Game Report – Combined Parrots vs Chiang Mai CC 2011/2012
The Parrots embarked on our first migratory tour to sunny Chiang Mai on the weekend.
Nary a single one of us paid any heed to the fact that we were blissfully flying on Friday the 13th, and not one of us could see the nasty machinations that fate had in store for us over the next 48 hours.
The plan, patiently hatched and hurriedly executed, was to head up north to take part in a 40 over match at Prem, and a hangover 20/20 bash, the following day at the Gymkhana Club.
As is customary, we mustered upstairs at the UN Irish Pub, greeted by old chums Deano, Steve Potter and Sandy and rapidly took over the “clubrooms” with hearty welcoming rounds for all arriving members of the flock. Slatts was the last to rock up while Kiwi, Oswald and Holty were the first. Neil and Por found early form, quickly followed by Brett, Nahim and Ot,then JD. Shano was welcomed to the fold and Marky J and Pete Hammond rounded out the team. Long lost Parrot, Wally made a late appearance and it was tremendous to reunite with one of the founding feathers.
Fittingly, and with great pride, none of the flock left the roost before midnight (or even 1am I think) and at 3am Slatts and Kiwi retired with thoughts of scoring tons and taking bags (respectively) on the morrow…totally oblivious to the dastardly deeds done dirt cheap that black Friday had conjured up…
It fricken rained!
Like many a parrots first dalliance with the opposite sex, it was over before it began!
The game at prem was called off without a van’s ignition key being inserted, let alone the opposition. The team met for breakfast at the Royal Panerai, marveling at the paper thin rooms of the hotel and extra terrestrial jello like substance masquerading as jam next to the toaster.
We were in a quandary. What to do? We’d never experienced rained off games in Chiang mai or even in Thailand before in January, so we made the most responsible decision any team deprived of cricket and desperate to play well in the game the next day – we walked to the pub!
Slatts cracked an early one through the covers and Holty edged the top off another one and we were into the beers, huddled around Marky J’s mobile phone watching the Aussies batter the pea-hearted Indians who seem to think their biggest problem is Television technology, (the rain had taken out the satellite at the pub). Brett trounced Nahim at darts and as midday came and went, we responsibly ceased drinking, and, seeing the error of our ways, went in search of massages.
Massages came and went, and the team had a nosh up dinner at Dukes and reassembled back at the Irish late that night.
A team bonding tour of the boxing ring area followed and with great expectation we dribbed and drabbed back to the hotel with single figures on the clock, eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s 20/20 at the picturesque Gymkhana.
The game that followed will go down in the annuls of flock folklore as an absolute beauty – in fact you won’t believe what happened and will kick yourself that you weren’t there…even though you have a brief synopsis courtesy of Brett…
and you’ll miss the bit about the strippers!!
We met on the Sunday morning, again next to the alien jam impersonation and boarded a song taew to Gymkhana.
This time we were sans Slatts – the cruelest trick played by the black Friday omens – who went home to his family without bowling a ball in anger – the spirit of the Parrots.
Bright sunshine, blue skies, game on!
We organized with the umpires and CMCC the playing conditions – 20/20, retire at 50 and that the game must be over by 1pm to accommodate the golfers.
We won the toss, and on the artificial pitch and an outfield resembling the cream of American comedy – rather dewy – we had a bowl.
Oswald was making his Parrots playing debut and when Neil coerced the skipper to open the bowling, it only followed that Holty would do likewise, thus unleashing the most penetrative kiwi opening salvo since Martin Sneddon and Willie Watson.
The plan was always to give all of us a bowl (spirit of the Parrots) and we’d secured the services of 13 year old hill tribe boy, Chanchai to give us a match 11
We quickly ran out Steve Potter but it didn’t look quite right and rather resembled keeper Nahim cocking up and breaking the stumps with his hands (he blames Marky J’s throw). The umpire gave him out and we promptly recalled him – the spirit of the Parrots.
On we went, thoroughly enjoying our morning, with everybody getting 2 overs each, although Marky J managed to stretch his spell to 4 overs worth of deliveries, aided by the erratically swinging orange ball.
Not everything was coming up roses though, and our own resident exercise physiologist’s morning took a turn for the worse during his allotted bowling spell. After delivering 1 ball, the Parrot’s answer to Charles Atlas was left gritting his teeth in agony and, like a sexually perverted New Zealander was seen desperately clutching a calf!
Off he limped, his morning destroyed after 1 ball – “poor old 1 ball Brett”, I thought.
