Friday 23 March 2012

GAME 3 - The Hurlingham Club. 20th March 2012

The storm clouds gathered on Monday night above Buenos Aires; not soon enough to bring the North vs South Game to a satisfactory draw in the 115th meeting of these epic combatants. It is actually one of the longest running competitive cricket competitions in the world; so what better precedent for the very first meeting of two titans of the game as the Hurlingham Club welcomed the might Corridors Cricket Club to the hallowed turf.

Despite the overnight rain the careful attention of the Hurlingham ground staff and senor Gary meant that the pitch was flat and hard but a little sticky. And it proved to be the flattest, hardest, stickiest wicket of the tour so far.

Skipper continued his run of consistently losing the toss and in true tour stylie we were asked to bat. We  hadn't covered ourselvs in glory so far, and our cricket 'rackets' had been minimally used, so this was the perfect opportunity to put things right.

With the Hurlingham team a man down (a very Dors trait), Forgey stepped into the breach and took the field with the opposition.

Skip followed this change to tradition and opened the batting with Behly and Mars - power and precision in equal measure! Behly was one of only 2 players with a boundary to his name thus far and Mars had yet to hit form (of any kind).  And that's how it stayed.

I do have one question to pose at this stage - what is it about Argentinian pitches that means their boundaries involve an endurance run just to stop the ball. They're HUGE! No wonder they're all so ruddy fit and we'd only scored 3 boundaries up to this point - and one of them was a wide!

And on we go.

Mars and Behly lasted 6.3 overs and scored 3 runs. Right, so Mars couldn't get the ball of the square and is still whinging about his 'dubious' LBW - back in the pavilion. 8 -1.

Behlly followed shortly after, skying the ball high while pushing to be positive. 8 - 2.

Paulo, looking comfortable, started daydreaming. No, really, that was his explanation for the mad rush of blood to the bat that left his wickets in tatters. It could have been a consideration of red or white trousers, a mix of cocktails and seersucker pants.. whatever, we were now 3 down with Dawse and Skip at the wicket.

I don't know what happens to people sometimes, I really don't, but having got his eye in and hit the tours 4th boundary (HURRAH!), Dawse decided to give the oppo's 1st slip some catching practice. Feigning to leave the ball, he bounced it of the face of the bat, straight at his executioner. 25 - 4 and a fine to Dawse for shaking the hand that did for him before the game was over. Shame on you!

Skip has made a habit of bissecting the spaces and hitting the fielders. Yep, that's true. And he's consistent. Smacking the ball all over the park, straight at fielders. Or missing the ball completely. 29-5.

Much steepling of fingers, furrowing of brows and scattering of applause followed as Sherrif Rusty and Swis formed the Dors big partnership only for Swiss to NOT hit the bowler off his stride and back in the changing rooms having been stumped. 44-6.

With the ball jagging, dipping, cutting, swinging, Smurf got a beauty (56-6); Crab barely scuttled (57-8) and neither Russ, The Lump nor Panda could move the score on much further. 59 all out (well, for 11 actually since 12 of us were playing).

Both Panda and Russ were crock, so Axel Foley, he of the laugh and the bananas in the exhaust fame, stepped up for his first full showing in the field. There would be running. Quite a lot of it.

59 is not a big total and rarely have we had so little to defend. But we are Dors On Tour. And we stand to the last, even if Russ and Panda are lying down and doing a lot of stretching - but they really make it count!

Forge was given no option; the mushroom lumberjack opened for the Hurlingham Club and the abuse was truly Dors-like. We're not good at sledging the opposition, but we more than make up for it with our own (as Torpedo and Tour-luvvy will attest). However, Forge is our blood, a Corridor haemoglobule, and as such there is no escape.

Behly opened with fire and pace and was very unlucky early Dors (see what I did there?) not to have either Forge or Millar caught at slip. Hard chances though they were, we couldn't take our opportunities (Dawse fined for a sitter!) and it took 6.1 overs to grab our first wicket - Forge on his way back to the oppo with his castle in tatters.

While Millar got stronger, hit straighter and got  dropped, the Dors concentrated on the other end and dropped things there, too. UNTIL THEY DIDN'T. Smurf making up for previous teflon fingered actions and giving Swiss his first wicket of the day.

We needed wickets and Swiss answered the call. With his penultimate ball, the child catcher was back in the groove, torpedoing the Hurlingham's yongest with relish, with the tour-luvvy's jazz hands the receptacle for the executioner's pleasure!

There was only one person who could now save the Dors, 'cos Mars was bowling like a drain! Step up The Lump and his filth and fortune paired with genius. And Gooding was away, head bowed in supplication to the power of Lumpy. 44.4.

But that was it. Quick fire boundaries and Hurlingham stitched it up with 61 off 17 overs - we had made it much harder than they had expected and we had bowled well. AGAIN. One day we'll do it with the bat.

Presentations, and a farewell BBQ back at the Conventillo de Lujo were to come and Gary Savage proved his worth once more with a fantastic final evening which left a few of us in a desperate state for the morning. Despite the less than appealing results, this is one place that not only begs but demands another visit. I hope to include cricket in mine. I even hope there may be more to come for Mars in BA.

But for now, Chile is our destination and we say a very fond 'ciao, ciao' to Argentina.

So long and thanks for all the steak. Now I want fish.



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