December 17th came, it could only mean one thing. Yes, the return of the Red Barons vs Blue Jokes fixture! 5pm, the toss was done by 2 of the worst coin tossers and without the umpires being prepared, classic! However a wise choice from The Barons’ captain, Hazman, to bat first after winning his 3rd toss for the season against Jokes’ captain, Morto. The sun was shining as Ary and Jake went out to bat against the Blue Jokes who were figuring out why they had 10 players to start!
The 1st over was bowled by Si-bourg at Nav’s end, maiden first up against Ary! Maltby rocks up with his leggies next over at Timmy’s end and Jake bashed 8 off the over. After preparing for a game on turf rather than astro, Kaushik comes up and it was a 2nd maiden over bowled at Nav’s end. Seriously, Red Barons, it’s a T20 not the Ashes! Next over bowled by Sammy Herps, and bang, Si-bourg destroys the stumps and Nav’s beer bottle with a direct hit. Jake was out, Nate “Pablo” D’Silva came in at 3.
Ary battled through to 25 before retiring, Tom Scott joined Nate at the crease. Father Jude came on to bowl and after being thumped for a 4 by Nate, he gets his youngest caught! Bragging rights to Jude…. for now. At the 1/2way stage, the Red Barons were 2/54.
Kaushik comes on to bowl his 2nd over in the 12th for the innings, out went KRB caught behind by Brett for 13. Belly was in next, fireworks, right? Morto loosening himself up to bowl to Belly the next over. Well, not required as Kaushik got Belly caught behind off the last ball of his over, finishing with 2/0 off 2 overs, a Red Barons vs Blue Jokes record for least runs conceded!! Special guest, Georgia Lomis-Futeran, was in next as she and Tom looked to get the Red Barons back on track. The 11th player for the Blue Jokes, Andy Mooney, arrived and went through his 2 overs quickly. Tom fell to David “Goliath” Wilson 2 overs later, skipper Haz enters. 35 runs were scored between Haz and Georgia in the next 5 overs, before Georgia fell to Father Jude, caught and bowled. Has retires on 26 in a flash before The Don demolished 17 runs in the last 2 overs, including 2 straight 6s over Morto’s head!
126 was the target set for the Blue Jokes, and after the paparazzi took some photos of both teams and a beer from Jake in an attempt at receiving some favourable umpiring decisions, Morto and Kaushik strode out to the middle to meet the opening bowlers, Barny and Ash Pini. Fast start the Blue Jokes wanted, a fast start they got, although Morto got outdone by some dynamic bowling from Ash to be caught behind. Kaushik was going nicely, until the Don got him caught at short-midwicket, the score 2/31 off 4 overs. Number 3 bat, Maltby, was looking comfortable until Tom Scott got him caught at mid-off. Captain Hazman came onto bowl, 4th ball he held onto a stunning 1-handed return catch off the bat of David “Goliath’ Wilson that was destined to scone the ump. Cheers for the protection, skip! Brett and Andy Mooney began consolidating, the score at the halfway stage, 4/61 and the umpires at last got another beer.
Brett retires on 25 not too long after, Father Jude enters the middle and Nate immediately gets the ball for revenge. 1st ball, bouncer! 2nd ball, fuller deliver worked for 2. 3rd ball, yep you guessed it, bouncer! Hostile stuff from young Nate! Next ball, caressed for 4. 5th ball, mhmm, bouncer! 6th ball, another attempted bouncer that didn’t get up as much, top edge, caught by Jake at square leg. J D’Silva out caught by J D’Silva off the bowling off N D’Silva. Bragging rights back to young Nate and Jake! Rohan and Andy (18) followed soon after, the Blue Jokes limping at 7/112 off 18 overs, 14 runs to get.
Some clever rotation of strike from Jimmy and Si-bourg brought the required runs down to 7 off the last over, Ary to bowl. Straight away a 3 was scored by Simon, then a dot followed by a single each to Jimmy and Si-bourg. 2 off 2, surely the Blue Jokes have it in the bag. Not quite on Ary’s watch! Yorker outside off, dot! 2 off 1 required. Another yorker outside off, Si-bourg makes the striker’s end, the throw from Belly ricochets off Jimmy running to the other end, he’s runout! The Red Barons victorious by the barest of margins!!
The match was played in great spirit, heckling lacked wit as per usual and there was very little service of alcohol for the umps when requested on field. But nonetheless, the night was enjoyable, many thanks to Beeps and Rabs for organising the night, Mike Ward for selecting the teams and to Ivan, Brett, Rafa and Nick Sherlock for your help with canteen, bar and BBQ.