Holmesy Select VI triumph after league fixture disappointment

After the showers came the sun...but no Active Life. In the absence of any opposition last night a six-a-side pairs match was hastily arranged with captains Peter Mellis and David Holmes picking teams by the laws of the playground (McGill was last picked).

The teams lined up thus:

Holmes, Crawford, Rougvie, McGill, Balani, McGuigan

Mellis, Stevens, Vaidya, Tauro, Hines, Lawson

Rules were as follows: Each team started on 200 runs. Each pair of batsmen had four overs and were deducted 8 runs for each wicket lost. Each fielder bowled two overs.

Mellis won the "toss" and elected to bat, sending in his own Little Master and Kapil Dev in the shape of Ani and Humphrey. The only thing masterful in the opening partnership, however, was the bowling. So unexpected was the quality that it threw both batsmen into disarray, wildly swinging at anything and generally finding themselves caught, bowled, lbw or stumped. At one point Team Mellis had even dropped below 200 runs.

Indeed Crawford and Rougvie, two of the last people you would normally ask to bowl, bagged themselves two wickets apiece and every bowler took at least one.

With a player of the quality of Toby Stevens, one might imagine that any deficit left by the opening partnership would be quickly erased, especially facing the bowling of a wicketkeeper, but still the wickets kept tumbling and Stevens will not want to remember being bowled by Jack McGill.

The final pairing had to contend with the Bombay Mix served up by Bharat who had Alan Lawson beaten all ends up on a number of occasions. What Peter Mellis thought could be achieved with his last ball suicide run, no one knows but he was roundedly booed by his teammates after the run out cost them another eight runs, leaving them on a disappointing 212 for 9.

In response, the Holmes VI made light work of their target - in unspectacular fashion, if the captain of the opposition is to be believed. The opening pair of Rougvie and McGill put on an unbeaten 44 and were followed by an excellent 21 from man of the match Ewan Crawford in an almost unblemished partnership with Stephen McGuigan, who lost a wicket on their last ball. The final pairing of Holmesy and Bharat got within a whisker of the hundred with some excellent shotmaking before Bharat succumbed to a delighted Peter Mellis. The final pairing also brought the moment of the match with Bharat forced to run four and being lapped by his skipper in so doing.

At the end, 79 runs was a comfortable margin of victory, the winners finishing on 291-2.

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