Sunday 13 September –v- Norwood Exiles at Norwood Lakes
Editorial Note - The following report was penned by occasional correspondent Danglers and caused particular offence to Dave – whilst I wasn’t there to witness the events of the game I have been informed that it is an accurate account
Crusaders looked forward to a new fixture with Norwood Exiles and made their customary impression by turning up late. Wajih soon lost the toss and we were inserted into the field, little knowing what a complete farce this would turn out to be.
Very good tight bowling from Darren and Mike put the opposition under pressure from the start and Darren soon took 2 wickets including the wicket of TV comedian Mark Steel, who was later to tell Mike that he had bowled well, although he also confided to Darren that he had made up an entire comic routine over Mike's slower ball and jumbo ears!
Matt and Upkar kept up the pressure with good spells, both picking up a wicket each with the opposition struggling to keep the scoring rate above 2.5 an over. However Chand still had to come into the attack! Chand, believe it or not actually gave the ball a bit of flight, in fact at one stage the ball reached above his own height and was measured at 3 foot 6 inches off the ground. Unfortunately his bowling was nowhere near as offensive as his personality
Then the farcical behaviour of our two wicketkeepers began, sorry I mean the two guys who stand behind the stumps with gloves on; Don and Damon, who was in the field for the day. Don for some strange reason best known to himself decided to stand in front of the stumps whilst trying to attempt a few run outs. He then had the audacity to moan about the accuracy of the throws which even if perfectly over the stumps would still have allowed the oppo to run two runs to gully by the time Don had turned his athletic frame around and taken the bails off. Farcical!
Then we come to Damon….he spent the first few overs waddling back and forth, shouting out the occasional 'come on boys' in a very effeminate manner. He then proceeded to let numerous shots go through him to the boundary, excusing himself by stating that he couldn't get down to the ball; but I would like to ask the question, would he have got down to the ball if it was a bacon sandwich? He then continued to miss several more balls by trying to stop them with his feet, before finally managing to stop one by jumping on the ball! Quite what the ECB would think about the potential altering properties of a 25 stone lump of lard jumping on the ball is anyone's guess. But there is more! After partially stopping a ball, it ran away towards the barrier. Damon ran after it with all the speed of Johnny G with Spud on his back and managed to reach it just before the boundary, where he kicked it along the boundary edge and then chased it before collapsing in a heap and trying but failing to get up several times, reminiscent of Bambi on Ice. Johnny G could have gone up to the ball and thrown it back in before the batsman had run 36 runs, but quite rightly justified himself by saying he was 'wondering what the **** Damon was doing'. Absolutely Farcical!
Anyway with this shoddy fielding and some wayward late bowling, Norwood struggled to 148-6 off their 40 overs. Wajih then opened with himself and an unusual partner in Johnny G, who perhaps still shell shocked from the Damon affair didn't last long. However a good partnership developed between Wajih and Chand, which took us to 70 for one before they both decided that they hadn't hit the ball in the air enough and both got caught for 35 and 29 respectively. This unfortunately meant Chand was free to irritate the rest of his own team on the sidelines. Matt was heard to say that Chand should be the poster boy for Euthanasia! We then had a typical Crusaders collapse to 86-6 including Damon's record breaking 73rd duck of the season and a run out whereby the wicket keeper actually stood behind the stumps! However Neeta with a hard hitting 52 not out and Gordon 9 not out took us to a victory for the loss of 6 wickets from 28 overs.
A few of us then savoured our victory in the Jolly Woodman with its marvellous Harvey's, where Upkar wisely pointed out to Darren a notice saying 'think before you drink before you drive'.