By Philip Barrass
So this is how it is. All that waiting and wondering. Would it be
as good as it seems? Would we look on the other team as all other
teams have looked on us? Would it hurt?
In the end it was so simple, so normal. No fuss, no mess, just
victory. No, not just victory, but victory by 108 runs. A country
mile, Blowers might have said. And Zac Curtis? A kicking horse in
full pomp, arm like a phaser set to kill (horse? centaur, perhaps).
No matter that Freddie Barrass ran himself out, that Rafe
Smallman and Tariq missed straight balls. AK Southey bashed robustly
and we had ONE HUNDRED AND EIIIIIIIIIGHTEEEEE!!!!
There was something familiar about the League of Ordinary Gentlemen.
Pleasant, good-natured people, a few very decent players, others
with a little work to do on technique. Something of the OFs about
them, I thought – nice name, too.
The finish was so sweet, so unexpected. Rafe lobbed down his looping
fizzers, bowled with the action of a man fitting an awkward duvet
cover. Twice in succession the recipients were bamboozled, twice AK
behind the stumps leapt for the kill. The third left Rafe’s hand,
heading mysteriously for the embryonic Olympic Village behind third
A deliberate wide to avoid being centre of attention – that’s the
kind of man he is. The fourth was grooved, bewildering, and lobbed
politely back to the bowler.
And that was that.
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