|Rangers Vs St Barts
21st October, Kianawah Park# 8
|The rangers were drooling this week at the opportunity to find that winning feeling.. ooh that winning feeling… as they lined up against the most enjoyable team in the comp, the Bartholomew Saints. As they reached the ground, the batsmen were smacking their lips as they saw short boundaries, a hard surface and short grass. Time to rack up some runs and improve our averages… and of course, to win our first match!
Once again Shandy was absolutely amazing at the toss losing to Daniel in a tight call. Fortunately for the rangers, it was a ‘Clayton’s’ toss in where St Barts wanted to field and the Rangers wanted to bat.
The Plug (paulie) came in for Elliot this game and showed his experience and class straight up as he pushed for the singles and waited for the bad balls, in which he mauled with no respect. At the other end, Mr cricket (Asa) was showing unbelievable temperament and talent for a guy who’s only playing his 2nd club match as drove confidently against the new ball. You would think by watching him he’s been playing since he was 3!
As the opening bowlers were seen off, The Plug launched himself against the attack, bludgeoning anything short through the off side to the boundary. One of the shots of the day was a cracking open faced cut shot over gully, one bounce to the boundary for 4. His somewhat top edge to fine leg also gets a mention!
Unfortunately, The Plug was run out in the 16th over in a mix up and departed for 35 off 39 balls. (strike rate of 89) He still blames it on the 3 they ran earlier on in the innings as the cause of the run out.. However Jamie brought peace to the awkward situation when he loudly proclaimed that Paulie should be used to getting run out by now!! Asa and Paulie put on 75 for the first wicket, beating Shandy and Paulies 67 against st barts last year.
Into the fray struts Fifty cent/Bacon (Varun). We’re starting to think that Varun wants to clean up at the awards night this year as he went on to play one of the greatest innings in Ranger history. No 20 balls for this lad, Varun started launching the ball to all parts of the ground. Whether he wanted to humble Chad after last weeks performance we may never know, but Fifty cent went on to better the fastest one day 50 by one ball as he pummelled 10 4’s to reach his fifty of only 20 balls! Maybe the captain should make it slog off your first 20 balls….instead of getting your eye in.
It didn’t stop there for the youngest kid in the club. With his White cap on backwards in typical Homie fashion, he smashed 10 off one over, all back foot cover drives which left all the senior guys on the bench envious at his shot repertoire. As his innings started building momentum (if that’s possible) the prospect of a 100 loomed for the guys on the sideline. Scores were being counted, balls compared, guys jumping up and down, shouts of encouragement, till Varun must’ve realised that he was somewhat near his first tonne! “96!” The rangers called out to his inquiry to his score.
In what may prove the Asa Award for the team for letting him know, the next ball The great Fifty cent was capped at short mid wicket, going for the big one (he would’ve done 2-Pac proud)
. After picking up his piece of willow that he threw a considerable distance (from his shoulder height to the ground) Varun walked off the to thunderous applause of both teams, lamenting of what may have been.. 96 of a staggering 45 balls (strike rate 213) Many a sleepless night for this special talent this week.
In the meantime, (yes, there were other batsmen at this point by the way) Asa was quietly but strongly playing a strapping innings, but also trying to master the pull shot at the same time(darn you chad!). However in the 27th over, the opener was bowled trying to push the strike rate. Out for a well played 61 (69 balls, strike rate 88.4) Asa took 2 games to reach his first 50 in the club, equalling chad’s performance of last week. Varun and Asa smashed their previous ranger record of 65 last week, as they put on 93 together. (Paulie is the only ranger to score a 50 in his first match)
Why want anyone else when u have Mr Cricket in the line up?
It didn’t take long for Undies to get underway hitting his 3rd ball to cow corner in an amazing swipe. 5 fours later, he was bowled for a snappy 28(20, strike rate 140)
Aaron (Eggs) had the worst wait on the sideline during this bombardment of runs, secretly wishing that someone could get out so he could register his first runs for the club. Much to his relief he got his chance in the 34th over! After weeks of shandy telling him to keep the ball down, Aaron (Groovy) slapped his first ball to the cow corner boundary and went on to make a well played 6* (4)
Chad on the other hand, must’ve taken Varun’s innings as a personal insult to his credibility as a batsman. In a violent display of swinging, chad punished his way to 22 of only 7 balls! (strike rate of 318, that’s not too bad) including 2 fours and 2 sixes. However the shot of the day, and I hesitate to call it a shot… the bowler bowled the perfect Yorker, right on the crease. Chad, not knowing you’re not supposed to hit Yorkers for runs, let alone almost a 6, flicked the ball of his big toe over cow corner for a one bounce 6. Paulie was heard saying that shot should not have been played! Wise words coming from The Master himself. .
The final tally was a staggering 267 for the rangers, a new one record for the club
The score was always going to be too much for the St Barts batting line up, and even harder if they knew who was holding the new ball. Fifty cent (now 96 cent) went on to bowl the best bowling figures for a ranger, in both forms of the game, taking an amazing 6-41 of 7 overs, after recovering from being hit for 14 in his first over. His bowling performance included 4 bowled, knocking out the stump out on at least 3 occasions, claiming the first 5 batsmen on the scorecard. .
Leg cutters, off cutters, slower balls, the kid has it all and he feasted upon the St Barts players. He can even catch! Daniel Viles (The Rangers best loved Bunyip) took courage after his first 2 slogs and decided quite smartly to take Varun out of the attack by knocking out the kid. However he mistimed his shot and ended up slamming the ball straight to Varun’s 6 Pack on his follow through. If you weren’t there, you could compare it to what Cameron does to the bowlers in the nets, only that someone tried to catch it, not duck out of the way.!
Jamie did the kid proud by taking a sharp catch off a slower ball at gully in claiming his 5-fer
The St Barts graciously applauded as a team as Varun walked back to his fielding position after taking his 5-fer.
Jamie at the other end was having no luck (a bit like last year) until his seventh over, the batsmen hit one pretty much straight at Biceps at deep mid on. Chad, still not satisfied with his innings charged over to Dale’s position from deep mid off (a few people went on to remark they saw Chad elbow dale in the ribs and step on his foot)
After a triad of calls of ‘mine’ and ‘no its MINE!’ chad snatched Dales first catch of the season literally out of his hands! Just as long Jamie got his wicket! Looks like the AFL season did nothing for dale as he should’ve marked the ball on Chad’s back.
Not long after, Billy Clintoff (Paulies protégé) hit the crease armed with his new bowling action and knowledge. A bit like Master Yoda and Skywalker……
It didn’t take long for Clintoff (Bread) to get Paulie out of his comfy chair as he claimed his first scalp with his 5th ball, LBW to Billy! A few overs Clintoff teased the bastmen out of his crease in what became a close stumping. However Clintoff will be hoping that when he bowls next, the ball isn’t hit to Benji Hollis, as Clintoff dropped a sitter in what would’ve been Benji’s first wicket.
Poe managed to get his name in the Sunday Mail taking the 2nd best figures for the rangers, 1-1, caught behind. And Dale improved his bowling averages taking 1-4.
But these performances will be lost in time as they were overshadowed by one of the best allround performances, not only in this team but in the association.
Hats off to Fifty cent, The Homie of us all!
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