24th March, 2008: Cricket Peru National Twenty20 Championship
Over three weekends, four teams battled in mortal combat to decide who should be crowned glorious champions: part time footie-players aka the Kiteflyers; the highfalutin Lima Cricket & Football Club (LCFC); the impeccable Indians and Southern Continent contingency, also known as the boy band “Chak De“; and the felt-capped cricketers, Eidgenossen.
First up were Flyers v Eidgenossen: a good game was played by these two teams, with the Eids having it in the penultimate over when the 1st Eids’ ringer – James Pulford from Stroud – hammered two maximums in the penultimate over … ably assisted by Paul Barnes’ custard pies.
Up next came LCFC v Chak De: the former were gallant and brave, with a young team in transition, against the gunslinging Indians. A target of 115 seemed doable, after Prabhu had carried his bat from opening with a great 73. That was until Atul the Terrible bowled a double hat-trick to remove the experimental middle order. With hindsight this over rather defined the tournament for the LCFC and they never really did recover in any of the following games. All out 80 odd.
The following weekend LCFC played Kiteflyers and were unable to chase the 120 odd set by Chris Abbot and respective football hooligans, even with the aggressive bowling of the part-time spin of Julian Walter forcing the aforementioned off the field with a shiner. Abbot came back when the cruise missile-like (not) bowling had abated, and laid waste to LCFC again.
Eidgenossen then managed to beat Chak De off the penultimate ball, with one wicket left, after India had managed to creep to 75. Miles Buesst had been very mean and efficient in his bowling, and Henry (cough…….ringer…..another one) hit a maximum off the penultimate ball. There was a minor altercation in the game too, when a semi-standoff took place between ‘Chak de’ Skip and square leg, but that was resolved by the ICC umpire, doing his job well.
All in all, the umpiring was pretty good, Harry Hildebrand, Rob Champion, Tony Sanford, Miles Buesst, Chris Abbott and John Bell, all played their part in wearing the red t-shirts that made them so distinguishable.
Viv Ash, John Bell (again) and Julian Walter did the scoring. This could be better as there seems to be a deficiency in this department. Maybe Brandy Auld from Buenos Aires could come to Lima and give us a course in this most important system of historiographical documentation.
Come the final day, the fellowship team of Eidgenossen needed to beat the underdogs LCFC, in order to claim the trophy that had belonged to the Kiteflyers last year. And so they did, with Lima Cricket, underfiring, underperforming, under-catching, under everything really – even the captain was under his duvet apparently.
Eids rang up 200 runs, a tournament record, with Nick Appleyard making hay – one incredibly long six cleared the tennis courts on the far side of the club. Stand-in captain, Julian Walter, tried to do his best and had to call on all manner of bowling, but to no avail. John Bell, also tucked in to the below-par tripe and hit 80 odd (plus his first ever six). LCFC’s one consolation was being able to creep over 100 in response … ’nuff said.
Chak De played Kiteflyers, and once again Prabhu batted brilliantly for another half century. Atul bowled excellently, both players benefiting enormously from the recent tour to Buenos Aires. The Flyers were never in the chase of 160 odd, and rather tamely surrendered, after both Harry Hildebrand and Chris Abbott had got out rather cheaply.
Afterwards, the players congregated for a delicious barbecue, to watch John Bell receive the tournament trophy for Eidgenossen; Atul and Prabhu Bowler and Batsman of the Tournament, respectively. With Prabhu also receiving Player of the Tournament. His prize: a pair of smelly flip flops.