When boys and girls first learn the sport
Of cricket, yes you know the sort
Of bowling whizz and willow wielder
Or maybe just an awesome fielder
They sit up late in bed at night
And dare to hope that some day they might
Take the field and don the black
Or orange of those two teams that
Compete in this prestigious game
The pinnacle of sport, the same
And only chance to prove their skill
Or maybe just get drunk, but still
They wait and dream and hope and pray
That maybe they will reach the day
They cross the rope, puff out their chest
And compete in the Supertest.
In this year’s tale the Road went first
And faced the might of Jinks and Hirst
And captain Marchant, Warman, Cloke
With Shone, Blake, Fish (insert pun joke)
And Barker, Mackrell, tall Paul Cole
(They say he is a sickly soul).
The Badgers struck and struck again
Until Watson and Cocken came
To play their shots, set firm their grip
And score a decent partnership.
They threatened more but did not count
On wickets of a high amount
From Chunderpaul, the one man who
Can spin it square past me and you.
He ripped it in with flight and grunt
And kept his side right in the hunt
Till he collapsed, barely alive
But grinning, claiming wickets five.
Two hundred runs, indeed one shy
A target that was not too high
And so the batsmen set about
Their task with guile, technique and clout.
Jinks saw the ball and struck it hard
It travelled yard on yard on yard.
The Badgers cruising
King’s Road losing.
But lo! The game swung back again
Joshi and Cocken. Him! The Same!
They ran in hard, they set their traps
And Badgers duly then collapsed.
Now Gloverman came steaming in
He sensed the game was there to win
Poor Shone and Fish, could they survive?
The match had really come alive.
Survive they did, albeit close
(This poem’s getting too verbose)
How best the score to intermix?
Badgers seventy-eight for six.
A new day dawned, King’s Road on top
They rushed out to put a full stop
To Badger hopes, a knockout punch
Would this be all over by lunch?
Yet Badger fur is strong and thick
Their talons sharp, their cunning quick
They hunt in packs and when in need
Recover with alarming speed
So Badger fans be of no fear
There was an eager batsman here.
Although he may be skin and bone
You simply can’t discount the Shone.
That morning he, Mackrell and Cole
Moved on from just damage control
They edged up to the King’s Road score
The crowd called out for more and more.
“The Zone,” they chirped, “Leg side,” they yelled
And soon Shone’s bat aloft was held.
The crowd saluted batting nifty
He’d notched up a vital fifty.
A lead of twenty was the deal
When breaking for the luncheon meal
And though the match had swung once more
The likely result was the draw.
Stu ‘Laser’ Barker disagreed
As opening with bounce and speed
He bowled with panache and aggression
A great start to the pm session.
Three wickets down and still behind
The Road dug in and sought to grind
A long innings, to see them through
While Badgers aimed to turn the screw.
More wickets fell but runs came too
The clock ticked on, the shadows grew
And though at times it seemed quite tough
The Road’s batsmen had done enough.
The sun dipped down beneath the trees
And faintly from across the breeze
A name was very clearly sung,
Joshi, India’s number one.
There still was some time left to play
Could Badger batsmen win the day?
The Road were now all out and so
Mackrell and Blake came out to mow
The ball across the boundary
Their task was clear for all to see
A marvel they would have to fix
The target: 1 3 2 from 6.
We’d seen this sort of thing before
With hooks and pulls and drives galore
From Bob Mackrell, and yet this time
A mountain remained there to climb
He set his stance and crouching low
Delivered blow on blow on blow.
A weighty bat his chosen tool
With jelly babies as his fuel
Attempting to make history
With poise, brute force and flourish he
Repaid the crowd’s enraptured calls
With 41 from 18 balls.
Blake was still there standing tall
As he was yet to face a ball.
He carried on and copied Bob
Two fours, one six impressed the mob
But as four further wickets fell
The final bell began to knell.
The time ran out, the match was done
And neither side could say they’d won.
The game was drawn, the spoils shared
A weekend when all members dared
To reach new heights, to chase the dream
To test themselves to the extreme
The players all were bruised and battered
Competitors intensely shattered.
So to the pub for jugs of beer
Cheers to the Road, see you next year.