Carlton v Loretto & Watsonians - the official match report

It has been a while since I have had time to peruse the Carlton match reports, and was interested to see if FB had continued with the trend of comments on the cricketing prowess of Gustav Mahler.  Sadly for those of you interested to learn more about the life of the great composer (I hasten to add I am talking about Mahler and not FB), the answer was no but nevertheless a very enjoyable quarter of an hour was spent reading his outstanding match reports for the 4th XI – clearly a man who has found his true calling.  It is ironic that, despite the table topping exploits of the 1st XI and the various centuries scored by their prolific batsman, regular readers of the website will probably have better recollection of FB’s tossing exploits and carrying his bat in a recent match.    

It is however clear that FB’s expertise is in the literary arts, as in his opening report he managed to mention the strobogrammatic and palindromic properties of the number 11 without mentioning any of its mathematical properties.  For example, for any number where the sums of alternate digits (i.e. 1st, 3rd, 5th etc digits and the 2nd, 4th, etc digits) are equal, then the number is always divisible by 11.  So we instantly know that the number 1,430,352 is divisible by 11 because 1+3+3+2 = 4+0+5 and hence know FB’s career bowling average is currently a round number.  Also 11 is not a Fibonacci number and therefore rarely appears in the natural world, making it an ideal candidate for adoption by cricket.  I am also wondering if there is some deeper, hitherto undiscovered relationship that has been unearthed between cricket and strobogrammatic numbers.  Our kwik-cricket matches have 8 players in each side and English cricket’s superstitious “Nelson” number is 111.  Both numbers are also of course strobogrammatic.  With cricket said to be invented around 1700, it seems clear to me that the year in question must be 1691.  I’ll leave it to others to find a link with cricket and 1961.

I also note in another of his recent match reports that FB claims the Greeks invented democracy some 2,600 years ago.  As coach of Carlton girls, I feel duty bound to point out that Greek women were only given the vote in 1952 and so his male orientated claims are treated with some amusement in our corner of Grange Loan.  On the topic of women’s suffrage, our antipodean cousins are generally accepted as being the first major nations off the mark, though whether this was before sheep were granted the same privilege is sadly not recorded.  The Australian state of Victoria missed its one chance for being the centre of enlightenment.  Women were allowed to vote in the 1864 Victoria state election, but only because of an error in their 1863 Electoral Act – the Act was amended in 1865 to correct this unintended foresight.  Your correspondent also notes New Zealand was ahead of Australia by 10 years, granting women’s suffrage in 1893 and, in a move way ahead of its time, this included native Maoris – Australia did not extend the same privilege to Aborigines (male or female) until 1962.  Surely useful information for any New Zealander accused of being culturally backward by their shy, retiring Australian neighbours.  Talking of shy, retiring Australians, did you see Germaine Greer’s bizarre performance on Question Time recently?  Despite my position as girls’ coach, I feel unable to join the ranks of feminism whilst she is still seen as one of the movement’s leading spokespersons.  Which brings me nicely to a joke I would love to tell Germaine given the chance, the polite version of which is as follows:  “How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?  Two – one to change it and one to tidy up and make my dinner.”

Turning to the tournament, my first job of the morning was to turn away Mohammed Amir who had turned up looking for a game.  While it is true the Carlton tournament was not affiliated with any cricketing body and despite the fact his hair would have been one of the longest on display, unfortunately there was an insurmountable chromosome issue.  The tournament was sponsored by, whose relief at Mohammed Amir’s absence was quickly tempered when they had to file for bankruptcy after Charlotte, for the second time in her career, defied the spread betting odds by taking the first catch of the day. 

I’d like to be able to give more detail on the scores, but the weather intervened.  A dryish first game, a second game played in light drizzle and a third game played in heavy drizzle made the records of the proceedings more and more saturated, with the last game and a half recorded by indentations on soggy paper.  Nevertheless, to satisfy the paying public and despite the lack of floodlights, we carried on gamely – a lesson hopefully taken on by all the attendees from the International Cricket Board.             

Carlton’s first match was against one of the 2 teams from Loretto, the “Royals” – great to see girls cricket being established there, and I am already on the case trying to encourage attendance at Carlton during the summer holidays.  While some of the Royals’ bowling actions might have upset Darryl Hair, they were powerful batters, ran well between the wickets and were excellent fielders.  Their hockey training certainly came in handy, with their ability to smash deliveries that were low and running out of steam over the boundary.  Nevertheless, some superb catching from Carlton (Iona also defied practice night form) saw five wickets taken.  In our innings Carlton lost 8 wickets and never got near the Royals total, instead opting to give the opposition plenty of catching practice.  However, Carlton finished in style with Jennifer showing her commitment by narrowly making her ground (at least that’s how a generous umpire saw it) with a baseball style “feet first” slide. 

In the second match, against the other Loretto team the “Marvels”, Carlton actually bowled and fielded much better.  We were doing well with an early wicket from Fliss and another excellent over from our colourfully dressed debutante Zoe, but the last 2 pairs from Marvels lived up to their name and batted superbly, leaving us to chase a daunting total.  Carlton never got close, as we lost 5 wickets and at times found it hard to get the bat on some quite pacy deliveries. 

Carlton’s final match was against Watsons.  Batting first, all our pairs added useful runs and in all we smashed 7 fours.  This time, we found the gaps in the field and only lost 1 wicket, allowing us to add 45 which matched the best total of the day.  Despite the worsening conditions, we took to the field where for the third time I had eight volunteers to keep wickets.  Watsons never got close to our total as we bowled and fielded superbly, with some inter-match coaching from Kasper on backing up paying dividends.  The 3 elles, Lucy, Laura and Lisa all bowled excellent, accurate overs, as they had done throughout the tournament.   

Meanwhile, across the other side of the ground, a decider was being held between the two unbeaten teams from Loretto, with the Royals coming out victorious. 

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