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Nepotists CC v Shepherd's Bush CC

Sunday August 5, 2018: 1.30pm. 40 Overs
Toss: Nepotists, Bat
Nepotists: 8-242, 40 Overs (Styles 85, Hoar 59)
Shepherd's Bush: 6-245, 29.5 Overs (Niaz 2-16, Styles 1-35)
 Didn't Win
Scorecard: Here

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It’s one click. That’s it. Almost impossible to fuck up, even for a lobotomised half-wit. Now this said, I don’t wish to offend Shepherd’s Bush scorer (let’s call him Obi, and the one responsible for taking on the simple task of using the PCS-PRO Play Cricket Scorer) by suggesting he is a half-wit, which he is not, in fact he is a damn good bowler (or batsman!), but how he fucked up the scoring so monumentally, and for so long, is beyond comprehension. We bowled 30 overs and 15 of these were wrong!

Watching the scores rapidly tick over on the scoreboard had me questioning whether errors were being played out. Though Shepherd’s Bush were putting us to the sword and all over the park, the runs in the middle didn’t cross-reference with the volume of runs being added to the scoreboard. When the alleged winning run was finally hit, a 6 to long off, and we all walked off to shake hands, I approached ‘Obi’ to ask if ‘all was good’ (with the scoring)? I always look forward to feedback from the opposition after they use the program for the first time, all of whom say ‘awesome / great / easy / marvellous / perfect’ or the like. Obi simply said, “I fucked it up royally!” I was not surprised to hear that!!

Most Monday’s are spent updating the Nepotists website, uploading the scorecard, writing the match report and editing photos. Some days are longer than others depending on the match, others not so. However most of this Monday was spent scratching my head as I scoured the scorecard. How in the name of all things Holy can a bowler deliver 5 consecutive overs? I know the term ‘bring him on a both ends’ is voiced when a bowler is delivering shit, but I never thought I’d ever see it on the scorecard.

According to Obi, Ed Greening (WAL) bowled overs 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27. In Obi’s defence it could have simply been a name selection error, however it is indefensible. With PCS-PRO if you select a bowler whom has just bowled, a pop-up asks ‘do you want the same bowler to bowl again’ or words to that effect. Everyone that plays cricket knows you can’t bowl consecutive overs, so why Obi would select ‘yes’ is one mystery, all of which kept exposing themselves the more I looked.

As I played through the scorecard, it all started in the 16th over, Rich Price (NZ) dragged with one ball of his over to bowl, replaced by Jim Mason (AUS). Adding confusion to this manual selection by Obi, Jim bowled the next over! Unless you look for it, you can’t accidentally change bowlers mid-over, and then select the same bowler to bowl next. Unless you're Obi!

He had batsmen hitting boundaries off the last ball of the over and then keeping strike for the next. He had batsmen taking singles off the last ball of the over and then losing strike. One batsman even scored a 9; that’s a big hit!! Why is '9' even a scoring option?? He had bowlers doing 5 consecutive overs for God’s sake! The system works to prevent you from fucking up like this. If the batsman scores a single, he is automatically on strike the next over. If you want to swap batsmen, you do it manually, so why Obi took the time to swap the batsmen and dig his hole deeper did little more than prolong my day.

The program also has an auto-correct, highlighting all errors in red. With a magical ‘one click’ you can make it all right. The problem is, once correcting the first problem, which brings everything in line with that correction, it in turn makes ‘correct scores’ further down the inning, incorrect. It was mess! There was red-ink everywhere and frightening to look at, but this was only Sunday afternoon so no love or trophies lost. The best I could do was get out the note-book and write down ball by ball, bowler by bowler, and then score it all again from the 15th. This is why Mr Otto-Mian and Mr Miller batted for 2720 mins and 2639 mins respectively; as boring as a Geoff Boycott and Chris Tavare opening stand, but with more runs!

Although I had the opportunity to fudge the scoring in our favour I still couldn’t muster a Nepo win, a day that started with our winning the toss and batting, which was the closest to any pleasure we received. There was no way in this heat I was going to run about on the desert dry parched earth any earlier than feasibly possible.

