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June 22, 2008 Friendly vs Tower of Dudes Won by 2 wickets

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The noble winners: (standing L-R) Chris Sweet, AK Southey, Peter Rowson, Robert Press, Darren Tempany, Greg Clifford; (kneeling L-R) Peter Frisby, John Shaw, Chris Curley, Russell Balkind; (recumbent) Justin Roy
Extras victory

By Russell Balkind

Imagine, if you will, the perfect cricket match. Good weather? Check. Lovely ground? Check. Two well-matched teams? Check. Stomach churning moments of jeopardy? Check. Tension? Check. A boy being dragged off his feet by a giant kite? Check. A dog invading the pitch to do some business? Check. Its owner following on to collect said business? Check.

Sunday's match between The Old Fallopians and the clearly Czech folk- rock inspired (Should that be Check folk rock? Ed) Tower of Dudes featured all of these characteristics and more. A quick glance at the scorecard may lead you to believe that it was Extras who was the deciding factor between these two teams but that would be hasty. In truth it was Fallopian experience and not a little luck that saw them emerge as victors.

AK Southey (one of several Kolpakkers plying their trade for The Fallopians) was captain for the day and, after winning the toss, he decided to bowl in sunny if blustery conditions on Hampstead Heath.

The opening bowlers soon made their mark on the inexperienced Dude batting line-up. Peter Frisby (bowling up the hill and into a force nine gale) bowled a lovely line in his opening 4 over spell picking up 2-12. He was ably assisted by the surprisingly tall Darren Tempany, making a welcome return to the Fallopian cause after plying his trade for a team in a 'league'.

Together they stifled the Dudes forcing them to take risks in order to keep the scoreboard ticking over. It was this risk taking that would see the end Peel and Breen the former taking a silly run to a panther like Chris Curley who threw down the stumps at the non-strikers end and the latter trying to sweep a straight one from John Shaw and finding himself bowled.

The Dudes were now 4 down for not very many. Enter Owen Powell to begin a rebuilding job with the steady opener Harvey. Together they fought off the Fallopians with a mixture of luck and some judicious shots including a well-swept boundary for Powell off the bowling of Roy. Both Powell and Harvey battled with Curley's brilliant exhibition of leg-spin bowling. After missing the field with a series of lofted shots, Powell eventually perished to a well-flighted delivery for a plucky 14.

At this point The Fallopian tails were up. The Dudes' foundations were rocking and their tower was about to come crashing down. Not if Charlie Beall had anything to do with it however. After being dropped off his first delivery (the ball looped awkwardly into the sun, honest!), Beall set about the Fallopian bowling with glee smiting a series of leg side boundaries including 5 successive scoring shots of 4.

It took the return of Frisby to put pay to Beall (after Balkind narrowly missed running him out in a piece of fielding that Jonty Rhodes would have been proud of had it hit). Beall had never hit a 50 until he met the Fallopians but he left the field with 51 well-made runs to his name. At the other end the Dude captain Penn made a tidy 19 before chopping straight to a languid Robert Press at backward point.

Once the mainstays of the Dudes innings had been removed, Southey brought Tempany back into the attack to mop up the tail which he duly did bowling Layton and Harvey for low scores. The other Dude wicket was taken by Justin Roy who finished with 1-7 off his 3 overs. This was the Dudes first ever match and they made a pretty good fist of their first innings closing on 139 all out.

The Tower of Dudes opening bowler Charlie Layton hadn't bowled for 8 years before Sunday's match. After the match on Sunday he was probably wondering whether he might be playing for England had he spent those 8 years honing his bowling. Admittedly aided by some inconsistent bounce and a Fallopian penchant for hanging around on the backfoot, Layton ripped through the Fallopian top order taking 3-6 in his opening four over spell.

However the Dudes hadn't counted on the splendid efforts of Justin Roy and Robert Press who put on 64 for the 4th wicket including a brutal assault on Guardian cricket correspondent Lawrence Booth who Press hit four boundaries in a single over. Press eventually departed to a terrible shot caught and bowled by Higgins for 32 and Roy was bowled by the seemingly indefatigable Layton for 26.

Captain Southey departed to a dubious LBW decision and the Fallopians were under the cosh once more. Surely they couldn't lose from here. Balkind and Tempany came and went without really troubling the scorers greatly. In the end, it was left to Curley and Shaw to see the Fallopians home without any further loss.

This was the Tower of Dudes first match and I, for one, hope that it won't be their last

The brave losers: a formation of Dudes

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Tower of Dudes 139 (33.2 overs)
Old Fallopians 140-8 (33.2 overs)
Old Fallopians won by 2 wickets
Tower of Dudes
  How out Bowler Runs Sixes Fours
Higgins Bowled Frisby 5    
Harvey Caught Clifford Roy 21    
Booth Caught Clifford Frisby 0    
Peel Run out   6    
Breen Bowled Shaw 0    
Powell Caught Southey Curley 14    
Beall LBW Frisby 51    
Penn Caught Press Frisby 19    
Layton Bowled Tempany 7    
Henry Bowled Tempany 1    
Le May Not out   0    
Extras  15    


  Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Tempany 7 1 24 2
Frisby 6.2 1 21 4
Shaw 4 2 7 1
Curley 6 0 38 1
Roy 3 0 7 1
Southey 4 1 17 0
Balkind 3 0 21 0
Old Fallopians
  How out Bowler Runs Sixes Fours
Chris Sweet Bowled Layton 0    
Peter Rowson Bowled Layton 6    
Robert Press Ct & Bowled Higgins 32    
Greg Clifford Bowled Layton 7    
Justin Roy Bowled Layton 26    
Darren Tempany Caught Breen Layton 0    
AK Southey LBW Penn 5    
Russell Balkind Bowled Higgins 6    
Chris Curley Not out   12    
John Shaw Not out   7    
Extras 39    


Peter Frisby did not bat
  Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Layton 7 3 10 5
Harvey 4 0 31 0
Penn 7 1 18 1
Beall 7 1 23 0
Booth 2.2 0 23 0
Higgins 4 0 23 1
Breen 2 0 4 0

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