Cairns Fudge CC vs Faire - Report
The 8th August 2015, is a date that will live long in the memory of England’s cricket fans. Faire, on the most fair of days, took inspiration from the national team to provide a complete performance of inventive batting, parsimonious bowling and implausibly good fielding. This was a day when catches stuck, stumps were felled, and shots nailed. This was a day to make ANZACs cry, and day where everything just went right. Cairns Fudge CC, a team with a distinctive antipodean flavour were undone by the legside brutality of Mr Watkins (124* off 106 balls) and by Faire’s battery of medium pacers (7 wickets for 78 runs). The theatre of play was more urban than the usual rural idylls Faire frequent. Wandsworth Common hummed to the noise of newborns, off duty bankers, and yuppie twenty somethings frolicking with a fluorescent saucer. The author later learnt this “game” was called Ultimate Frisbee. Still, Faire is a team with impeccable modernist credentials, and to the fore strode sportswoman Kate Mason to make her debut, fresh from a batting masterclass with Faire number 11 James Kanagasooriam. With the toss won, Ms Mason wasn’t needed for the first two hours, as Faire batted first and put the ANZACs to the sword. Cairns’ aggressive field placings were ill-judged as the opening bowling partnership served up dross to a grateful Messrs Christian Stobbs and Watkins. The quiet summer air split only by the crack of resounding cuts, pulls and drives. Cairns’ first change bowlers were noticeably faster, and more accurate than their more senior colleagues. Wickets began to fall, including those of our debuting faire maiden and the run rate began to fall. Mindful of the need to bat through the innings Mr Watkins metamorphosed from dasher into anchor, allowing batting partners Mr Marcus Potter to biff an aggressive 39* off 21 balls, and the quixotic Mr Daly to stroke his way to an elegant 38. Faire’s total of 243-5 was a formidable one, their highest since their inception some four years ago.
With only three frontline bowlers in the Faire bowling attack, victory was not a foregone conclusion. Little mind, as Mr Daly, opening the bowling, rattled the stumps twice with full, swinging deliveries. Mr Bennett too played his part with some accurate slow medium. Perhaps thinking that Mr Patrick Stobbs offered some respite Cairns’ batsman played a sequence of rash strokes giving the all-rounder his best return of the season. The coup de grace came from an unexpected source, as Mr Tim Potter, limbering up for the first time this season, moustached like Mitchell Johnson, and bowling at least a tenth of the Australian’s pace, befuddled the batsman with flight and the ability to bowl straight. In between this mayhem Mr Stephen and Mr Watkins took two genuinely athletic catches, leaving Cairns in disarray. The fat lady was warming up. Having been nothing but a happy spectator for the entire game the author took a rudimentary catch for the penultimate wicket only to be mobbed as if he had just secured the Ashes. Reaction is a function of expectation, and the pandemonium that greeted this simple piece of fielding informed the author of his team’s confidence in his catching. A bittersweet moment if there ever was. The author finished the game off with a googly to Cairns’ number 11, and that was that. Victory. Sweet victory. For England, for Faire and for our supporters. If only we could play like this, against these gents, every match, every summer. Amen. --- JDM Kanagasooriam