This was it. Aspirin had just performed a miracle with a maiden in the previous over, but who would bowl the decider? The question circled back and forth in my mind, and I deliberated it very carefully. Stanley had now completed his allocated overs. Cow had moved himself to deep fine leg, thereby indicating there was no way he was going to bowl again. Prof. was busy humming a tune to himself at point, whilst inspecting some sort of bug he had seen. Jeremy was looking very green again, and was clearly in no shape to bowl. There was only one thing for it – I would have return to the crease in a last do or die effort. I was up to it; my mind was strong and my spirit was willing. I knew I was the best player by far on the ground, and this would be another opportunity to prove it.
Unfortunately, I had possibly taken a little too long thinking about what I was going to do, because Weezel had simply grabbed the ball off Aspirin. I had also possibly slightly lost track of the game, because when I looked up, he actually was half-way in to bowl his first ball. In fairness to him, it wasn’t too shabby. It started down the leg-side and must have hit something, cause it straightened up alarmingly. Dodge just managed to get an edge on it. I had recovered quickly from the surprise of seeing Weezel coming in to bowl, but I didn’t quite managed to hold onto the nick. I was possibly in closer than I should have been, as the ball actually hit me in the guts before I got my gloves up.
After a brief spell curled up in a little ball on the ground, I showed my team-mates what true fighting spirits were, and I somehow managed to resume. The opposition had scored three runs, which at least took Dodge off strike. He had come up to me and asked if I was OK, but I knew it was fake sympathy. I told him to go away, and he just smiled that inane grin again before wandering back to his crease. Their cars had started blowing their horns wildly – it appears that Dodge had just got his hundred. Cheating ring-in.
Weezel’s next ball was a mirror image of the first one, although the batsman wasn’t good enough to edge it. Unfortunately, some dirt got in my eye and I missed it as well. It went for four byes. Bugger. Weezel charged in again. I may have, perhaps, misjudged Weezel. He could actually bowl fairly well. His third delivery started well outside the off-stump, before swinging back at right angles. It cut the batsman in half, flew over the stumps and it also went for four byes. I don’t know whether Sammy Carter himself would have stopped that one. This meant the scores were tied. I called all the fielders in – everyone needed to be on their toes to stop the single.
Weezel had obviously learnt from his previous poor efforts. He pitched the next one up, and the stumps went cart-wheeling in all directions. They were now 8 for 181 with the last batsman coming in (as they were still one player short). A big effort from everyone and we could still tie this match. The two batsman had a mid-wicket conference. If they could get Dodge on strike, they would easily win. There were two balls left – would the new batsman do the right thing by his team by simply trying to survive the remainder of the over and let Dodge win them the game in the next over, or would he try to be a hero?
The answer to that question was simple – hero all the way. Weezel pitched it up again, and the batsman swung wildly. He missed the ball, the ball missed the stumps, and I nearly missed the ball. Luckily for us, it bounced quite a long way back off my forehead. The batsman on strike had set off for the winning run with all the never-say-die qualities of a kamikaze pilot. Dodge kept his cool, damn it, and sent him back. It still should have been an easy run-out, but Jeremy and Prof. collided in their haste to pick up the ball. The ball remained untouched on the ground while Jeremy and Prof. had a laugh about it. They just don’t take the game seriously enough. The upshot was that the batsman had time to get back into his crease. That was our chance – I couldn’t help but feel we had missed the last opportunity to secure the first-up win that my great captaincy deserved.
I was feeling a little woozy after the previous delivery, but knuckled down to concentrate on this last ball. The batsman swung again, but this time managed to lay bat on ball. It went soaring straight up in the air. If we caught it, the match would be tied. The batsmen ran, so unless we caught it, we would lose. Knowing our teams ability in the field, it was clearly up to me. Keeping my eye on the ball I called ‘mine’ and sprinted towards the ball. Prof. was also in the vicinity of the ball, but I had the gloves - it was my catch and my destiny.
I don’t remember what happened after that. The boys tell me that Prof. took a great catch after I ran head first into that stupid tree at point. They said that they were quite concerned about me, as evidently I knocked myself out in the process of also knocking the tree down. They threw me into the back of Keeting's ute and, after considerately moving the pig carcasses to one side, took me to hospital. When I came to in the emergency room a few hours later (a lack of beds meant that I had been left to recover on the floor), Jeremy was quick to phone me to say that we had won. Prof. had realised that as we had lost less wickets, we were technically the winners, and he claimed the game on my behalf. A win's a win.
Yeah!!! We flipping murdered them!