UQCC Old Boys v Easts Redlands Old Boys ‘Baz’ Mullins Cup 16th March 2014 at Wellington Point
by Peter Herring
A benign, hot afternoon, a perfectly blue sky and a gentle zephyr blowing dusty smoke from the wicket block greeted us at Easts Redlands home ground for the annual Baz Mullins Cup fixture between ERCC Old Boys and the old firm from UQCC under the stewardship of the man they call “The man you never run out”, Ian Grieg (C). Mowing the lawn on a Sunday arvo is an institution in Brisvegas backyards and clearly a divine right in the bayside suburbs. On arrival Howard’s first pitch inspection officially rated the track as “sideways green” however after 20 minutes, 2 Winnie reds and half a tank of 2 stroke through the Briggs & Stratton it was re-rated by the Dim Witted Assistant as genuinely “quick”. With an outfield quicker than an ATM in a lap dancing bar, runs (not the Ledger variety) were, like the hospitality team near that ATM, on offer.
Despite some confusion and a coin that seemed to vanish Boeing 777 MH370 style into the manscaped boundary surrounds, our opponents eventually agreed they had won the toss and elected to bat. A brisque opening from Remedial and Parto was met with an equally brisque boundary per over. This did not pass unnoticed, especially by Remedial who managed to be warned in a single over for short pitched bowling and one too many bouncers and intimidatory bowling and for successfully constructing an entire sentence of expletives. Parto battled manfully into the steady headwind delivering perfect swing bowling conditions to cleverly remove both openers, though it must be generously said that his patch map would have saved Channel 9 millions in protractors and engineers. Well known for his ability to bend all manner of body parts, Parto was rumoured to be “gun-barrell straight” with the new ball. Sensing a top order collapse, Pink relieved our 4 letter Shakespeare yet produced his own string of 4’s with a boundary per over. Wrigley bustled into the head wind with a couple of tight overs to see the home side 2-85 after 17. At a comfortable 5 an over by drinks, a large total loomed large.
Immediately following drinks Wrigley dispatched the dangerous #3 while Red produced consecutive run a ball overs of tripe to keep the pressure not on at the far end, including a text book long hop that, hit high into the deep, saw his brother fail to get off the deep square couch to pouch. Despite numerous desperate fielding efforts from the athletic Reesie and Shades Gray, a big chase lay in prospect. This brought the big guns of the top order to the crease with overs to spare. Enter Greig, who having taken a sharp, tumbling (well, sort of falling gracefully in a slow mo sort of way) catch to remove the Easts dangerman, (which then saw a 2 ball cameo from their #6 who missed a straight one to be bowled) then conjured a catch from the #7 to have the home side stumbling at 6-108 with 13 overs to play. The Easts #4 retired soon after leaving the lower order to dribble the next 8 overs around for 33 before a sprightly 28 off the last 5 saw the innings wobble along to 169 with late wickets to Shakespeare and Swingless. Par? Hardly. At the half way mark, one would have expected a lot more than 84 off the remaining 18.
Howard Sunglasses and Jed Clampett Davis took an Underbelly approach to the innings commencement, immediately providing a foundation you could bury mafioso in, (solid and impenetrable) with a sprinkling of well executed shots and opportunistic “hits”. The opening barrage from the hosts was similarly short, sharp and well directed with the first boundary only coming from a school boy fielding error at third man to the delight of the opening quick and to the outrageous joy of the assembled UQCC entourage directly behind the fence into which the elusive Kookaburra rolled. Bowers fell to the old 11 card trick (10 dots and then a swipe …). Clampett entertained especially with a cute inside out, top spin forehand, on drive, lob thing to a well pitched ball outside off, that ended up at long on for 4. With Jed soon spooning one to cover, The Editor “Chicken” Elks set about turning the competitive energies clearly evident in the field and his two previous 50+ nots into a victorious knock. Alas, following a well compiled 15 in perfect conditions for Chicken’s delicate karma sutra like array of scoring opportunities behind the wicket, he attacked a full straight one with missionary zeal only to have the castle toppled.
And by crikey wasn’t he angry? Baz Mullins, not shy of an argument himself in his considerable prime, would have been delighted to see The Editor stomp off the parched, abrasive outfield (now affectionately referred to as a “Bingle” after the Ipswich trip) with his feet stamping the very last breath out of every last chloroplast in every moribund leaf of that already dead Wellington Point cooch. Pads safely relegated to the nearest wheelie bin, those feet then became firmly entrenched atop the scorer’s table whereupon The Ed set about remonstrating forcefully with every wide-ish delivery going unpunished. Drinks brought more relief to the batting shed with The Ed “Angry Bird” Elks storming onto the ground to sack the umpire (our own be-thonged Yorkshire lawyer Wrigley) and taking matters of width into his own broadly outstretched hands.
By now The Skip Greig and Pink were rolling along comfortably, hardly setting new land speed records between the wickets, however taking the score to 3-84 after 20. Greig delighting the crowd with beautifully timed clips through mid wicket while Pink dispatched a “bounce free from him to me” happily into the stately blue gums lining the white picket fence of the AFL ground half a suburb away. With the majority of the host’s reliable bowling stocks exhausted (both overs and fitness), the lack of trundlers became evident. Things went pear shaped for the hosts faster than a prime ministers backside with the retiring Greig (53 not), Pink (29 not) and Shirley (13 off 8) amassing the remaining 88 off only 50 balls, including consecutive overs of 17 and 18. Pink and Shades saw victory secured and not surprisingly, a staggering 15 wides were bowled in the last 8 overs of the Angry Bird’s governance.
UQCC comfortably retained the silverware with 40 balls to spare (not including wides) which should give us a full 12 months to have it engraved…like it did last year.