Carlton 4th XI 2018 Fixtures and Results
Sunday 29th April 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
L
Carlton 4
v
Musselburgh 2
H
GL

Musselburgh 2s 205 for 6 (Zaki Yusaf 3 for 27)

beat

Carlton 4s 188 for 6 (Zaki Yusaf 68, Charles Stronach 33*)

Scorecard

Photos

CARLTON POSITIVELY 4TH XI

(the only cricket team in the world named after a song by Bob Dylan)

A note from the editor

Carlton Cricket Club welcomes readers to the 2018 series of match reports of the Carlton Positively 4th XI as they continue their struggle against at times impossible odds in the super elite levels of Division 5 of ESCA. 

Readers may already be familiar with the fact that ESCA have designed a set of experimental rules to apply in this Division this season, the objective being to speed up the game.  The most significant of these rules sees 10 overs being bowled in sequence from one end, then 10 from the other end and so on.  There are no drinks breaks mid-innings, and tea is restricted to 20 minutes.  If the overs are not completed by 6.40pm, the game is terminated and the result determined by reference to the rain calculator.

The editorial staff have received many inquiries from readers of these pages wondering whether these rules also apply to 4th XI match reports.  They have observed that the length of these reports is driving people from the game – a person starts reading and on finishing discovers that their children have grown up and left home or, worse, that many opportunities to take advantages of sale prices at SofaWorld have gone begging or simply that those hours spent doing nothing very much with only speculation about Gustav Mahler’s bowling action carries increasingly little reward.  A survey suggested that they might come back to match reports if they were shorter;  if they could be finished in the same day that they were started; if there were not unnecessary adjustments to the subject matter between deliveries.  However many have said that the drinks breaks should not be done away with – for at certain stages in a match report that is exactly what is needed – a good stiff drink.

The editorial staff have raised these issues with their correspondent.  His response was commendably short but sadly unprintable in a family publication.

Readers therefore have been warned.  They venture beyond this point at their own peril.

Your correspondent starts the 2018 season with troubled mind.  He has had a number of mystifying exchanges with the editorial staff at Carlton Cricket Club.  Apparently, there have been concerns expressed in the higher reaches of the game at the length of things.  Your correspondent fully understands readers’ concerns.  He accepts that his reports may on occasion verge on the disappointingly short.  Readers may feel cheated.  After all, the longest piece in the symphonic repertoire is Gustav Mahler’s 3rd Symphony, a performance of which can last anything between 90 and 100 minutes depending on whether the conductor has a train to catch or a hot date (and still leave the audience none the wiser as to the composer’s bowling action) [Oh for Goodness sake.  Ed]).  The longest commonly performed opera is Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner, the uncut version of which entails some 5 hr 15 min of music.  The longest single volume novel is Zettels Traum (Bottom’s Dream) which published in 1970 by West German author Arno Schmidt with 1536 pages and over 1.1 million words.  By comparison, your correspondent’s works are mere bagatelles.  Ephemera.  Nano moments in the aeons of time [That’s quite enough of that we’re beginning to think there might be something in these new rules.  Ed]

This bagatelle reports on the Positively 4th XI’s season opener in the Super Elite Division 5 against Musselburgh 2 in which ESCA’s experimental rules were on view for the first time.  The sun shone brightly – itself something of an experiment in this long cold winter turning grudgingly to spring.  Out of the sun there lingered the bitingly cold breath of Siberia – completely unexperimental.

The selectors had assiduously assembled the cream of Carlton’s youngsters – average age just over 13 – and mixed it with the cream of Carlton’s seniors.  Fantasy Bob was also on the team sheet.  It was not clear to your correspondent whether his inclusion reflected an experimental mind set on the part of the selectors or a complete lack of common sense.  They may have been persuaded by his claimed knowledge of experiments.  He is the only member of the Carlton playing staff old enough to have witnessed one of the great experiments of history, when Galileo dropped 2 cricket balls from the Tower of Pisa for some reason (so FB claims) related to leg spin bowling.

[Are you ever going to get to the cricket match?  You’re giving Arno Schmidt a run for his money already.  Ed]

For experimental reasons, FB won the toss – and by a gratifyingly large margin.   His winter practice for once paying off.  Then experiment was callously abandoned as he opted to bowl on as fine a surface as the Positivelys will encounter all year.  Fraggle Watts, a former player who never gained selection for the Positivelys, tweeted warmly in support of this decision.

