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Fixtures and Results | Match Reports

Date Against H/A Link Result Captain/Score
Sat 23 / 4 / 2011 Selly Park Tavern Away Won by 233 runs. Old Mo 301-5. Oppo 68



After 7 months, finally the cricket season returns. Greeted with cloudless skies and 25 degree heat wave conditions (it's April??) the assembled Fitmen, including debutant Phil Evans in as a late replacement, huddled in the sweltering porta cabins of Landrover Solihull.

Upon winning the toss (heads - thank god) we invited Selly Park to boil in the middle for 3 hours, whilst supping chilled beverages and applying sun cream. Butcher and Sharif opened the innings and went quietly about their business for the first 6 overs, getting used to the tennis ball bounce and grassy surface. I thought a score of 150 would be decent, but how wrong could i be? Sharif in aggressive mood, carved every type of ball through his favourite mid-off/on area, whilst Butcher lacerated the in-field with sumptuous drives and late cuts inflicting wounds on anything not of perfect line and length. The Blitzkrieg left the Selly Park bowlers stunned into bowling too full and too wide, bringing up the century partnership before Sharif was out LBW for 42, with Butcher already past the 50 mark, and early drinks were taken.

Enter stage left our very own Dumbledore, Richard Harris, who showed glimpses of his unquestionable talent before, in trying to keep pace with his partner, nicked one and was well caught by Selly Park captain Edge for 18. Seeing the ball smashed to all parts of the ground in the last 90 minutes, Chaz in his new number 4 slot, could not resist giving it the Yahoo from the off and was caught trying to put one into the nearby Jaguar plant for funnily enough 4.

Playing in his 14th “It’s my last game for the Fitmen” last game ever (apart from next week), super ‘keeper, Mark Tucker strode to the crease. After netting with his new friends in Oxford (Chubbly Village Division 8 southern sector C) Tucker was a revelation. With cultured, timed strokes along the ground and mincing nimble feet, it was like watching Wayne Sleep in his pomp. A massive partnership ensued. With Butcher’s knee in tatters his shot selection became (if this were possible) even more aggressive, passing the 100 mark and accelerating onto a mammoth career best 154 – an awesome innings. Tucker (36) and Butcher then very graciously departed to allow Ade and Raj in for the last 3 balls of the innings – cheers guys! Final total 301 for 5 off 40 overs.

The Victoria cream sponge at tea was quite remarkable, and as always the Selly Park boys were excellent hosts. With a decent total on the board, thoughts turned (over a 2nd slice of cream sponge) to being able to set an aggressive field. In hindsight, how I wish we could have gone for a traditional 5-4 field. Guy and Jonny H jnr opened the bowling, with Guy swinging it beautifully and at times unplayable. Jon was bowling a touch short and was clubbed through leg for a couple of boundaries before delivering a peach of a Yorker to claim the 1st wicket.

In the 5th over however, a horrendous incident with Chaz taking a middled pull shot straight to the face from 10 yards. To be fair he took the blow well, and despite a 2 inch cut, offered to bowl the next over, but a trip to A&E was advised. Who says the NHS is a joke? Certainly not from the experience of the Lode lane Solihull department. Despite the efforts of skipper for the day and his full repertoire of “oooh matron” puns, the skilled surgeons, glued Chaz’s eye and within the hour we were back at the ground to find the scorecard had under the temporary captaincy of Butcher moved from 25 for 1 to 57 for 8! Un-believable scenes!

Guy and Raj had both bagged 1 apiece whilst debutant Phil Evans had taken the 1st hatrick of his life and had finished with figures of 3 overs, 3 maidens, 0 Runs, 5 Wickets. Quite remarkable statistics. Rob Green and the returning Ade Martin mopped up the tail to leave Selly Park on 68 All out and a victory of 233 Runs.

Not a bad start to the season – especially for those with Mr Butcher as their fantasy captain!!