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Tue 14th May 2019 vs. Isis (H) @ Appleton

Match report


2019’s first T20 game of the season saw IVCC meet the Isis infidels at the neutral Appleton turf on a warm early summer’s evening.

Despite half of the Villagers still en route, the Isis captain insisted upon a toss. Luckily stand-in skipper Ross won the toss and 10-man IVCC were able to fat burst in glorious sunshine. Aww Yeah Mate Conway took the first ball alongside regular opener Meier against the world’s slowest bowling attack. Making Dickie Tyler look like Curtly Ambrose; the hips creaked as wisps of tousled grey hair danced a merry jig in the summer’s breeze and gentle tweakers were launched like apologetically-slow grenades by the Isis heretics. With each ball taking, on average, 4 minutes from time of release to time of pitching, the space time continuum (and this writer’s similes) was stretched to breaking point. Entire galaxies were created and destroyed, and black holes appeared and bent time, much like Doc Brown and Marty McFly did in Back to the Future. And how fitting that IVCC should gun it to 88 off their 20 overs.

Crocodile Conway was caught early doors, spanking one down mid-off’s throat for just a single. Meier, seemingly batting blindfolded whilst submerged in quicksand, managed a paltry 3 before being bowled by a ball he attempted to play 4 times before it finally reached him. Luckily, we had Olly ‘McFly’ Ross at the wheel of the IVCC Delorean, and he showed his usual composure, punctuated with the extravagance of the Radley LeaveTM coupled with some customary big hitting. One hoik over the legside boundary nearly found its way into what Tim Ellis had earlier noted was “a very long cow shed”, because that’s exactly what it was – a very long cow shed.

Rob ‘Biff’ Berry bullied his way to a blustery 9 with some lusty blows before he made like a tree and got outta there – another victim to a ball that took so long to arrive that it received its own telegram from the Queen by the time it tickled Daylight’s wood. Did I also mention that the bowling was really slow? No..? Oh.

The lesser-spotted Attilio arrived at the crease next. Short, balding and ruggedly handsome, IVCC’s answer to Jason Statham took his opportunity to Snatch a rare chance to improve his batting total for the Village. Entering the pressure cooker of an innings in danger of an embarrassing collapse, could this Mean Machine go Fast and Furious at the bowling, Crank up the score and prove himself anything but Expendable? He was a Wild Card for sure, but the skipper felt he was a Safe choice to Blitz the opposition bowling and be the Mechanic to jump start this Death Race. IVCC were staring down the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels here, but Tils Leccissotti nurdled the singles and doubles expertly, and soon Transported the score from ‘very mediocre’ to ‘slightly less mediocre’ – notching up an enterprising 10 runs before he was stumped dancing down the wicket.

The end of the Village’s innings saw some cameos from Brown (bowled by a ball that was slower than a herd of snails travelling through peanut butter, for 5), and Troth (caught for 4), whilst the swashbuckling Taylor and Tim ‘James Milner’ Ellis both secured red inkers – Ross having earlier been caught at backward point, slicing a ball that was wider than Octo-Mum’s fanny. So, IVCC had once again gone Back to the Future and recalled defending an even smaller total of 70 against the very same side. Could we do it again? Runs…? Where we’re going, we don’t need runs.

[Should probably note at this point that if you’ve not seen Back to the Future, or perhaps you’re not completely au fait with the Statham filmography, or perhaps you’ve little interest in famous movie lawyers, or haven’t quite committed the Diana Ross back catalogue to memory, then this match report will read like the ramblings of a certifiable madman.]

Tim Ellis, usually renowned for his miserly love-making techniques, was able to transpose those skills to the cricket pitch and bowled 4 probing overs of quite breathtakingly attractive medium pace to leave IVCC’s latest ringer, Terence ‘Trent-D’Arby’ Woodhall, breathless and gagging for more. But 4 overs is all that this format allows, Terry. Ellis closed with parsimonious figures of 4-0-6-0, and was unlucky to remain wicketless. The law-whore Nick Brown steamed in from the Sewage Works end as if carried by a strong gust of wind, a wind that brought with it sulphuric wafts of odious stink the likes of which filled the lungs and stung the nostrils – and not in a good way. A gentle pinch to the shoulder curtailed a promising start for the young whippersnapper. Was this the real reason that IVCC’s very own Atticus Finch only bowled 2 overs, skipper? I want the truth!

You Can’t Handle the Troth was up next and was immediately seeing success with that holy grail of cricketing combos – line and length – and had their opener LBW for just 2. With runs harder to come by than a post-marital threesome, the Islamic State soon found themselves falling behind the impossibly low required run rate. Could the unthinkable happen? Could the Villagers once again find themselves securing the most unlikely of victories again? Read on to find out…

So, with Pigs Troth bowling accurately at one end, skipper Diana Ross took up the ball from the other. Knowing that there Aint No Mountain High Enough that this team can’t climb, he confidently tested the resolve of the other opener. “I’m Coming Out!” he cried (to no one's actual surprise), but it was the opp opener who came out, clean bowled by a Diana off cutter. Seeing him splatter those stumps certainly made this writer wish that Ross would Touch Me in the Morning. And yet the Endless Love continued when Ross did Reach Out and Touch the Isis #3’s stumps with the ball, leaving the opposition reeling at 34 for 3. But whilst Isis’s O. Walter continued to nurdle his side forward, others around him wilted like a post-orgasmic phallus. Ross once again proving that It’s My House and he was The Boss, Taking Me Higher with another two wickets to return sumptuous figures of 4-1-3-4.

The bowlers were all backed up with a committed performance in the field, with Villagers hurling themselves at the ball to keep the boundaries to a minimum, with special mentions to the Conman, and No Hands Taylor for their efforts. As the overs ticked by and their score inched towards the magical 88, The Meg Leccisotti and Meier were entrusted with the final few overs. Whilst Tils’ first over proved expensive, Meier’s was strangely quiet, yielding a paltry 2 runs from it, and just what the doctor ordered. However, LesserSpaghetti soon found his rhythm and the runs dried up whilst they overflowed a little at Meier’s end. The result? 8 runs needed to win from the last over, to be bowled by Attilio the Hun. A single followed a single, then a hastily scrambled 2, then 2 more singles. If I’ve done my maths correctly (and I’m no A Beautiful Mind here), then that should add up to 2 needed off the last ball to win. With the non-striker backing up, a mankad dismissal would have been a cruel way to win the game. But the IVCC mandem don’t play like that, so Tils served up a straight one that diverted a little off the pitch, and took a thin edge through to the keeper. It was a half-chance at best, and Daylight was unlucky to only get a finger to it and they hastily scrambled a single.

And so, the very first tie in IVCC’s history. A low-scoring game with neither side really deserving the victory so a tie seemed like the fairest result. Great Scott (that’s another Back to the Future reference for you)!

Man of the Match: Olly Ross.

Ali Meier, Chairman, 15 May 2019