The Trinidad Test
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Carib Beer XI vs RSSB, Regents Park,

24th June 2013


The Caribs arrived at Regents Park hoping to recover from the unexpected hammering the previous week at the hands of the GHD team. We consoled ourselves with the thought that we had narrowly beaten RSSB the previous two seasons, so we at least stood a chance. We were of course bolstered by the return of our talismanic captain, leader and Chairman, Martin Haigh and by one-time batsman of the year Carib Tungate.

However we had been struck down to 9 players on the morn of the match when Ringer Fyfe and ageing medium pacer Carib Rogerson both cried off sick. Olly's excuse was deemed fairly feeble in that he had pulled a hamstring/calf whilst doing referee training, it was thought that the speed of a Carib match would not put too much strain on an injured muscle. The reason for the ageing/balding Carib Rogerson's absence was somewhat more mysterious, there were rumours of an Essex based all day drinking event the previous weekend that could have been one explanation.

However the Carib ringers obviously attracted by a game in the pleasant climes of Regents park were able to step up at the last minute and ringer Horn fresh from his Carib debut the previous week and ringer Handy (formerly of Carib nemesis Newman House Cardinals) were both able to cancel their Monday evenings in with wives/girlfriends/the TV and turn up in some makeshift kit. We were very grateful for their presence, especially as the game proceeded and there was a lot of chasing the ball around all parts of the ground.

The good news continued when skipper Martin won the toss and promptly asked the rest of the team what we wanted to do. The team were stunned in to silence, having never been previously consulted on such a monumental decision, we all kind of mumbled to ourselves. Having been given no advice whatsoever Martin decided to bat and promptly started putting the batting pads on to open the innings himself. Newest Carib member Rohit (Ken) attired in the official Carib colours for the first time was given the honour of opening the batting, and then promptly disappeared. Opposition, umpires and his opening partner all stood around for 5 minutes wondering if the thought of opening the innings had been too much for him. Martin was on the verge of changing the batting order when Rohit (Ken) returned and the match was able to commence.

To say the RSSB opening bowlers struggled with their length would be something of an understatement. The square leg umpires were overworked in judging numerous deliveries to be above waist high no balls. Quite a lot of the deliveries were in fact above head high Rohit (Ken) style beamers. Once the RSSB bowlers found the pitch there was some decent bowling which was met with stout defence by the Carib openers. Eventually Rohit (Ken) broke the shackles and hit a powerful slog through midwicket, unfortunately for him it was straight at RSSB Aiden who took a good low catch.

This brought compulsive bouncer bowler Jarrod Worthy to the crease for a rare appearance at the top of the batting order. After avoiding a few more beamers Jarrod started to see the ball well and hit several lusty blows to see him to a suspected personal best score of 21 for the Caribs. Perhaps he was also inspired by the presence of new Carib kit in the form of the new style headwear. Eventually there was one big hit too many and Jarrod departed bowled by RSSB Duggan, but not before he had boosted the Carib run-rate.

Meanwhile at the other end skipper Martin was serenely playing his way to another unbeaten 25 and a retirement again. Martin is looking a strong favourite for the Carib batting title at this stage of the season.

Carib Cordey and Weaver were now at the crease scoring at somewhat different rates. Northern pie magnate Cordey fresh from his 7 ball 25 the previous week quickly progressed to another unbeaten 25, putting him close behind our captain and leader, Martin Haigh in that batting title race. Carib Weaver played in a contrasting style continuing his pursuit to face the most dot balls this season.

At this point the RSSB skipper having encouraged his team throughout in a typical Aussie style brought himself on to bowl the death overs. This brought a slight decrease in the scoring rate as Caribs Weaver and Tungate found it difficult to get the Aussie away. Both Caribs fell to the accurate and effective Aussie bowling, a phrase surely not to be repeated often during the upcoming Ashes series.

Meanwhile on the sidelines, Caribs Moss, Bowen and Berry had resigned themselves to not needing to bat due to the prowess of the top order. However they were kept entertained by the encyclopedic sporting knowledge of Carib Treasurer Berry. We learnt of the news from Wimbledon of Rafa Nadal both on and off the court. Gordon was forced to quickly explain to his wife, who had been duped in to coming along to watch the Caribs, that knowledge of sporting scandals was an important part of his job.

