By Neale Adams
They came and saw and so very nearly conquered…..
Like Commander Adama leading the Battlestar Galactica, Felix Allen led a rag-tag team of St Anne’s Allstars in search of a victory, having already found the earth bound match venue against West XI in suburban Greenford.
The Allstars team sheet had been decimated by those on holiday, injuries, and the marriage of James Hindle to his fiancee, whom we can only hope was a lot more feminine and attractive than the person the groom was seen dancing with in a video posted on the internet prior to the wedding.
Neverless, the Allstars’ ‘Super 8’, plus two players donated by the opposition took to the field with Haroon Khalid leading the bowling attack. For Haroon it was a day of what should have been and not what was, as his accurate bowling deserved a greater reward. (Some dropped catches similar to those by India in the recent third test did not help his cause).
Assisting Haroon was Jimmy Scott whose namesake bore witness to his Scottish flare and slower pace that was eventually to deceive the opposition and claim the first scalp, as the batsman played onto his own stumps in an early over.
TG took over from Haroon turning in some very impressive figures of three for 12 runs during his spell of seven overs.
Paul Nicol replaced Jimmy – and, like Haroon, should have had more wickets to his name. Confident bowling – despite not having bowled for some time – saw the Crazy Horse miss the stumps by millimetres on several occasions. Eventually a good ball bowled was returned by the batsman to the bowlers hands, giving Nicol his just deserts.
Despite the Allstars fielding remaining tight, the West XI batsman decided to dig in and make runs to increase their tally.
Two attempted catches of note were made by Kieran Toohey and Felix, from balls that left the oppo’s bat at blistering speed.The fielders were brave just to get to the ball, let alone get their hands in the way. In the skippers case, blood was drawn from his fingers such was the speed of the leather through the air.
Kieran and Clarence Marshall helped to clear up some of the West XI tail enders, leaving the opposition on 161 for 7 at the end of their 35 overs.
And the Allstars dared to dream of a victory…
TG and Clarence opened the Allstars batting, both facing the West XI opening bowler who was, to say the least, fast and accurate. If Felix was Adama then TG must have been Lt Starbuck for his cheeky batting that saw several shots placed beautifully over the slips. Kieran replaced Clarence after he was bowled out, and Paul Nicol replaced TG who was returned to the locker room having notched up a healthy 38.
Kieran and Paul continued the good works of the openers until Nicol tried to hit one over mid-off – but the ball fell short and into the hands of an awaiting fielder.
The Allstars’ middle order helped to lift the score to over 100, and again the sniff of victory began to fill the senses. But excitement got the better of a team that had dared to dream the dream…..the Commander was run out without even facing a ball.
The dream disappeared for good as the lower order batsmen, including the two kindly donated by the West XI entered the arena, but were soon sent home by the bowlers. The Allstars total of 137 all out was sadly not enough to match the target set by the West XI.
Despite the result – and the Olympic bike road race practice causing havoc on the roads in south west London forcing a late start – a good fun day was had by all.
And Commander Adama continued his fine leadership after the game by leading the rag tag fleet on their next quest – to find a pub.