Carib Beer XI v IBM - 28th May 2014 - Battersea Park.

The Caribs second game of the season saw a trip to South West London and another gloomy day. However the Battersea Park pitch inspectors saw the ground deemed fit for play meaning the Carib weather doom-mongerers were proved incorrect once again. Our opposition were the IBM team who were one of only two teams defeated by the Caribs last season, and following a win in our previous match the Caribs were hopeful of another victory. The match was again 10-a-side with the usual late drop out of Carib Rayner reducing our numbers.

This game saw the return of our inspirational leader, chairman and captain Martin Haigh, which meant a much restricted drinking evening for the Caribs, especially after a rare win at the toss, leading to the Caribs choosing to bat first.

As usual there wasn’t a mad rush of volunteers to open the batting, so like in our first match Essex boy Carib Willis volunteered. His opening partner was part time slow bowler Carib Moss who put himself forward having batted last the previous week. The reason for Carib Moss batting last the previous week soon became apparent as he swung and missed at balls with remarkable consistency. At the other end Carib Willis was slowly accumulating and looking like he was starting to play himself in. However Carib Moss keen to contribute something to the team called Carib Willis through for a quick single after a fumble by the IBM wicket keeper. However the fumble actually deflected straight to IBM Nicholson fielding at gully. The Moss call of “yes yes”, was then quickly followed by “no no no no!” However this was too late for Carib Willis, as he turned like the QE2 and a direct hit meant he was short of his ground, left high and dry by the dodgy calling. Glaring at Carib Moss as he left the field Barry was consoled by captain Haigh by immediately being sent out to field for the opposition as a sub fielder. Barry was remarkably keen to get out in the field, no doubt desperate for an opportunity to run out Carib Moss in return. Northern pie magnate Carib Cordey was next man in and played in his usual style with massive swings at every delivery. Unusually for Phil he didn’t get his usual boundary in and was soon trudging back to the sidelines for a duck. Chairman/captain Carib Haigh then strolled out to the crease to try and give the innings some impetuous. 

At the other end, the torturous innings of Carib Moss finally came to its conclusion; he eventually managed to get bat on ball, but only succeeded in hitting it straight to the back pedalling IBM Nicholson fielding at cover. Mercifully this now meant Carib Nag (Ken) came to the crease, confident from being top scorer the previous week to join our leader Martin. So something of a partnership was put together, providing a much needed boost to the low scoring rate, though credit due to the IBM bowlers who were a much stronger proposition than they had been in previous seasons. Particular credit to IBM Wright who bowled two consecutive wicket-maidens. Martin was looking good at the crease and seeming likely to add to his string of 25 not out scores from last season. However a stunning low catch by IBM skipper Nicholson saw Martin on his way for just 10. Newest Carib member Holmes was now in the middle, but having only scored 1 run, got his second dodgy lbw decision in 2 games this season. Alex was very unlucky to be given out in this way, by usual staunch non-lbw umpire Carib Lee. He trudged off complaining that the big bruise on his inner thigh surely meant the ball was too high.

However Carib treasurer Berry came to the rescue of the team with a very assured innings, perhaps helped a little by the IBM bowling not being quite as strong in the middle part of the Carib innings. However Rohit (Ken) and Gordon put together a very good partnership which saw Rohit (Ken) the first Carib of the season to retire on 25not out. The IBM opening bowlers returned but Carib Berry stayed solid and saw the innings through with a very respectable 19 not out, ably assisted by some lower order hitting from bouncer bowling Carib Worthy and wicketkeeper-batsman Bowen.  Unusually for the Caribs this meant we didn’t even use all our batsman with Carib Weaver not required to bat. The Caribs finished on 100-6, perhaps looking a little short on runs, but in the ever increasing gloomy conditions this looked a competitive total.

The IBM innings started slowly with Caribs Worthy and Willis bowling tight wicket taking opening spells. IBM being 8-2 after 4 overs. This was despite Carib skipper Haigh dropping a straight forward catch at mid-on from bouncer bowler Worthy. However Martin was able to redeem himself straight away taking a much more difficult chance the following over from Jarrod.  Usual opening fast bowler Carib Nag (Ken) was being held back to bowl in the most dangerous conditions possible later in the innings. Fortunately we were using the imfamous pink balls today so the threat to life never came to pass. Carib Cordey came on to bowl his usual pie-chuckers, but despite protesting that he wasn’t bowling well returned very tidy figures of 2-19, helped by another very good catch from Martin still fielding at mid-on. Martin presumably now full of confidence having taken the 2 good catches brought himself on to bowl at the IBM middle order. Another good spell of bowling followed with Martin finishing with great figures of 2-10. In amongst that spell was a quite bizarre run out which seemed to be missed by most of the Carib team who had already started to move positions at the end of an over, not realising that the unfortunate IBM Vinson had been run out without even facing a ball; a rare diamond duck, not seen in a Carib match since the legendary appearances of ringer James Gray a couple of seasons ago.

Things were looking very dicey for IBM at this stage with 7 wickets down and many runs still required. However IBM had an ace up their sleeve with batsman Holliday now at the crease. Never looking in any trouble he cruised to 25 not out in very quick time, ably supported by IBM skipper Nicholson. He retired to the relief of the Caribs with last man in Baker-Bryan sent in. Carib Rohit (Ken) had finally been called on to bowl at this stage and soon dismissed IBM Baker-Bryan. This meant IBM needed 20 runs to win from the final 4 overs with just their last wicket pair remaining. One wicket would do it for the Caribs, however the last pair of IBM was just too strong as a barrage of boundaries meant they reached the necessary total with 8 balls to spare, for a very narrow 1 wicket victory.

So a second tight game in a row for the Caribs this season left us with a 1-1 record. It was off to the pub for some and off home for others. Carib Willis as usual led the charge to the pub, leaving him vulnerable to the late night train home to Essex…..

Scorecard - Carib Beer XI Lose by 1 wicket

Carib Beer XI
Andy Moss Caught Holliday Bowled Wright 0 (12)
Barry Willis   Run Out 5 (8)
Phil Cordey Caught ? Bowled Baker-Bryan 0 (3)
Martin Haigh Caught Nicholson Bowled Wright 10 (11)
Rohit Nag   Not out 25 (21)
Alex Holmes LBW Bowled Wright 1 (10)
Gordon Berry   Not out 19 (25)
Jarrod Worthy Caught ? Bowled Berenski 6 (16)
Andy Bowen   Not out 11 (10)
Andy Weaver   DNB  
EXTRAS     23
TOTAL   For 6 (20 Overs) 100
Berenski 4-0-14-1 Baker-Bryan 4-0-21-1
Wright 4-2-12-3 Holliday 4-0-18-0
Nicholson 4-0-30-0    
Grisman   Bowled Willis 5
Beremski Caught Haigh Bowled Worthy 1
Brocklehurst Bowled Cordey 11
Fennelly   Bowled Haigh 5
Vinson   Run Out (Cordey) 0
Wright Caught Haigh Bowled Cordey 8
Vanneck   Bowled Haigh 0
Holliday   Not Out 40
Nicholson   Not out 15
JBB   Bowled Nag 5
EXTRAS     14
TOTAL   For 8 (18.4 Overs) 104
Jarrod Worthy 4-0-34-1 Barry Willis 2-1-1-1
Phil Cordey 4-0-19-2 Haigh 4-1-10-2
Rohit Nag 3.4-0-25-1 Andy Weaver 1-0-11-0

Carib Beer XI Lose by 1 wicket