Shoot, that Poised Pencarrow threw my Heart

Mystics versus Pencarrow at Pencarrow House, 30th July 2012


Good morning and welcome to this over-by-over report of this Monday afternoon game between Pencarrow Cricket Club and the touring Mystics and Magicians.

Some thoughts: Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, yet here we are again at a disturbingly overcast Pencarrow ground anticipating a full day's play. A fresh variable has been introduced this time around though, as we're here two hours earlier than usual. One hundred and twenty extra minutes to watch the rain lashing against the pavilion windows. I can hardly wait.

12.15pm: A cry of "Quick it's sunny, get out there!" from Annie Chave and the teams wander pitchwards to rapturous applause general indifference. The fielding Pencarrow side go into a team huddle to discuss field placings, from which the phrase "We'll start by putting somebody by the Eucalyptus Tree and work our way around from there" can be heard. It's a tactic, I suppose. Mystics openers: the Sharlands.

An e-mail from the deranged: "I can't see anything other than a crushing defeat for the Mystics, especially without the talismanic presence of a certain swashbuckling and elegantly tousled individual who batted number 3 then bowled a bewitching 8 over spell of flight and guile (for only 61 runs) against Lanhydrock last year." Remain where you are Sir: the men in white coats are on their way with your special pills.

Oh hang on: I've just noticed that e-mail was sent from the address which explains a lot. Poor chap. Anyway, here we go.

1st Over: Mystics 0-0 (Ernie 0, Graham 0)

P.Bassett bowls a maiden to Ernie. "That was a worryingly good over" is Chris Healey's considered opinion, amply demonstrating the confidence in his team's ability which has led to him becoming a watchword for cheery optimism in Mystics circles.

5th Over: Mystics 10-1 (Ernie 1, Duncan 0)

WICKET!! G Sharland 6 st Bassett Graham is stumped off Bassett for 6. He's disputing the decision, which is only to be expected, but there's no third umpire and he's on his way. Duncan comes to the crease.

8th Over: Mystics 30-1 (Ernie 3, Duncan 17)

Duncan has his eye in now. The second ball of Holland's over disappears to the square leg boundary for four, and the fourth is hoiked backwards of square for six. A Land Rover arrives and deposits five fresh Pencarrow players, eager to make their mark. A mass substitution ensues, to the bewilderment of all involved.

10th Over: Mystics 37-1 (Ernie 9, Duncan 17)

Incorrigible harridan Annie Chave's ears prick up as a cry of "Cock" comes from the field. Unfortunately for her, it's just the announcement of a bowling change, with Dan Cock replacing Holland. Ernie takes two off his first ball, but it's otherwise fairly tidy.

15th Over: Mystics 58-1 (Ernie 17, Duncan 30)

Incorrigible social climber Derek Matravers's ears prick up as a cry of "Marquis" comes from the field, indicating another bowling change. Charlie Ellis, having been subbed off the field earlier for the crime of failing to do better with a six from Duncan that passed about ten feet over his head, is subbed back on. "Who's in charge around here?" he yells. Not a clue, mate.

24th Over: Mystics 89-2 (Duncan 48, Deke 4)

Delirium from the spectators as Deke brings up his four with a delightfully unreconstructed flick off his pads to the fine leg boundary. M. Williams the bowler fortunate enough to have been involved in this little piece of history.

26th Over: Mystics 97-3 (Duncan 50, Matt 6)

A single off Williams brings up Dunc's fifty, which is greeted with noticeably less applause than Deke's four. Some more Pencarrow players rock up. Seriously, is the selection process in these parts akin to conscription? Do young men who choose not to answer the call for availability find themselves on the receiving end of a white feather?

34th Over: Mystics 150-6 (Fraser 5, Jimmy Ton 1)

WICKET!! Squire 18 ct Cock b J Key Chris, having hit fours from each of his previous four balls, holes out to Cock. Young Key finishes his spell with figures of 3-0-15-2, including the Key (ba-dum ting) wicket of Duncan, whose 66 may yet prove vital. Meanwhile Ernie, feeling the effects of his innings of 25, is receiving chiropractic "therapy" on his back from Chloe and her terrifying spiky ball. She's kind enough to offer me a demonstration and, thanks to her ministrations, the backache I didn't have prior to her intervention has been replaced by searing agony. Anything that hurts this much has to be good for you.

42nd Over: Mystics 208-8 (Jimmy Ton 39, Jim Thomson 0)

He fell over!!! There's no getting away from it, this is farcical. Jimmy Ton, having raced to 39 off 30 balls attempts to launch D. Key's final ball of the over. Missing completely, the angular momentum of his bat carries him around in a deranged pirouette, culminating in him landing on his fundament. "Very balletic" is Dunc's verdict. And that's that for the innings. At least they finished with a dance number.

Pencarrow require 209 to win

A decent enough score, to this layman at least. Dunc and Jimmy with vital contributions. Pencarrow bowled eleven different players and are probably drawing lots right now to decide the batting line up. A welcome voice from the pavilion to the travelling spectators: "Come and grab some tea before the players get in and eat it all." Hospitality in its purest form.


A chance to interview Deke regarding his scoring heroics: "It's always gratifying to be bowled at by somebody a fifth of one's age and a third of one's height." There's your spirit of cricket, right there. A chance to interview Jimmy Ton regarding his new career in interpretive dance: "Not enough cider was consumed before I went out to bat." There's your delirium tremens, right there.

