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A Bunch of Bs: Barby, Bhatti and Barry

By Robert Mathieson

This was the last league match of the season and all that stood between Walmley and the league championship was Barby. As it transpired, ‘stood’ turned out to be the wrong verb. Barby players had at least travelled to Walmley, but having arrived, they won the toss, elected to bat, told their openers to bat as long as they could keep their eyes open, while the rest went to sleep. The openers did what they could and indeed put on 25 for the first wicket. Thereafter they achieved little and the innings closed on 50 for 9 (the number 11 could not be woken?). Recordo Gordon (5 for 23) and Fahim Jan (4 for 19) bowled unchanged. Jamie Hall once again emulated Stokes (this time Barry, not Ben*) with a catch which can never have been bettered at Eldon Drive. His mother was unavoidably absent when he took his catch against Bedworth. It is understood this catch was to make up for her earlier disappointment. What a nice boy he is!

Mention last week of the number of opening partners Dan Bromley has nursed resulted this week in Dan’s demotion. Walmley’s innings was opened by Sarmad Bhatti and Dan Bevan. Sarmad hit the first two balls of the innings to the boundary and thereafter Dan cleverly gave Sarmad the strike. A six onto the pavilion roof was the best way for our best batsman to reach his 1000 runs for the season. The applause was fully justified and shortly after 2pm Walmley achieved their second 10 wicket win. 24 points and League Champions!

In the absence of Captain Waugh, Jonathan Newis was presented with the handsome cup and we were able to go home in time for lunch.

Now for the play-offs to return to the Birmingham League. Please be successful. Another season in this league is unthinkable.

* After my report last week when I lavished some praise on one of Jamie Hall’s catches and made the suggestion that Ben Stokes was a better fielder than our Stokes, I was reprimanded by the person best qualified to comment on Barry’s cricket career. He assured me that in his career Barry only ever dropped one catch. That is, indeed, a remarkable achievement, and I have asked the City Librarian to research the matter (date, opponents) so that a plaque commemorating the event can be placed in the pavilion. Barry will doubtless be happy to fund it and institute an award to any retired Walmley player who can truly claim and prove that he has only dropped one catch in his career with the club.

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