Thursday, June 25, 2009

TMC: Episode 4 - The attack of the giant

Welcome to The Midwest Chronicles (TMC). These are the accounts of the exploits of the Nebraska Cricket Club in the 2009 season. To spice up what would otherwise be a routine match report of runs scored, wickets taken, and catches snaffled (or spilled) these posts are being written with a tongue firmly in cheek but with the facts completely in the true. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the meandering show.

Here's a complete guide to the cast of characters and their nicknames. The cast will be updated as players are added or dropped or nicknames changed as the season progresses
And just like that. As mysteriously as he arrived, he was gone.
Oscar Martinez - The Office
Bob Loblaw was wandering around the east coast and missed the 4th match of the season - a clash between the two teams at the top of the CLIA table - the Bulls of Iowa and the...err...Cricket Club-ers of Nebraska. Eye witness accounts are notorious for their unreliability and this report is no different. So any mistakes, exaggerations, and falsified records are to be blamed on the eye-witness and not on me, your honest scribe. Peace out.

As is to be expected, Captain Ozone lost another toss, through his (not-to-be) trusted surrogate tosser Little Boy. The Bulls captain, Utpal Patel, (nameless he would have been but for some excellent investigative reporting from yours truly) immediately asked NCC to bat.

(By the way, UP (as he is known) has a photo on his profile that HAS to be seen to be appreciated. He really is cooler in person than he is in the photo!)

The NCC innings began with a bang when Thin Man hit the first ball into the nets at midwicket for a thudding six. However, his passion to clear the fence was put to the test and for the first time all season, he failed to cash in on a missed opportunity, finding the fielder at third man off a miscued attempt to uppercut a bouncing ball. Unfazed by this dismissal the Tasmanian Devil (he now has a new nickname that shall be revealed in an upcoming post) and Bhisma set about accumulating the runs in singles (an alien concept) and boundaries (that's more like it). The score trudged along at a 4-5 runs an over pace for a few overs before TD found his old nemesis - the roaring 20's - waiting for him. Not for the first time this season (and not for the last time either) he got out once he was set and had almost reached his age in runs.

The ONE constant with the NCC season has been the middle-order collapse. As in the previous matches, there was another one, only this one took up the rest of the innings. Gory as the details are, and this is a PG-13 website, I shall desist from giving you all of them. Just suffice to say that 162 for 8 in 30 overs is a score that is neither here nor there. Further proof, seven of the nine batsmen registered double figure scores but the highest was Kingsize Dada's 28. A team effort, an optimist would say.

While we wait for the teams to freshen up between innings, here are some more interesting things to know:
  • The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the english language.
  • One-third pound stalk of broccoli contains more vitamin C than 204 apples.
  • There are approximately 45 billion fat cells in an average adult.
  • The dot that appears over the letter "i" is called a tittle.
  • Leaving the water running while brushing your teeth can waste four gallons of water in a minute.
When NCC took the field, they did so with guarded optimism. After all, this was their home turf. But lying in wait were UP and the as-yet unmentioned Saket Pradhan. In CLIA lore, Saket is a legend. And rightfully so. At night when Bhishma is trying to put his son to bed, he regales him with stories of Saket's (and Rampi's) batting prowess. Ozone began the innings with Bhishma and Energizer Bunny sharing the new ball. Twelve unbroken overs fetched 4 wickets giving away just 40-odd runs. Just the start that was needed. By the 15th over, the half-way stage of the innings, the score had reached 70-odd for 5. A run-a-ball with the second half of the batting line-up to come, some would say: advantage NCC.

But there was still one man to go - Saket. Two overs later, the game was almost done and dusted! TD was greeted with three sixes. Not to be outdone Saket took a liking to King Warney and matched him six for six, one of them hitting the middle of the cottonwood trees that guard the stream next to the ground. As the ball was in the air, Energizer was heard to remark dryly, "I told you we needed a fielder in the trees behind long-on".

After that, the Bulls rolled through to victory, cruising to the finish line without losing any further wickets. NCC suffered its first loss of the season and any complacency that had set in was wiped away. Beware CLIA, you have been warned. NCC is gearing up for retribution.

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