A torrential downpour left many a Vino wondering whether the late Saturday weather would be cause for us to miss out on our final pre-season friendly against Prague Barbarians CC. Thankfully, we all arose on Sunday to a cloudy yet dry morning and to the delight of us all – the game was on!
This game was extra special as we were able to unveil our long-awaited new kit, which has been sponsored by The Real Meat Society (TRMS). TRMS is located at Naplavni 5, Prague 2 and have some of the finest locally sourced meat in Prague. Their kind donation to our club is much appreciated and hopefully we can take their support on to the field and produce some great results this year.
Having played against the Barbars just a couple of weeks prior, it seemed fitting that we were able to share the spoils by winning the toss this time around. It is testament to Hugo and his band of helpers that worked to install the new wicket up at Kriket Vinor, that on both occasions, the decision after the toss was to bat first.
Rahul and Captain Mik walked out to the crease to face the Barbars openers and did a sterling job in making the most of the initial power play. Rahul’s magnificent 24 from 12 balls only ended after a run-out caused by a mix-up over the difference between an umpire and a fielder. Having seen his partner depart Mik continued the good work, but also soon departed for a quick-fire 20.
Rob temporarily steadied the ship with 11 from 32 balls, but it was only after Robbo and Lukas fell quickly that the real fireworks began. Every aggressive batsman lives and dies by his sword and after a failure in the previous game, Hugo certainly made a mends in this innings. A total of six 4’s and six 6’s in just a 38 ball innings brought up the second individual Vino fifty in the first two fixtures of 2014. Hugo finished his swashbuckling innings with 68.
Unfortunately, the Vinos rear-guard – that rescued victory from the jaws of defeat in the last game – offered little resistance this time around, as the final 5 batsmen managed just 21 between them. We finished on 176 all out inside 29 overs. Yash was the pick of the bowlers for the Barbars, picking up figures of 3 for 8, with Gary and Anas picking up two wickets a piece.
The drinks break gave us the perfect opportunity to refresh, regroup and plan a strategy for how we could break what was starting to look like a match-winning partnership. Many a cricket enthusiast (and David Lloyd wannabe’s) say that big players rise to the fore at crunch times, to change the complexion of games. They say “there’s always one after drinks”. They also say “one brings two”. This time all of the above applied, as firstly Rahul stepped up to the mark and knocked-back Anas’s stumps with the second ball after the break. The third – a low full toss – crashed into the stumps so hard that Hugo immediately got his phone out and ordered a new set. Alright, I guess we all know that would never happen, but the ball really did crash into them at a serious rate of knots.
Back to the cricket, Jody then bowled a fantastic 5 over spell from the ‘pavilion end’, picking up figures of 3 for 19. One of the dismissals deserves a special mention as, with a particularly well-flighted delivery, Terry came charging down the track and gave the bat an almighty swing to flay the ball back to Old Town Square. There was only one thing missing from this mighty effort – that being the sound of bat on ball. This left Mik behind the stumps with the simplest of opportunities, as Terry finished off his very entertaining pirouette.
From 96-2 after 20 overs, a fantastic display of bowling and fielding (including some extraordinarily aggressive field settings) limited the Barbars to just 125 all out inside 29 overs. We’d done the new kit and our new sponsors proud and recorded a solid 51 run victory.
MoM (Man of the Match): For the second week running, young Jody gets a mention for his fantastic spell of spin bowling. Rahul also deserves a special mention for his 24 runs and 3 wickets. However, for the second week in a row the spoils will be given to a batsman as Hugo’s 68 from 38 balls is more than enough to claim the spoils.
POM (Play of the Match): Will’s brilliant caught and bowled off his Barbarian friend is due a mention. However, the award must go to the team of Jody, Mik and Terry (Barbar), for the before mentioned scene of awesome spin bowling and ballet combined.
TOM (Twat of the Match): Yours truly deserves a mention for managing to parry two balls over the boundary, one of which was a solid forehand of which Federer would have been proud. Though this week’s TOM for an incident that probably cost him becoming MOM is Rahul, for completely confusing a fielder with the umpire and thus leaving himself completely stranded mid-wicket.