1. Cricket is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (Stephen Fry)
2. FOOTBALL offers the world clichés; RUGBY produces facial deformity; HOCKEY provides an acceptable outlet for psychotic violence; CRICKET alone breeds myths... More quotes here.


Luck: St Annes AllStars 18 July 2004 (Season: 2004)
Report by: The German

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We've been hammering on for a while now that the luck has not gone our way this season. Or the skill. Or the tendency to stage dramatic batting collapses from halfway decent positions. Well for some reason against the All Stars the tide turned as if the moon had tripled in mass and entered orbit alongside all those American spy satellites.

It started ominously for the opposition when Ben won the toss for the first time in the post-war era, bringing to bear his considerable captaincy skills and deciding to bat. Both sets of openers proceeded to justify this controversial decision; our batters putting away the bad balls and their bowlers racking up more extras than the battle scenes from Gladiator. Matt S executed several of his trademark shots back over the bowler's head for a third score of precisely 40 this season, and with a bit of help from his friends we cruised to over a hundred at the halfway mark. There's nothing to this cricket lark.

The All Stars captain chose this moment to unfurl his Schumacher-esque race strategy, relying on bowlers who frequently bowled it straight and occasionally even hit the pitch and moved it around a bit. One of them bowled it very slowly, which was not lost on the Salix brains trust. But more of that later.

And so it was that we contrived, through a traditional blend of wild yahoos and witless run-outs, to lose six or seven wickets for insufficient runs in too short a space of time. The experienced Salix-watchers had been ruefully predicting this all along, and for a while it looked like we would once again manage to turn a 'potentially winning' total into a 'probably losing' total. But then in strolled Jehan, who nonchalantly smacked 37 off about about ten balls in five minutes, manfully supported by able lieutenants Fletch and CK1.

A number of surpising facts for the statistically-minded - we scored more than 200, batted out 40 overs and Steve wasn't required to add to his infinite career average.

We took to the field a new team, brimming with zeal and hungry for wickets. Well, brimming with Glaxo tea and hungry for more of those muffins. CK1 typified the mood, bowling fast and straight with the occasional snorter. By 10 overs the All Stars were on the pace but, vitally, had lost an opener to a quick one that hit the deck, did a bit, got an edge and knocked off stump clean out of the ground. Ben, still remembering the pie that he had earlier slogged into the upper atmosphere, mobilised the spinning brigade and dared the batsmen to have a go.

And have a go they certainly did. Jehan sealed his MOTM performance by utterly bamboozling two poor victims with skillful variation, and Mike Ellis bowled eight overs on the bounce with great flight and turn to have four more caught in the outfield - including their skipper for a classy 49, out-thought and caught on the square leg boundary. New boy Jay tweaked a couple more out and Fletch wrapped it up courtesy of a great catch from Mike, sprinting in from point. Thanks to a magnificent team performance we reduced the All Stars from 50-1 to 70-odd all out, which is pretty impressive by anyone's standards.

While reading the above you may have noticed reference to a thing called 'catching'. Salix took seven catches and dropped two. Go on, go back and read that again. Yes, it is in the right order. Dom leading the way with a fabulous effort at long-off, prompting him to do that 'I'm-so-in-control-I-will-fling-it-immediately-straight-back-up-in-the-air' thing. In fact the only reason for recording two drops was to stress that we expect anything within a 15 yard radius of a fielder to be snaffled with minimum fuss, regardless of speed, trajectory and other such minor considerations - this is the new Salix, after all.

Bring on the next ones.

Salix CC versus St Annes All Stars at Glaxo on 18-07-2004(40 Over Game)
Salix CC (batting second)206for 8off40overs Match Won
St Annes All Stars79all outoff26.4overs
NoPlayerScoreHow Out
1.Dominic Spillane15Run Out
2.Matt Swindells40Bowled
3.Andy Rayner14Run Out
4.Ben Shaw17Caught
5.Matt Kershaw7Bowled
6.Mike Ellis7Bowled
7.Jay Mathasing1Caught
8.Jehan DeSilva37Not Out
9.Tony Fletcher8Bowled
10.Christy Kulasingam9Not Out
11.Steve Jacobs0Did Not Bat
1.Christy Kulasingam5112112.0030.002.40
2.Steve Jacobs40240--6.00
3.Matt Kershaw1080--8.00
4.Mike Ellis822245.5012.002.75
5.Jehan DeSilva61824.0018.001.33
6.Jay Mathasing21221.006.001.00
7.Tony Fletcher0.40212.004.003.00
Steve Jacobs2catches
Jehan DeSilva1catch
Mike Ellis1catch
Andy Rayner1catch
Ben Shaw1catch
Dominic Spillane1catch
Jehan DeSilva1drop
Mike Ellis1drop

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