|Rangers Vs Ned Flanders XI
|A reocurring scene; waiting for the ball to returned from over the boundary line.
|In the much anticipated match, shandy was true to form once again and lost the toss. Ned Flanders chose to bat on a hard pitch with a tinge of green throughout.
The next 35 hours could not have gone any slower for the rangers on the field as we spent more time over the boundary line then on the field.
paulie (the plug) during the drinks break, succinctly summed up our performance
"You bowled too short, too much on the leg side, and too full on their legs. Youre not consistent"
This point was proven further more when ned flanders only scored 3 boundaries on the off side in the first 18 overs.
To prove how off line we were, their opener went on to score a blistering, furious 132 with 15 fours and 3 sixes. After being dropped somewhat early in his innings. He was dropped on 98 as well.
To rub more salt, vinegar and lemon juice in the rangers wounds (mainly blisters from running after the ball so much) their opener was their regular number 10!! and their star batsman didnt even play due to a wedding!
in hindsight, the captain should’ve matched power for power and put his number 10 to open! Especially considering the rangers number 10 was none other than dale biceps Stevenson!
After many more dropped catches, fielding blunders and fetching the ball from the adjoining basketball courts, the rangers were put out of their misery with the completion of innings. Ned Flanders compiled 5/269!
Pick of the bowlers was the line and length freak dale Stevenson who put 2 and 2 together and concluded that the opening pair didn’t have a very good offside game. In his 2nd over he induced a nick from attempted cover drive straight to the keeper. Dale went on to capture 2-42 of 7 including 3 6's.
The rangers innings had their 2 debutants of Asa and Dr Elliot open and they faced some stiff verbal and 156 gram abuse from the neddys. bouncers were a regular occurrence coupled with tight line and length bowling. Their field looked like something out of paulies book of strategy: place the whole team in the slips cordon!
However regardless of the cohorts of fieldsmen placed behind the bat, many a boundary found their way through the minute gaps in such a performance that could only be admired by the inventor of the spoke, neil ewing
After a steady start, Dr Elliot was first to go after fending a high one back onto his stumps for 7 with the score on 14. However his piercing cover drive for 4 was a delight to the capacity crowd of 42,000 of roaring fans, most of them related to the smiberts in one form or the another.
Cometh the man cometh the hour.. or is it the other way round? after much heckling from the teams biggest stirrer, Varun, now bestowed as fifty cent, fifty percent or fitty, had the weight of the world on his shoulders as he walked out to bat to join his vice captain. Or was it the burden of being ridiculed by jamie for another week?
after struggling to pierce the field early on, fifty cent opted for the aerial route, sending many a bouncer over cow corner, sending the rangers bench into a frenzy and jamie constantly reminding us of how he inspired Varun to greatness!
asa and varun went on to eclipse sam and paulies 2nd wicket record partnership of 42 (a record that stood for 10 matches) with 65 of their own unitl asa was smartly stumped for 28 in a well played innings
Out came the most nervous starter of the team, their captain! After a huge appeal for LBW of his 3rd ball, shandy started pushing the ones to get Varun on strike as his attempted big shots only ended up dribbling over the square. However he was spurred on as the team was joined by the legends of last year’s invincible’s, Paulie, jonny, gordo and rangerette captain-jessima.
the next 5 overs resulted in 31 runs as varun and shandy ran themselves to death, picking up the quick singles and stealing 2nds. varun was looking every bit worth his international contract until on 48 (55 balls) the dreaded full toss had him caught on the leg side in what was an amazing innings of temperament, patience, timing and boisterous accolades from jamie
chad 'boof' hart came out to the middle and remarked that his legs felt like jelly and that he couldnt run. maybe we should all get to that stage of fitness, cause if you cant run, you can only hit. and thats what chad did, he hit.... and them some.... and then some more.
chad went on to smash, bludgeon, punish and pulverise the rangers first half century of the season and the fastest rangers 'recorded' 50, of only 23 balls! it was somewhat reminiscent of gordos 89 in the finals last year! and he also went to equal cameron orths highest score for the 5th wicket in a one dayer
his 50 included 5 fours and 4 sixes! Which brings his tally of 6's to 6 from only 2 innings. (It took last year’s winner the whole season to get to 12!) hmm anyone want to put money on who will win the tonk award this year? I have some good odds.. talk to me later on....
unfortunately the rangers fell 73 runs short of their target as they finished with 4-196, shandy not out on 34 (27) in a cheeky innings and jamie not out on 7 (8)
However, their batting showed some immense skill under pressure, talent and most importantly, potential for the upcoming season.
The rangers will be looking to win their first victory as they take on the might and humour of St Barts next week!
a big thanks to Sam Leicester who took some great pics during the game