Back in the middle Ringer Handy was able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and finished not out. The Caribs had posted a very respectable 133/4. Probably one of the higher Carib batting totals ever.

The Caribs took to the field for the RSSB innings confident that we had a good chance of victory with the required run rate being nearly 7 an over. However RSSB Aiden clearly had other ideas as he took a liking to the opening bowling of compulsive bouncer bowler Jarrod Worthy and newest Carib member Rohit (Ken). RSSB quickly reached 33/0 from 3 overs and suddenly 7 an over didn't look too difficult a challenge. However Carib Nag (Ken) bowled a much improved second over and sent the middle stump of RSSB Anthony cartwheeling out of the ground to put the brakes on RSSB a little. Things quickly changed again in this topsy-turvy encounter as RSSB Neil & Nikhil continued the good work in the RSSB top order with the Caribs struggling to find a wicket. Even the normally reliable darts of Northern pie magnate Cordey was to the liking of the RSSB bowlers with unusually expensive figures for Phil. However he was able to entice Carib Nikhil to sky one delivery which was well caught by Carib Nag (Ken).

The mini Carib fightback continued thanks to our inspirational leader Martin who was able to force RSSB Rob to spoon a chance up in the air that was taken well by the safe hands of Carib Cordey. Some appalling running then left our leader Martin with a straight forward run out chance again from his own bowling. Martin was soon in the action again as another spiralling catch from his bowling was this time taken by Carib wicketkeeper Bowen.

However RSSB were not to be denied, RSSB skipper Aussie Glen was doing a good job of farming the strike and was able to guide his side in to sight of victory with a solid unbeaten 27. As we were missing the bowling of ageing medium pacer Carib Rogerson, we were forced to turn to Carib Tungate and Ringer Horn to bowl some fill in overs. Given their respective skill at bowling out girls in matches earlier this season they were probably disappointed to have to be facing the tough Aussie and so were not able to match their previous exploits and take any wickets.

But the match was not over, Carib Nag (Ken) cleaned up RSSB Wayne with the stumps sent flying again. Frequent score checks were asked for and the news was that 30 runs were required from the last 5 overs, so it was looking like a tense finish especially as RSSB numbers 9 & 10 were now at the crease. However RSSB Ricardo who according to the RSSB umpire "had never hit a six in his life" made that statistic look unlikley with 2 mighty blows that both cleared the boundary easily, 1 each from returning opening bowlers Worthy and Nag (Ken). That sealed the match and another boundary meant that RSSB had reached their target with 10 balls to spare.

Thanks to the return of Caribs Martin and Bowen there were less arguments than usual over who was taking the bags, so we were able to swiftly make our way to the Green Man pub for the usual post match analysis and a beer or two with the opposition. Even the usually negative Carib Nag (Ken) was positive in his views on the match, so hopefully the Caribs can build on the performance. However next week's match against long time Carib bashers, The Dodgers, promises to be a tricky test.

We look forward to taking on RSSB again next year for what promises to be another close encounter.

Carib Beer XI Lose by 4 Wickets


Martin Haigh   not out 27 (27)
Rohit Nag C ? B Duggan 2 (7)
Jarrod Worthy   B Duggan 21 (14)
Andy Weaver C and B Len 10 (20)
Phil Cordey   not out 28 (18)
Jim Handy   not out 17 (14)
Dan Tungate   B Len 6 (15)
Tom   not out 0 (1)
EXTRAS   8b 9nb 6w 23
TOTAL   (20 Overs) 133-4
Kapoor 4-0-32-0 Duggan 4-0-16-2
Aiden 4-0-25-0 Ajay 2-0-17-0
Len 4-0-14-2 Ricardo 1-0-11-0
Anthony 1-0-11-0    
Anthony   B Nag 5
Aiden   not out 25
Neil   run out 22
Nikhil C Nag B Cordey 19
Rob C Cordey B Haigh 3
Glen   not out 25
Paul C Bowen B Haigh 1
Wayne   B Nag 1
Ricardo   not out 13
Aquel   not out 7
EXTRAS   2b 3nb 9w 14
TOTAL   (18.2 Overs) 135-6
Jarrod Worthy 3.2-0-38-0 Rohit Nag 3-0-21-2
Phil Cordey 4-0-30-1 Dan Tungate 2-0-13-0
Martin Haigh 4-0-11-2 Tom 2-0-21-0