The Matt on the Mat

Mystics versus Largo, 2nd August 2001

It was wet in St Andrews,
It was too wet to play,
Auntie Jean had gone out of the house for the day:
Mystics went to play golf;
Mystics stayed in their bed
and hoped that the Largo game would go ahead.

Then, something went
How that
made us

we looked, and we saw him with his old cricket bat
we looked , and we saw him :
The Matt in the Hat.

"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny,
but we still have Clem - now is that not funny?
Furthermore, the game's on!
Said the confident Matt,
"so let's get on the bus."
Said the Matt in the Hat.

Freddie looked at the rain as it started to pour,
Exclaimed "Are you sure?
Are you sure?
Are you SURE??"

"Of course," smiled the Matt,
"I've got a good plan."
And he took off his hat
And got into the van.

So we all got in too:
Though Fred was alarmed :
"Auntie Jean will not like this,
we could all be harmed!
We should not be going
to play cricket like that.
Oh, we should NOT go out
with the Matt in the Hat!"

"We'll be fine," said the Matt,
"and you M.M.C.C.
will win the game too.
Yes, you will,
you will see."

Off to Upper Largo
with Kate at the wheel
with barely a SCREEEEEECH
or a SQUEAL.
And Freddie shook hands with their skipper
called Walker:
a very good
a VERY good

They tossed up a coin
BUT before it could land
the Matt in the Hat said
"Let me give you a hand.
We Mystics shall bat first
On the mat,"
said the Matt,
"and I'm opening too!"
said the Matt in the Hat.

"Oh Dear Me! OH NO!"
sighed Freddie in worry,
"I fear that we may well just lose in a hurry."
But there was nothing to do,
there was nothing to say
for the Matt grabbed
Sid Thomson
and went on his way.

"SEE how I keep out the bowling of Seath,
and Barclay I also could play with my teeth.
WATCH how I deal with these bowlers with glee!"
Cried the Matt in the Hat:
"Bowl at me,

But the ball came,
Arnott caught him at slip.
"That WAS out"
said the Matt,
"it is true,
but I have something much better for you."

"Oh MERCY!" said Freddie,
"WHY did he do that?
That Matt in the Hat,

Now quick as a flash
Matt sent out Borley,
"With him and Sid batting
there's no problem at all-y."

But the ball it did SPIT
and it moved quite a bit
and generally did not want to be hit.

A Borley was out,
But the Matt had no doubt.
"It is clear," said the Matt
"that I know what to do next,"
said the Matt in the Hat
"that I have just the answer.
Oh yes
For let me present
A Lookalike Healey!"

"No, NO, NO!"
said Freddie,
"this is no good at all."
as Lookalike Healey was
dismissed third ball
"That Matt has no clue.
He should not be in charge.
I MUST play an innings
and make it quite large."

But he had not counted on
Duncan and Barnes,
who bowled oh, so tightly,
gave Freddie no chance.

Bold Sid made 15
And to make things more fraught
ran out Matravers for


"That mat I don't like,
That mat is no good".
"No no, it is fine,
it's just misunderstood.
It will dry and be fine,
It will play straight and true.
This is part of my PLAN,
Now would I lie to you?
You have people who can bat
on a mat,"
said the Matt.
"I will show them to you."
said the Matt in the Hat.
So he reached for his scorebook
and in pencil he drew
2 talented batsmen,

Chris 1 and Chris 2.

Freddie looked up from his scoreless crease
"At 40 for 5 I do not feel at PEACE.
We need to get scoring,
we need just one run.
so send me some help,
send out that Chris 1."

Chris 1 made an effort,
he put bat to ball
"See, he's made 2 runs
in no time at all.
He is good, this Chris 1,
He scores well," said the Matt,
"he'll soon have some more"
said the Matt in the Hat.
in no time at all he was out,
caught off Fleming.

"No fear!" said the Matt,
"He was merely a lemming.
Chris 2
is ideal,
Chris 2
has such style.
I shall send out
Chris 2
To bat for a while."

