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SOBCC v Albir CC

Friday 25th June 2018 – Albir Cricket Club, Costa Blanca, Spain
On 15th June 2018, S.O.B.C.C. took the field in sunny Spain to take on Albir C.C for the first of two international cricket matches pencilled in for the season. The visitors demonstrated their commitment to the match by arriving in the Costa Blanca a couple of days early to acclimatise to the conditions and local environment.
Marsh (MCS) was quickly re-acquainted with the flock of ducks that had mugged him off last year after he failed to trouble the scorers. Stew Lewis (Mingo) suffered flashbacks at the sight of the stagnant pond believed to be responsible for his bout of Lyme disease last year. MCS lost the toss and suggested the opposition bat so they could fill their boots – unsurprisingly the request to reduce the game to a single super over fell on deaf ears.
After trying to injure himself the previous night, Townsend (Paul) was forced to open and bowl his allotted 8 overs as punishment for game-avoidance attention seeking. His fourth ball produced a wicket, with Hazlewood (Chef) taking an unexpected stunner in the slips – much to his surprise when he eventually opened his eyes. Rees jnr (Paul) opened from the other end and took 4 deliveries to actually get one to the other end of the wicket – sadly it was not the wicket we were playing on. After discounting ball size, sun cream, sweat, bandana, temperature and artificial wicket, it was agreed ability and alcohol were behind his sorry demise. After Mingo, dressed in pinks rather than whites, took a sharp catch slashed to gulley off Townsend, Rees rewarded his 6 overs of toil with a C&B.
With the top 3 of the home side in the shed, those watching may have considered we were in for a contest between bat and ball. Those on the pitch knew differently. As Hazlewood, Rees Snr (Paul), McCarthy (Sue) and Marsh, took over the bowling, the hosts piled on the misery in the increasingly hot (and sadly dry – in more ways than one) afternoon. Martin Lewis (Butch) was belatedly brought into the attack to buy a wicket. This was done with just 30 runs off two 10 ball overs – Mingo the recipient of the ‘dolly’ to gulley. Rees Jnr returned to pick up a wicket – this time more sober and unable to blame sun cream or small balls for his inability. France (Jim) produced a stunning two overs, by his standards, to wrap up the host's innings at 259 for 6 off 40 overs. As the visitors left the field it was noted Ashman was still on the floor, having been unable to regain his feet without help after bending down to pick up the ball #beetle
Townsend  8 – 0 – 50 – 2
Rees Jnr  8 – 0 – 23 – 3
Hazlewood  6 – 0 – 27 – 0
Rees Snr  5 – 0 – 31 – 0
McCarthy  4 – 0 – 39 – 0
Marsh  5 – 0 – 38 – 0
Lewis  2 – 0 – 30 – 1
France  2 – 0 – 15 - 0
After some interval liquid refreshments and sustenance, Hazlewood eating before the chairman, SOBCC front-loaded their batting with those in trouble for game avoidance or lightweights who can’t drink.  Townsend was duly punished and forced to bat with Mingo. They seemed comfortable at the crease, or as comfortable as you can be when inebriated and having a red rock repeatedly hurled in your general direction, as they took the score past 50. Townsend (25) was the first to fall, playing an extravagant sweep to a straight one, followed quickly by Stew Lewis (32). This brought Marsh and McCarthy to the crease. The former, shocked by how quick the ball arrives when your drunk, advised the latter not to play any attacking shots to straight deliveries. A hoik to cow’s corner saw McCarthy clean bowled for a swift 10. France quickly came and went…………….bringing Rees Jnr and his floral bandana to the crease. A partnership quickly developed which left most wondering if it was possible to sober up that quickly or whether both batsmen hadn’t drunk enough.
Rees showed his age by running Marsh into the ground in pursuit of the distant total. Marsh just showed his age. When Rees departed for a sublime 31, Marsh looked in the shed to see what batting was to come. The jollity in the pavilion and myriad of empty pint glasses prompted him to take on the bowling attack.  After being bowled for 100 (eclipsing the previous high score this year of 98.5) it was a matter of time before the innings came to an abrupt conclusion. Rees Snr, Ashman, Hazlewood, Lewis and Russell, didn’t disappoint – scoring 11 runs between them and leaving SOBCC on an admirable 217 off 38 overs. Another well-earned second place for the boys in white (other than Mingo – in pink).
Townsend 25, Lewis 32, McCarthy 10, Marsh 100, France 8, Rees Jnr 31, Rees Snr 3, Ashman 6*, Hazlewood 2, Lewis M 0, Russell 0.
M.O.M – The fourth duck from the left as you look from the far side of the pond.
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