortened version of the game on a late Saturday afternoon.  Would their eye for the oval ball translate to the cricket pitch ? Which versions would we see – Courtney Lawes or Courtney Walsh ?  Stuart Hogg or Rodney Hogg?  Matt Dawson or Liam Dawson? Gareth Edwards or Charlotte Edwards ? Bill Beaumont or Tammie Beaumont ? (we get the picture, that’s enough pointless comparisons – Ed)

With the Templars opting to bat first, it was a chance for our tea-guzzling champion Harry Porcher to grab the opportunity as opening bowler.  And he wasted no time, sending star batsman Ed Merry’s stumps cartwheeling down to the football pitch, & in a fit of unpredictability he didn’t rest on just one wicket but took two more.  Batsmen came and went as if they’d just discovered the remarkably large range of beers and spirits on offer at reasonable prices within the Rec bar (although, ahem, some saw fit to bring their own!) so that the Templars score 45 minutes in made for disturbing viewing – 32 for 8.  With Alex Chamberlain’s bowling figures of 3-6 from two overs and Tom Bosworth bowling the first maiden over of our season, no wonder certain Colne fans were wondering if we could enter this parallel universe every Saturday.  Mention should also go to Colin Holdgate who snaffled another 3 wickets for, er, not too many !

Fortunately, those canny rugby players had not just two, but three aces to play; firstly their last four batsmen (Culley, Matt, Seb, & Stubbs) knew which end of the bat to hold and added 60-odd between them; secondly, they’d made a cunning pact with our own skipper to allow them to bat through all the overs – re-enter stage right Ed Merry, suitably chastened.  This time, he wasn’t going to be denied the chance to send the ball to all corners, and he was aided in this feat by their 3rd ace; one of their own bowling just one over.  None other than our own 2019 star bowler Brommers whose loyalties were clearly being tested, and at the latter end of the cricket season had one eye on where he might be spending  the winter months.  20 runs from 6 pies later, and the Templars could be well satisfied with an odd-looking but respectable final total of 151-12.

With skipper Sleeman throwing caution to the wind and opting not to open the batting himself, but cunningly planning a 1st wicket entrance, it was left to the combination of experience and youth, of the near future and the distant future, of wicket-keeper batsmen past and present (Enough!! Ed) David Griffith and Tom Woods to kick off the Colne response.  As the Templars were opting for a remarkably democratic system of allowing all their outfield players to bowl two overs each, there could be opportunities galore for Colne batsmen to ‘score a few’ and for the scorer to work out how to fit a 15-ball over into the book with a blunt pencil.

Tom Woods took off like he had somewhere else to be, one particular flat six bringing ‘ooohs & aaahs’ from the ever-expanding and noisy crowd who were clearly appreciating the reasonable range and large prices available locally (are you sure of that ? – Ed) .  David meanwhile had his eyes on the big prize – a free drink from the Chairman for a first 50 – a prize that our erstwhile vice-captain and cricket correspondent Ian Doyle never saw fit to claim, and even at this very moment was busy scoring yet another 49 for his new club (Congrats where they’re due – Ed).

Having reached his milestone, David scarpered off in search of his prize.  Daryl also decided he ought to allow better batsmen in so retired early.  Unfortunately, Will, Jack, and Harry also took the same short-term view, all being bowled for not too many.  It was time for the traditional jitters that has prefaced another Colne collapse, but astonishingly the pairing of Alex and Brommers saw Colne over the line to kick-start a winning streak.  With Brommers doing all he could to avoid facing his erstwhile rugby colleagues bowling at speeds in excess of 30mph, Alex handled the pressure manfully, or was it so Brommers could add another useful ‘not out’ to his tally ? We’ll never know once both teams repaired to the bar – a pint of Jager and a double Carlsberg available for only tuppence ha’penny  (you’re fired – Ed).

So a great game played in good spirit just before the sun went down, and a sincere hope that the Templars will return to play again in 2021.

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