A cricket bat in a fishing programme

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Send your pictures of cricket bats and other cricket stuff in unusual places to king@kingcricket.co.uk. You are more than free – indeed you are actively encouraged – to put the cricket thing in the unusual place yourself. Send more of those ones please.

If you’ve never seen Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, it’s a programme where comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse go fishing in scenic spots around the UK, stay somewhere nice, eat food and just generally talk about any old bollocks that comes into Bob’s head.

It is not a demanding programme to watch and if you’ve got a bit of a viral infection of a Saturday evening and you’re kind of drifting in and out of sleep, it’s not the worst thing to put on as it’s calm and pleasant and you aren’t going to miss anything crucial during the periods when you’re not conscious.

Rather unexpectedly, episode one of series five features a spot of cricket.

Let’s take a closer look at the action to try and work out whether Bob or Paul has the greater pedigree as a cricketer.

The players

It’s fair to say that neither man is in peak physical condition. Both are in their sixties and both have had major heart problems. Neither claims any kind of cricketing prowess. Bob does get a few sports ability points for having had trials to become a pro footballer but then instantly loses them as he failed to get a contract due to arthritis.

So we should be generous.

Bob Mortimer’s bowling

While it’s low velocity, Bob’s run-up is actually quite promising.

His body is canted in that distinctive way that indicates he is preparing to get side-on. He holds the ball well in a highly cricket way. His gaze is trained on his target. There’s almost something Warne-esque about how he looks in the image above.

The delivery itself doesn’t quite live up to this. It is pretty round-arm and there is little in his grip that suggests any great volume of bowling over the years. Set against that, maybe the arm used to get a little higher. Maybe that grip used to give a bit of a tweak but he doesn’t feel confident immediately throwing that into the mix without having had a few practice overs.

All in all, not bad. What’s at the other end?

Paul Whitehouse’s batting

It’s worth pointing out that Paul is having to cope with a drastically undersized bat here.

So the generous take is that the retreating back leg stance is perhaps an effort to get a bit lower. It also looks like he brings it a bit more level when Bob actually bowls the ball.

So the jury’s out.

Okay, we’ve seen enough. We don’t even need to look at the shot itself to confirm that Bob Mortimer has greater cricketing pedigree than Paul Whitehouse.

Bob Mortimer fielding

Bob also displays impressive commitment to his fielding and combines that with a good deal of prowess.

See how he leaps like a crested salmon!

And successfully takes the catch.

Faux pas

One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked, however, was this shameful incident during the build-up.

Not with the face of the bat, Bob! Use the end of the handle!

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  1. In sporting news that may have passed everyone by with everything else going on at the moment, M. Siddarth (that’s his full name according to Cricinfo) had rather good bowling figures for Tamil Nadu against Arunachal Pradesh in India’s Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament: 7.4 overs, 2 maidens, 12 runs, 5 wickets, and an economy of 1.56 runs per over as he contributed to Arunachal Pradesh getting bowled out for just 74.

    How unlucky do you have to be to have bowling figures like that and still only be an afterthought in any discussion of the match? Everyone’s going to talk about how Tamil Nadu’s wicketkeeper-opener Narayan Jagadeesan scored 277 not out (off 141 balls with 25 fours and 15, yes 15!!!, sixes, at a strike rate of 196) ably assisted by Sai Sudharsan’s 154 off 102 balls (19 fours, only 2 sixes, and a rather more disappointing strike rate of 151) in an opening partnership of 416 off 38.3 overs. In the end TN reached 506/2 off their 50 overs (the second wicket was Jagadeesan who fell at 448/2 after 41.4 overs) and a target of 507 was clearly a bit steep for Arunachal Pradesh. Obviously that helped TN’s bowlers during the chase, so perhaps M. Siddarth shouldn’t complain too much, but still… unlucky.

    Just not as unlucky as AP’s bowlers – all eight of them. Chetan Anand was the only one to manage a century (10-0-114-1) but that’s a bit harsh as he was also the only one to bowl his full allocation, and his economy rate was actually not too bad compared to some of the others. He also had the consolation of dismissing a double-centurion, which is rare in one-day cricket, and did so 23 runs (or four sixes, judging by Jagadeesan’s mood) before that turned into an even more humiliating triple-century. Well done that man.

    The full onslaught is documented at https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/vijay-hazare-trophy-2022-23-1332914/arunachal-pradesh-vs-tamil-nadu-elite-group-c-1333156/full-scorecard

    1. Kamsha Yangfo’s 17 off 48 balls in the chase the match’s finest contribution for our money.

      1. Reminds me of the pros vs minor counties matches in the C&G cup, gone but not forgotten. Think some of those results would be more brutal these days given the way power-hitting has progressed.

