Cambridge University v Arabs match report

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Edwardian writes:

I arrived at Fenner’s just after start of play and exchanged a ‘hello’ with an Arab in a floppy hat on the boundary. I had to bone up on Arabs before the match. The team are a wandering outfit started by E.W. (Jim) Swanton back in the frozen to death.

There was a heavy throng of nine spectators in the pavilion which included Spike, myself, the two scorers and Marlene manning the bar. Marlene fought off demanding punters who asked for drinks at half-hour intervals. She skilfully decanted cans of lager, IPA and Old Speckled Hen and coped with the onslaught admirably.

Spike had already ordered his lunch of gammon and new potatoes. I had brought my own docky bag comprising a chilli scotch egg (about ¾ the size of a cricket ball) and haslet slices in a roll with salad and mustard.

I thought 12.30pm was a sensible time for a beer so went for a Hen, pinched a knife from the tuck shop and halved the scotch egg. Spike was gearing himself up for the in-house lunch and refused the other half. I ate the other half. The Scotch egg was a great combination with the beer but putting chilli in a scotch egg I thought was a bit of a novelty not worth repeating.

I lost track of the scorecard. Spike managed to get his nosebag in ahead of the players at 1.30pm. He lost track of the scorecard.

As the players came in for lunch I contemplated the pros and cons of another pint and decided that thinking in general is a dangerous occupation.

I ate the haslet roll. The bread roll had olives embedded in it. I gave myself a good talking to.

Spike thought that the Cambridge spinner N. J. Winder was someone to look out for in the future and mentioned something about Wackford Squeers and windows.

The match wound up at about 3.30pm and Spike and I sank the beer I was contemplating earlier. Two players strolled to the bar making the floorboards strain at 11 occupants.

I got the feeling that the Cambridge middle-order batsmen were begrudging not having enough time out in the middle.

‘It’s only April,’ was said at least three times. This is cricketing-speak for, ‘It’s only April.’

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  1. Great report, Edwardian, but my God, haslet, I didn’t think that was still commercially available in this day and age. Brings back some memories.

    And what is it with embedding olives in bread rolls?

  2. I am puzzled by the phrase ‘back in the frozen to death’. I assume it means ‘a long time ago’, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard that exact combination of words before.

    Is it a reference that’s over my head, an archaic saying that I’ve never come across before, a typo, or none of the above?

  3. The BBC have introduced a Like/Dislike voting feature to every post on live text commentary. Time to Dislike the **** out of everything that **** Vaughan says.

  4. Also, just realised that in the fabled and eagerly-awaited battle of the two Ryan Sidebottoms, Ryan Sidebottom isn’t playing.


      1. Also working on a theory that they’re one and the same person.

        Have you ever seen Ryan Sidebottom in the same room as Ryan Sidebottom? We haven’t.

      2. Ryan Sidebottom has a torn quad – a fielding injury, no less. What a way to go out, by, err, not going out (to play).

        Still, at least he’s at the ground watching so could give advice to his younger namesake. In a sense he’s passing the baton, although as they’re both bowlers, you could say he’s passing the bowlonon.

  5. Excellent match report, Edwardian, well done.

    Also excellent sleuthing on KC’s part there:

    “one Ryan Sidebottom, there’s only one Ryan Sidebottom…”

    In other news, it’s squeaky bum fortnight for several counties in the County Championship and there’s no mistake.

    1. Also squeaky bum time for Essex supporters hoping for a dominant undefeated campaign. If Essex carried last year’s form into this year, you don’t want the year to end in poor form to carry into next year.

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