At the 10 over break we had em about 3 for 77. Not bad, but we resolved that things were going ok and that we could restrict them to 150 odd with a bit more oomph in the field.
Kiwi and Neil hatched a cunning plan, put a tail on it and called it a weasel, which saw Wanie hole out in the deep for 49 which pleased us all.
JD bowled exceptionally well, as did Pete Hammond, while Neil and Shano picked up deserved wickets. Young Chanchai was a star with a smooth rhythmic action and effortless run up revealing the blessings of youth, and Nahim, having relinquished the gloves to Mark, finished off at the end.
At the half time whistle, they’d scored 154 for about 6 and we had an arduous task ahead.
Shano and Neil opened up with a “license to thrill” – (I actually used those exact words to Shane when he was warming up and to his credit he resisted mocking me with a click of his heels, brisk salute and regaling “aye aye captain pissweak pun!”. At the time I actually thought it was clever – ugh, combat can affect the senses like that you know).
Probably due to still shaking his head in disbelief that anyone could be so lame, Shano edged one in the first over and Kiwi and Neil set about “thrilling” the team. Neil nudged and ran well and lofted a glorious straight drive for four before being stumped but still the run rate climbed into double figures.
Kiwi and Nahim then put together a classy partnership of about 90 odd. Some desperate running intermingled with magnificent sixes and delightful boundaries from both batsmen and the goodship Parrot was righted and sailing full steam ahead for victory.
Within about 40 runs of that victory however, both batsmen had to retire, having reached their fifty’s. It was now up to the rest of the team to steer us home in an unlikely comeback on this most unlikely of weekends.
Everybody played their part and still there was drama!
Holty batted well, Marky J was looking good till luck deserted him. JD and Pete Hammond batted as well as I’d ever seen and their passion for the Parrots was patently obvious to all. They took us to within 22 required off about 18 and we inched closer and closer. Us boys on the sideline were all on our feet and the excitement and tension was palpable.
Pete got out and young Chanchai got us a bit closer, but when he was out we were 7 down.
Brett, typically, put his hand up to limp out and try and get us over the line. Valiantly he made contact but lack of balance spooned the ball and his weekend of cricket consisted of travelling all the way to Chiang Mai for 2 balls! His journey, of course, began on Friday the 13th, however the gallantry shown by Brett “two ball” Taylor was another demonstration of the spirit of the Parrots.
Back at the game we’d entered the final over and we needed 11 runs to win. Debutant Oswald was on strike and Kiwi was back at the crease fulfilling his rights as a retired batsman coming back at the end. The first ball sailed close to the wide line and kiwi desperately tried to snatch a bye.
Oswald staved off a certain run out at the strikers end but was just caught short scampering to the other end. A greater sacrifice for the team you will travel a long way to see – spirit of the Parrots.
Now we had the curious situation of being 9 down as a team with number 3 and 4 batsmen, both on 50, at the crease and 11 runs required off 5 balls.
Kiwi on strike and misses the 2nd delivery – twat!
Next ball goes for 2 – 9 needed off 3
Next ball goes for 4 through the covers – 5 off 2 required
Next one’s a wide, phew – 4 off 2.
Kiwi on strike and the Parrots loving the atmosphere beneath the trees at the Gymkhana…
Only 4 more to get…
Then kiwi completely misses the next 2 deliveries, Ray Charles “looks” down from heaven cursing that even he would have hit at least one of them, and the anticlimactical silence is broken by a sharp retort of “FUCK” from the prince of chokers.
Bugger, it would have been nice to win that one because the opposition completely missed the spirit of the game (in my opinion, by not including their juniors enough) and the Parrots who traveled to Chiang Mai certainly deserved better.
As the Prez says – “shit happens”
We got over it in about a millisecond – spirit of the Parrots – and had a rollicking slammer session – spirit of the Parrots with a few good ‘uns from CMCC and continued on smashing 2 more bottles between 9 of us.
Special mention to Eddie Joyner, an old friend of the flock and keen admirer of Sculls and to the two beautiful Parrakeets, Por and Ot who helped finish off the bottles. Also Neil’s rotating slammer master strategy was a great way to round off another superb Parrot tour.
We toasted all our absent friends and none more than dear Jubby.
The book will say that we lost by 4 runs but all spectators (and indeed 2 umpires) were under no illusions that we went away from Gymkhana on the 15th of January as definite winners.
And that, my friends, is the spirit of the Parrots!
Be sure to join us next time
ps, there was no bit about the strippers (well not to be repeated on a public forum anyway) – but welcome to the Parrots forum and be sure to check in regularly for club news and events