Owzat! - HKFC vs HKCC Squashers Annual Cricket Match 11th Feb 2015 (by Dallas Reid)

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Taking on the HKCC at cricket may not seem like the smartest thing to do for a club called “The Football Club”, not least of all when limited to only using the squash section, but this is what has been going on for the past couple of years.  It has of course yielded predictable results with the Cricket Club having won the first two stagings of this event fairly comfortably.

This year however things were definitely going to be different.  For starters, we had lost our only player who actually really knew much about cricket, Keith Frith.  So obviously we went into this year’s fixture brimming with confidence (that we would be able to head for the bar very early).

After the toss it was decided that we would have a go with the bat first, which at least meant that (apart from our opening batsmen) we could partake of a few nerve-steadying lagers before the inevitable humiliation commenced.

As expected HKCC opened with some very tidy bowling but our openers (Messrs Thompson (30) and Jones (25) managed to keep them at bay and actually make a few runs.  As the innings worn on it transpired that they had a relatively thin bowling line up and as the weaker bowlers appeared we started to pile on a reasonable number of runs.  Rather cunningly we managed to get ourselves out at a reasonable pace so all of our players bar Neil Roberts who had his hands full scoring had a touch with the bat and in the end put up a vaguely plausible total of 202 for 7 wickets.

After a fast changeover, we took to the field.  Again the front line for HKCC looked pretty impregnable, but once we broke through with the first two wickets we started to probe the weaker underbelly of their batting line up.  We managed a few good catches, but the main damage was done by a combination of some rather optimistic quick single attempts by HKCC which were mercilessly met with very slick fielding resulting in no fewer than 4 run outs which put increasing pressure on the incoming batsmen to deliver.

Consistently strong bowling and fielding continued to squeeze the batting side who continued to fall further and further behind the required run rate. To put further pressure on HKCC, in the later stages of the innings we unveiled our secret weapon bringing the 8 year old Charlie Pike into our bowling attack.  Barely taller than the wicket, he bowled a devastating over conceding only one run and creating several near stumping opportunities. Thanks to Charlie for joining us last minute and scurrying about in the field to keep the run rate down.

In the end HKFC cruised to a comfortable 43 run victory so in the end a quite remarkable win for the HKFC squashers, who again demonstrate their remarkable virtuosity at sport having trounced all comers (so far) at golf as well!

Whilst this was fundamentally a great team result, I think particular mention must be made of our bowling line up who bowled consistently well given most had not turned their arms over for at least a year, if not since school and only gave away 9 extras compared to 35 from our hosts.   I am sure there were some very sore shoulders the next morning!

Also recognition must be given to our co-Captains “Big” Dave Cross helped in the field by Julian Tanner and Neil Roberts (who also as the only one with any clue whatsoever did the scoring for HKFC), and to Keith Frith who was not only one of the key spirits behind the creation of this wonderful fixture, but also inspired us to demonstrate that we could win without him!

Finally, a huge thanks to HKCC who provided a team which were not unbeatable, a pitch which is under huge booking pressure, and outstanding hospitality despite the somewhat shocking result!  Hopefully despite this they will ask us back, and preferably without putting out a devastating side looking for vengeance.