It hadn’t been a good week for Planet Earth, and on Sunday morning we were still dealing with the tragedy that was Adam West’s sublimation to the great Batcave in the sky, this was tragedy. Remember the Batusi?
And then, the very next day, we woke to the news that The Jackal, our worthiest adversary, was dead.
The good citizens of Beaumont-sur-Mer, carefully caressing their brooches and counting their pearls, would approach this event with something approximating schadenfreude. For the rest of us, there was the unmitigated nightmare of Australia losing their pre-ordained Champions Trophy semi-final berth – mmpfffft – to Bangladesh – bwaHAHAHAHAAAA!
Life goes on, and spirits were high for a good South African performance in southeast London (against India, natch) as the Gardeners returned to picturesque Fortress Gallery Fields. C and VC, carefully escorted by HM’s finest, strode out to inspect Groundsman Tom’s latest magnificent horticultural production.
“Riddle me this, Bats.” Having taken a Wasim masterclass to heart, Tasty shortened his run up and put a bit more into his delivery action to unfurl an inswinging, outseaming Batball for the ages. POW! The top of off was disturbed to deliver a gratifying first wicket in just the second over. At the other end, the Nome returned fire – ZAP! – to bowl the dangerous-looing Dixon through his legs. And then – ZORT! PANK! – another Tasty one-two and suddenly the Roehampton Bats were four down for more overs bowled than runs scored. Our change bowlers provided no let up: wily old fox Struthers was unlucky to find a few edges for no reward; wild-haired axeman Fryer settled into a good riff and picked up a double-wicket maiden. The Clan Macleod came ranging in to clear up the Bats’ boundary hitter, wickets splayed like three miniature cabers, and then saw Phil’s nifty take behind the stumps not given. Woodhouse took a fine running tumbling catch to reward some tight bowling from the Chancellor. Tackleberry threw in swiftly for Phil to break the stumps one-handed and complete a majestically disco run out…
…before Saj flexed his bowling muscles (if not the goodwill of the ICC technical committee) to close out the innings with the sixth clean bowled. Roehampton Bats: 87 all out in 27 overs. BAM!
Cue another spectacular Al Desco tea, after which Woodhouse and Tackleberry strode out to face the Bats’ riposte. What dynamic bowling duo would the Bats unleash on our openers? Would the Gardeners retreat into gloom after South Africa’s shambolic capitulation at the Oval? Is this the end of the line for Fortress Gallery Fields as we know it?
Er, nope. It was done and dusted in a flurry of bristling brutality and, surprisingly, no balls lost. The Bats produced a good direct hit to send Dave back, and an even better running overhead catch at backward square to account for Olly, but by then all that was required was an expertly engineered
0* (0) from skipper Tom to see us home: Gardeners 88/2 off 9 overs for an eight wicket win.
Cold beers, courtesy of the Chancellor and Phil, awaited both teams. We stretched out on the lush lawn, watched the sun set over Dulwich and reflected on… um… the circle of life.
Glenne Headly: 13/3/55 – 8/6/17. Gardeners caps: 0. As the Jackal, $3 million grifted last year.
Adam West: 19/9/28 – 9/6/17. Gardeners caps: 0. Batman caps: 120 TV appearances, 1 movie.
We play most of our games in Dulwich and net during the winter at The Oval. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Aked (life)
Jamie Elliot (life)
Rob Navratil (life)
Hugo Nisbet (life)
David Woodhouse (life)
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