Though Chris 2 was grumpy
he started to score
by hitting a 4
then 4 more
then 4 more,
whilst Freddie supported with defensive rigours
the Mystic total moved on to 3 figures.

"This is good," said the Matt,
"Can't you see,
Can't you SEE??
We're building a total
for a great victory."

But alas Freddie went
for an obdurate 10:
a good knock but we
don't want to see it again.
And now Barron has failed,
it's 100 for 9.
"Help me
Matt in the Hat
or I might resign.
We will lose and get beaten:
There will be no win.
Oh Matt in the Hat,
WHERE can we begin?"

"Fear not," said the Matt
"for I have a NEW plan.
Though you may not much like it.
(it lacks in elan)
See this total ,
this score,
see how it looks lowly?
Watch This Jim and That Ernie
increase it,
but slowly.

Watch them grind, watch them ponder -
they will fall for no trick.

See them score only 6 runs in 8 overs,
And quick!
See them bat out the overs.
Let them think, give them time.
In a while their batting
will be so sublime.
What a shot! See them run!
What a score!
139 all out,
This game won't be a draw!"

Largo were pleased,
But Freddie was not :
"That Matt in the Hat,
he has lost the plot."
They all sat down for tea,
they had sandwich and cake.
Said the Matt in the Hat :
"What a Good Tea they make!
Have some more.
Yes, have seconds.
Eat it up quick!"
"NO NO!" said the Freddie,
"it will make us all sick."

"Now I know what to do
with your bowlers." said Matt
"You will open the bowling."
Said the Matt in the Hat.
And Barron the bowler
is sure to confuse.
It will help you to win
for you surely can't lose."

"But look," said the Freddie,
"Kev's leaked 10 in 2 overs.
With a run-up like that
He's like Roy of the Rovers!"
"Ahh quite!" said the Matt,
But it's getting SO turny :
This calls for some quality
bowling from This Ernie."

"This looks better, I know"
said young Fred, "but I worry
that Walker and Arnott
score runs in a hurry.
They should not hit a six
over This Ernie's young head.
Oh I WISH I were back
at home
in my bed."

"I know what you need
to have bowling in tandem -
Chris 2 and That Jim -
they're not at all random.
They will bowl line and length,"
said the Matt in the Hat,
"and take wickets, you'll see,
on top of all that.
So from a position of 60 for 1,
That Jim and That Healey
will bowl just for fun.
They will not leak runs,
they will not concede.
A pair of these Things
is just what you need.!"

"They make things more settled,"
said Freddie, "but see,
that No. 6 Duncan
is a worry to me.
He is holding us up,
they need 40 off 10.
I don't think I can cope
with us losing again."

"It won't happen that way,"
said the Matt with a smile,
"for I'm coming on to bowl in a while."

"Bowl! NO!" cried the Fred,
"But you bowl like shit!
I do not like this,
not one little bit!

I should not have listened,
I should have stayed in,
I should not have believed
when that Matt said we'd win.
And now look at him,
He bowls at the death.
I should tell him to go
But I would just waste my breath!"

"Yes indeed," said the Matt,
"this ball is the last
and Largo need 3 more -
do some fielding
and FAST."

But the Lookalike Healey
thinks they only need 2
and hurls back the ball:
wouldn't you?
Wouldn't You?

"Well that's THAT," said the Freddie,
"I'm too sad to speak.
But who's that backing up?
Surely not Deke??!"

"Why of course," said the Matt
We've triumphed by 1 run.
Oh I knew that we would.
Oh what fun
Oh What Fun!
Now, let's go to the Pub,
for the quiz has begun,
and Ernie's a tankard to fill
that he's won.

There is beer to be drunk,
And dear Fred, never fear,
for I will be back to help you
next year!"

And with that he was gone,
Before Freddie could blink :
"My God,
Let's all go for a drink."

Adrian Borley

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