An Owzthat match report

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King Cricket reader Stuart writes…

2021. Another new format bringing together 5-a-side, American baseball’s double header and the greatest of all tabletop cricket games: Owzthat. Has the ECB gone mad? Will it appeal to a new audience? How will traditional fans react?

In the unlikely event that you haven’t heard of Owzthat, the batter rolls a hexagonal cylinder, scoring runs until it lands on “Owzthat”. The bowler then uses the other cylinder which will show the umpire’s decision. It combines the tension of Russian Roulette with cricket.

The scorecards have been redacted for safeguarding reasons as the teams included members of Whalley Range U10s.

In the first game, Stokes cracked a couple of sixes but then a sensational hat trick brought Sponge Bob to the crease. He sped to a rapid 27 before his snail sidekick Gary smashed 44 to give Luca’s V something to roll at, the score adjusted down to 83 from the original calculation of 713 (an extra mark if you can show the working that produced that total).

Dad’s V were sitting pretty at 71 for 2 after Jimmy Anderson’s blistering 49. But a clatter of wickets saw last man Billy Whizz needing five. A four brought the scores level before another boundary sealed the win.

In the second game, Dad’s V won the toss and batted. Anderson and Unnamed U10 Player made a great start. Whizz, promoted up the order, added 71 before Root, reprieved by the umpire three times, put his team in an unassailable position. Dad’s V batted on, applying Steve Waugh’s mental disintegration strategy, although Teen Titans Go!’s Raven failed again.

Facing a mammoth 226, Luca’s V were in the game at 133-2 but Buttler and Sponge Bob fell leaving Gary the snail with too much to do.


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  1. Carry 13 is how you arrived at the original total. I’ll donate you the mark retrospectively for originally trying to spell Stokes with a c.

  2. 1+2+4 and 2+7+4. Flawless execution. I was on the edge of my seat in game 1. Game 2 proves the old King Cricket adage that wickets move the game forward more than runs.

    I have a game of wicketz at my parents’ house which I’ve not played in a number of years. If I can persuade my dad to play me at Christmas, I’ll see whether I can produce something of similar tension and creative accounting.

  3. Magnificent reportage.

    The test match rules we played for Owzthat involve counting ‘Owzthats’ – you got 5 before you rolled the ‘How Out’ dice. This meant in a World XI (my brother’s team) vs my Biblical XI, Moses scored 551*.

    Still perhaps my life’s finest achievement. And Moses’, I think we can all agree.

    1. A quintuple ton is good, and definitely harder to achieve than hearing voices in flaming bushes, which everyone I was an undergraduate with seemed to achieve at one time or another. Although that business with the boils and such was pretty impressive.

      Genuine question: Can you remember the rest of the Biblical XI? Fascinating team choices, from Job to Herod to Habakkuk.

      1. I’d love to think we’ve all at some time tried to pick our Biblical XI. Would the Almighty count as three picks though being the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Would it be a hat trick getting him out? Would that be an ecumenical matter?

  4. Good question! Luckily I stayed in the dormitory of a seminary once during an arts festival and can say with some authority that the doctrine of consubstantial persons within a singular, unified essence has led me to believe the Almighty would be a three-in-one all-rounder, as favoured by India in the 2019 WC. If I were selecting the opposition I’d get Joe the Cameraman as the skipper. I imagine an Australian would still sledge. “Can’t bat, can’t bowl, can’t field!”

  5. I have a set of Owzthat dice in a similar looking tin. Mine would have been a present in the early to mid 1970s.

    I re-ran the 1975 world cup tournament and made/kept detailed scorecards. I had a playing condition about number of rolls but i can’t remember what it was. Unfortunately my mum threw out those scorecards along with a whole load of other stuff she decided I had grown out of and would never want to look at again, including a small cabin if juvenilia writings. .

    “How was I supposed to know you’d want to keep that old rubbish?”, she asked.

    “Had you asked me first, you’d have known”, I said.

    Meanwhile I do vaguely recall that Sri Lanka did surprisingly well while the Aussies came nowhere in the race. I think England beat the Windies in the final but it might have been England v Lanka.

    There was a Subbuteo Cricket instantiation of the 1975 World Cup. I do t think the Lankans showed in that one but Pakistan did.

  6. Love the comments.
    Owzthat test match rules! Are there other variations?
    I’ve never heard of wicketz but, looking it up, it sounds suitably complicated and fiddly.
    I’ll be submitting a Test Match (Trueman on the box) report at some point. We’ll need a subbuteo cricket one as well. Never tried that one. Played whole tournaments of subbuteo football against myself though and meticulously recorded the results. Sounds like I wasn’t the only one…
    Not my spelling of Stokes btw.

  7. @Stuart: most enjoyable article! Was just going along with the school teacher marking theme in commenting on the spelling.

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