After posting a 50 over total of 337, a wag in the members bar was heard to rejoice “Only England could lose it from here!” We all felt that way at the change of innings, bubbling with certain victory and dismissive of defeat.
The sky was clear. Everything was in its rightful place. The Prof was settled in a sea of empty seats catching up with the local news. He said we were so far in front of the bell curve he would rather bet on the lottery, any lottery, than defeat. He looked askance at the suggestion that the outrageous outing of Gentle George [Ed. Mr G thank you] held any menace.
Sarah, Director of Marketing, even replaced her critical wit with a humorous aside (below), although she could not resist flicking a steely eye towards Lucky across the luncheon table. These days 50 does little for your reputation.
Sarah’s wit follows:
‘To market with wicket went our batsman in
When somebody threw a tomato at him
Tomatoes are soft and they don’t bruise the skin
But this tomato was wrapped in a tin’
No one really understood except the Prof who, as a minor poet found ‘The Big Show was a no show’ more amusing.
Coach2.0 wasn’t worried. He is never worried.
The first 15 overs went according to plan. Then Faf and AB de V put up the barricades. For the rest of time they poured hot oil over the parapets onto the bowlers until they each had 100’s in the same over. They had been together so long I thought they were married.
The all-rounders bowled their turnips like it was harvest time on a slow day in Constable’s England.
And Tatts, for all his fire, ran into a wall of typical South African conviction.
Mr G could do little except grin, watch the ball bobble over the boundary rope or into the stands and wait for the mishit. Such is the modern limited over game of crash and bash. Most of it is our of your control.
When the mishits came we were so far beyond the point of disbelief Tatts and Mr G fluffed the easy catches. Coach2.0 stubbed his toe on a brick.
Then it was over. SA 338 winning in the 46th over in a canter.
Only Plopper felt vindicated by today’s proceedings but of course he didn’t play. He was so pleased he was about to him the team song until Sarah shoved a sock in his mouth.
We shared a beer with the Saffer’s in the fading light. ABdeV was hobbling on one leg and Faf was full of good cheer.
“We don’t have our best team yet. It’s very very good but not the best.”
“Neither do we.” The Captain [Ed. The real captain] replied.
This work of fiction (c) Dave Cornford and Jeremy Pooley