Cricket related e-mails are a little thin on the ground. Currently my inbox contains offers of enlargement for the gentleman's area, enhanced vigour for the gentleman's area and a message from somebody called "Kirsty XXX' who appears to be a willing recipient of the attentions of the gentleman's area. It's like somebody's read my Christmas list. All I need is for that exiled Nigerian Prince to send me my money and I'll be laughing. It should arrive any day now - I sent him my bank details ages ago.

Pencarrow Innings

1st Over: Pencarrow 1-0 (Patterson 1, Cock 0, target 209)

I'm not entirely sure how the hosts managed to select their batting eleven from the legions on hand but, whatever the method, it's Patterson and Cock to open, the former nabbing a single off the third ball of Pete Weatherhead's over.

6th Over: Pencarrow 14-1 (Patterson 3, Bassett 1, target 209)

WICKET!! Cock 5 b J Thomson Jim gets Cock out. OBO correspondent collapses in fit of schoolboy giggles.

11th Over: Pencarrow 41-5 (J Key 0, D Key 0, target 209)

WICKET!! M Williams 0 ct J Thomson b F Chave Deary me. Pencarrow have lost a wicket in each of the last four overs and five in the last six. They're in a bit of trouble here. Williams is the latest to go, hitting Fraser Chave straight to mid-wicket where Uncle Jim makes no mistake. That dismissal brings Key the Elder to join Key the Younger at the crease. There's something quite magical about a father/son batting stand: the paternal figure taking responsibility for keeping the scoreboard ticking over; all the while nursing their fragile offspring through the various trials of the lonely batting spotlight; offering encouragement and, when needed, gentle chastisement in order to curb the reckless instincts inherent in impetuous youth. I'm quite excited to see what happens next.

21st Over: Pencarrow 59-6 (J Key 0, Marquis 0, target 209)

I'm woken from the stupor which has engulfed me during the past ten overs of dead-batted majesty that can be best described as "for the purist' by a cry signifying there may be some actual on field excitement. And here it is..

WICKET!! D Key (the Elder) 12 ct G Sharland b F Chave I must confess to being unclear as to the details, what with being asleep and all.

25th Over: Pencarrow 101-7 (Marquis 9, Goulding 29, target 209, 17 overs remaining)

Umpires: "Put up the overs in descending order. There are 18 left." Everybody watching: "Oh no!"

It's drizzly and cold and fairly miserable. In other, non-moaning correspondent news, the Marquis of Pencarrow and his able footman Goulding are fairly motoring now - 42 off the last four overs. They've dragged the batting team back into this.

29th Over: Pencarrow 137-8 (Marquis 20, C Ellis 0, target 209 13 overs remaining)

What a catch!!!! Goulding 46 ct M Sharland b J Ton That is a big wicket. Goulding edges and Ernie shows great agility to take a lovely low catch in the slips. Maybe I was overly harsh on Chloe's skills as a chiropractor earlier.

30th Over: Pencarrow 137-9 (C Ellis 0, G Williams 0, target 209, 12 overs remaining)

WICKET!! Marquis 20 b Cook Deprived of the services of his loyal retainer, the Marquis finds himself all at sea and leaves Pencarrow somewhat up the creek. Matt's first over is a wicket maiden. There are worse ways to start a bowling spell, certainly.

41st Over: Pencarrow 200-9 (C Ellis 25, G Williams 25, target 209, 1 over remaining)

Pete bowls a fine maiden to Charlie Ellis, his second in succession. The breakthrough continues to elude, however. Ellis and Williams had been rattling along nicely, bringing up a quarter century apiece, so Pete's spell at the death has been vital in checking their momentum, to give Mystics a chance in this match. It's all on Matt in the final over now.

42nd over: Pencarrow 200-9 (C Ellis 25, G Williams 25, target 209, final over)

41.1 Dot.

41.2 Dot.

41.3 And WICKET!! G Williams lbw M Cook He's done it! A valiant effort by the Pencarrow tail made this a marvellously tense affair, with all results possible going into the last over.

Pencarrow 200 all out. Mystics win by eight runs.

A couple of e-mails: writes "I would have got him first ball of the over" "Matt Cook wins a game with his BOWLING? Matt [EXPLETIVE DELETED] Cook?! The batsman is an [EXPLETIVE DELETED] disgrace who wouldn't know real [EXPLETIVE DELETED] leg spin if it [EXPLETED DELETED] him in the [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. I tell you what, I'm [EXPLETIVE DELETED] embarrassed to be called a [EXPETIVE DELETED] cricketer if this is the type of [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing [EXPLETIVE DELETED] that passes for [EXPLETIVE DELETED] cricket these days. What the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] have I done to make the [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing Universe hate me so [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing much that I'm forced to [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing put up with this [EXPLETIVE DELETED] on a daily [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing basis? You can take your [EXPELETIVE DELETED]ish game of so-called [EXPLETED DELETED]ing cricket and shove it up your [EXPLETIVE DELETED]ing [EXPLETIVE DELETED], you [EXPLETIVE DELETED]."

Quite. I'm not sure how to follow that so I'm off to enjoy some chilli and the raffle. Thanks for your time.

Tom Hurles

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