Ali Baloch (PAK) opened with Carl Hoar (ENG), but only added to another single figure score of 4. Nick Grieve (NZ) promised his wife 100 and getting off the mark with a 6, followed by a 4, all looked good for Nick tonight. Alas, there was only grief as he was knocked over for 16, bringing Ryan Styles (AUS) to smash 119 runs in 21 overs with Carl for the 3rd wicket before Carl was gone for an excellent and text book 59 off 96. In walk Rich Price!

Well, didn’t we just cop an earful before play, Rich reminding us all of how he got 163 in a losing match here last year, and how his 6 went some 90m over square leg, and how he did it all in 13 overs. Well, with less than 10 overs to face by the time Rich got in, there was no time to get his eye in, or was there? On his 3rd ball, a beautiful half-tracker, he stepped back to pull it for six and a possible night with Nick’s wife. Alas, as it stuck in the spongey pitch, Rich was through the shot and only managed to rough snick it to the keeper whom, as he ducked to get out of the way, somehow miraculously caught the ball somewhere between his eye-socket and armpit.

Conveniently, before Rich went in, I walked to the sightscreen in anticipation of a frenzied post-drinks attack. With 8 still in the shed, and 11 overs still to bowl it was time to tee-off. Luck would see this decision pay dividends in Nepotist exposure. Not only did I capture Carl being out on the 2nd over post drinks, I captured ‘one of the greatest catches you will ever see’! No matter how often I look at this, I still can’t see where the keeper caught the ball, but I do know it has been viewed more than 3500 times. It’s not exactly melting the internet, but by Nepo standards it is on fire!

So, Rich gone for 163 less than he scored last year brought in Time Hardy (ENG), whom was well on this way to 50 before being bowled for 6. Bilal Niaz (PAK) looks more comfortable down the order and it showed with another dominant 17 off 13. Sadly, very deserving of a century and a night with Mrs Grieve perhaps, Ryan was knocked over for an outstanding 85 off 84. Jim whom was relegated to number 8 thanks to TFL scheduling, looked good to see the inning through with a couple of boundaries on his way to 14 from 10, alas he left myself and Jack Phelan (NZ) to add 5 off the final 4 balls, to reach our combined effort of 8-242. Not bad, but at least better than the ‘8’ on Rich’tea’ Scale for the best Tea on the calendar. Madness.

Defending 242 would be simple if we could just get out the little prick that scored 120 against us last year, after we dropped him on 4!! This year was no different, though we dropped him on 24. Instead of having an average of 14 against us, the young fella doesn’t yet have one as we failed to dismiss him again (he retired last year), this year holding his bat for 136 and the 4-wicket victory (Obi had him down for 157) with 10 still overs to bowl.

Nick opened and was quickly dragged after 3-0-26-0. Bilal looked good, getting the early breakthrough with an inside edged LBW in his first over and the Nepo’s were on top. When Bill claimed his 2nd LBW, that was marginally more out than the first, in his 3rd over, we were an outside sniff at 2-36. At 3-73 when Ryan chimed in (in his 3rd) we had a red-hot chance if we could just keep the young fellow off strike, if not get him out. Ryan remained the unlucky soul with that dropped chance against Ed’s name, eventually ending 5-0-35-1.

Bill was poorly replaced after a splendid 4-0-16-2. 72 runs and 8 overs later Rich got the 4th wicket and a massive send off. I’ve not often seen a batsman send off a bowler, but Rich copped it, and it didn’t help; Rich conceding 7-0-62-1. All too little too late as the Nepo’s snared two wickets in 4 balls, which could have been 4 overs if you go by Obi’s scoring. Jim finally got one, ending 7-0-57-1 and our favourite Welshman Ed ‘I’ll bowl from both ends’ Greening going home to his AirBnB with 3.4-0-40-1, and the Nepo’s back on the losers list.

If we’d like to feel slightly better, the auto-correct had Shepherd’s Bush young gun out for 57 in the 17th over. Alas, their score still totalled one more than ours, so it would only be a slight consolation. Next week’s fixture is buried somewhere deep in the Chiltern’s. Although public transport doesn’t reach the ground of ‘Little Missenden Misfits Cricket Club’, I’m sure there will be internet to keep you posted about our return to analogue scoring!

Yours in Nepotism,

Lukey Sparrow

SCHWIM MOMENT: Nick Grieve getting off the mark with a 6 over backward square

NACA: Rich Price for telling us 163 times how many runs he scored last year!

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