      2. Cricinfo have a fuller piece on it now, with all the records. I hadn’t realised that Jagadeesan had also hit centuries in his previous four List A innings (itself a record tied with Kumar Sangakkara, Alviro Petersen, and Devdutt Padikkal) so has become the first batter to reach five centuries in a row – bad luck Devdutt Padikkal, I guess. I think Sanga will have enough other records to be happy with.

        Jagadeesan’s 277 also edges out Ali Brown’s 268 against Glamorgan (can’t believe that’s all the way back in 2002 – I wish people would break records less often, it makes me feel old) and TN’s team total of 506/2 is the first List A over the 500 mark, edging out the more recently set record of 498/4 by England away to the Netherlands a few months back. The Dutch made a decent fist of their reply though, so the winning margin of 435 runs breaks a much older record: an English one-day county-vs-minor-county cup match in 1990 when the cup was 60 overs and under National Westminster Bank Trophy branding. Somerset (413/4, Chris Tavare 162* off a sadly unrecorded number of balls) thrashed Devon (67 all out), Dutch legend Roland Lefebvre taking 9.6-6-15-7 at an economy of 1.57 rpo. The partnership of 416 between Jagadeesan and Sudharsan is also the most for any wicket in List A cricket, displacing the Gayle/Samuels second-wicket stand of 372 for Windies for Zimbabwe in 2015

        Someone who might be glad to see his record go is Australia’s Mick Lewis who had the misfortune to play in the infamous “438 match”, one of the very few ODIs to have (a) have acquired a name and (b) have its own Wikipedia article. It was the crazy 5th and final ODI in Australia’s 2005/6 tour of South Africa, which the teams went into with the series tied at 2-2. Ponting hit 164 to get Australia to 434/4 then SA chased it down to win by one wicket with one ball to spare. Lewis went for a wicketless 113 off his 10 overs, with Herschelle Gibbs (175) taking a particular liking to him. Lewis retains the crown of “most runs conceded in an ODI” but the List A title has now been handed to Chetan Anand’s 114. At least Anand took a wicket though, so Lewis still has the worst wicketless runs conceded in List A.

        By the magic of numerology, 114 was also a separate record – the number of balls Jagadeesan took to complete his double-century – albeit not the outright winner, since it ties with Travis Head (who was eventually dismissed on 230 off 127 balls) versus Queensland last year. Over his complete innings, Head’s strike rate of 181 was previously the only List A double-century above a strike rate of 175. Jagadeesan has now scored the 37th List A double, and his final strike rate of 196 takes him to the very top of the tree. A remarkable win – shades of when Uganda beat Mali by 304 runs in a women’s T20I a few years ago, or when Bahrain beat Saudi Arabia by 269 runs in another this March. In the latter match the former Sri Lanka international Deepika Rasangika top-scored with 161* off 66 balls (SR 243.93) then was the Bahraini bowler with most wickets as she took 4-1-9-3 (economy 2.25 rpo) in the chase, which made the player of the match decision rather straightforward. That stands out from most of the other thrashings these stats led me to look over, where the leading bowler and batter generally seem to be mixed up a bit – would love to see someone really go take the player of the match decision out of the panel’s hands by scoring a double-century and taking five wickets.


      3. Also worth noting that Jagadeesan’s partner Sudharsan has had a slightly less impressive but similar streak, in those same 5 games he has made 3 centuries and fifties in the other two, meaning that Tamil Nandu’s opening partnerships in their last 5 games have been 177, 233, 276, 151, and then finally the 416. In a shocking turn of events they have managed to win all of those games.

      4. Nice spot Micko. Suspect something could/should be done to give that competition more of a level playing field, not an expert on Indian domestic cricket but that being an “Elite Group” seems a bit misleading.

  2. Get well soon, KC. Although I’m guessing that, given the publication of this piece, you have mostly already got well.

    I’m almost through some big autumn deadlines and thus look forward to hearing the ridiculous fifth test if 2013 in the next day or three.

    is there to be a Ridiculous Three ODIs Of 2022 podcast? There really should be. A glance at the scorecard this morning tells me that Moeen Ali, having stood in as captain for one of those “horrible” matches has today taken up the role of concussion substitute.

    Daisy and I sometimes use the services of an excellent odd job man, Mark, whose van-side slogan is “No Job Too Odd”. Moeen’s should be “No England Cricket Role Too Horrible”.

  3. Nice review of a really lovely, calm program.

    Just wanted to add a shout out for Athletico Mince in case readers find themselves with a long car journey or many countless, virus-bound hours to while away. It is a most enjoyable journey deep into Bob’s quite wonderful imagination.

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