England v Australia 5th Test match report – day four

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Dandy Dan writes:

This match report has been written some months after the event so apologies if the details are a little hazy.

Whilst holidaying at my friend Ben’s parent’s house this August, in rural France, about two hours east of La Rochelle, we decided to have a Test of our own whilst listening to the final day of some inconsequential game back in Blighty via a TV sitting in a barn window.

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I should probably point out that this was a free holiday for me, as I had taken the place of Ben’s now ex-girlfriend on the trip. A somewhat messy break-up was no doubt lightened by my presence.

The day’s play started well. I won the toss and decided to bat to make good use of the clear overhead conditions that made batting favourable and to try and pile on some big runs in my first innings before the alcohol we had begun to consume took hold and made me make a few rash shot choices.

Looks like a day five pitch already

A patio chair was used as the wicket, a tennis racket used as a bat substitute and the barn walls as the boundaries. Behind me in this photo you can see a bank that was decided to be the slip cordon.

Walking in, lads, walking in!

Large stones, a separate patio chair, patio table and selected trees were fielders. In my first innings I scored 122 all out, finding easy runs by pulling into the on-side and making good use of the short boundary. It took Ben a surprisingly long time to realise where I was getting most of my runs, but he did eventually move the patio chair to a short-leg position to cut off this option. However, by this time the damage had been done.

In reply, he made 98 all out, failing to come up with an answer to my yorkers, although he became quite proficient in hitting it back over my head into one of their neighbours’ vegetable patch (see photo below, although that’s him about to bowl).

The drinks break is looming large

As I had predicted, I slumped to an inebriated 75 all out in the second innings, finding the edge of the racket too many times to the soil slip cordon.

Ben was all out for a figure less than was needed to beat me. So I won. Not long after this another slightly less important game was won, so more very cheap French booze was drunk in celebration.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. On no account mention the cricket itself, unless it’s this kind of a match, in which case we want every detail.


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  1. I once got caught out by the handle of a small roller fielding at slip. You could have tried deliberately to hit that thing a hundred times and failed, it was such a small “target”.

    Made a very impressive noise on impact (the roller that is…..well, me too, I suppose, a howl of indignation).

    That was the evening before the test at Edgbaston, 2005, a lesser contest which I don’t suppose will be remembered as fondly as Jeff’s garden the night before.

    Happy days.

  2. I realise that the titular match is not in itself mentioned, but there is rather a lot of actual cricket in this report, including the state of the pitch, field positions, and scores for some or all of the innings. The bit about edging to the soil slips reads just like Cricinfo’s text commentary (except with more feeling). And you can’t just say that the cricket being described isn’t “proper cricket”. There was brown grass, fielders and beer, just like any test match I have been to.

    As someone who has been on the wrong end of some serious discardation for much less, I think clarification of the rules is required.

    That said, a top class report, Dan (dydan).

  3. Brilliant Dandy Dan. Amazing detail.

    I too was in France at some point during that inconsequential series. But at a different time to you, so I doubt we would have met – or even passed each other in the supermarche.

  4. Thanks D Charlton. I like to think I’ve brought a little bit of summer sunshine to those who have read it.

    alex. Oh no, I don’t think I saw you then. I’d have remembered you’re outfit. Strange I didn’t see you really given your close proximity.

  5. I note none of you heartless blokes mention the emotional tragedy that allowed this match to take place. I think she was well rid of Ben

  6. What an extraordinary coincidence – Daisy and I went to France a few days after that series ended.

    We also saw that bloke with a hat, Dandy Dan. But we didn’t see Alex.

    Small world – neither of us can get over it. We’ll both be dining out on this one for a long time.

  7. Spats and a cummerbund? I sincerely hope there were also some whites involved.

    Just not cricket…

  8. Ged, that truely is remarkable. I’m going to Sweden for a wedding on the 18th. I’ll keep an eye out for you an Daisy just in case you happen to be there.

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