Charles steamed in down the hill with Euan Keatinge leg-spinning in contrast.  10 overs from the top end went by in a flash but sadly without reward for good work by the two.  Neither had any luck, couple of loose shots evaded grasping hands of the fielders and the openers looked solid. The skipper tried to move fielders now and then to avoid them taking root from extended periods in the same position.  10 overs then were bowled up the hill, with RuMac and Jamie Beattie proving equally unlucky.  At the non-existent drinks break – the time saved for which was occupied by a discussion as to why there was no drinks break – Musselburgh had advanced to 97 without loss and things looked ominous for the Positivelys.  Refreshed by the non-existent drinks break Charles finally got a breakthrough, trapping Howe LBW for an excellent 80.  Al Murray then got another immediately – an excellent catch behind by Gavin standing up (as Al said a lot of pocket money was riding on that). 

It looked like the Positivelys had opened the door, but Musselburgh’s number 4 had other ideas.  Ramasubramanian looked the real deal and finished on 43* playing the ball elegantly into the spaces.  Your correspondent understands that ESCA’s plenipotentiaries are now concerned about the length of names and are considering new rules to shorten player’s names before scorers leave the game due to writer’s cramp.  Zaki had a bowl and took 3-27 including a superb catch by Ewan Hutchinson, reaching casually overhead to catch the speeding ball.  There was some amusement for the crowd as what they presumed must be an experimental theatre performance saw the skipper come on, hobble up the hill and take a wicket with his first ball.  [That might be it for the season.  Ed]  An excellent catch by Charlie.  Musselburgh finished on approximately 205, since the scorers had found the lack of changeovers between overs hard to deal with and a range of totals was on offer.  Carlton stuck in to their task in the field but the lack of a drinks break seemed to cause the energy level to sag a bit in the second half.

The new rules meant that Carlton finished their overs before they begun.  Only Stephen Hawking can explain this phenomenon but he is sadly no longer available.

The experimental tea was limited to 20 minutes.  The skipper had fought a long and hard battle with the authorities to preserve tea which the experimenters had proposed should be banned.  He spent over 20 minutes telling everyone about it.

The skipper had thoughtfully brought extra-small empire biscuits (reflecting the dwindling empire no doubt) baked by Maw Broon’s bakery specially to compensate for the restricted time to linger over a full sized empire biscuit.  There was an abundance of salad – presumably some wag thought that if the team were being used as guinea pigs for the new rules then they might as well eat like guinea pigs.

So, 19 minutes 56 seconds later, Murray pere et fils opened and faced some good bowling particularly from the man with the name that ESCA had not yet devised experimental rules to shorten.  He did for Gavin who played on trying to sweep – a brave but unsuccessful experiment.  Al then banged a shorter one next over to point and Carlton’s start looked more experimental than was desired.  Zaki and Charlie steadied the ship.  Charlie dealt well with deliveries short of a length, punching a series of well-timed shots down to the wall.  But he was suckered out playing too early at the slower change bowler to be well caught at cover for a handsome 16.  Zaki was getting into his stride and was now joined by Joe Griffin making his debut for Carlton and rediscovering skills long left lingering in the attic.  He sensibly played second fiddle in a completely non-experimental manner as Zaki went past 50.  From a slow beginning, the score began to accelerate and there were worried conferences among the fielders – increasingly regular and prolonged as minute adjustments were made to the field, putting the time back in the game that the new rules were taking out.  But then Joe went for 14 trying to push things along. Ewan played a good support role to Zaki and a decent partnership was developing before Zaki was deceived by the flight and dismissed for fine 68.  Charles came in and in a determinedly non-experimental manner set about things with gusto.  He may have connected with only 1 in 3 swings but this was good enough to bring Carlton within reach but a couple of tight overs pushed the target just beyond reach.  Ewan tried to go over the top but was caught for a well-played 17 and Carlton fell 17 short of the total finishing on 188 for 6 with  Charles undefeated on 33.

The experiment ended well within the regulated time allowed so no recourse was necessary to the result calculator.  

Carlton can take a lot from the match – not 20 points of course, but lots of other positives.  There were good contributions all round particularly from the junior players.   There are also some points to ponder from the experimental rules.

Well played to Musselburgh – a very enjoyable game was played in excellent spirit.  Good luck until the return fixture.

Saturday 5th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
W
Dunnikier 2
v
Carlton 4
A

Dunnikier 2s 134 for 8 (Cameron Keatinge 3 for 26)

lost to

Carlton 4s 137 for 4 (Eric Edwards 95*)

Scorecard

Link for Gavin :-)

On the day that Karl Marx would have notched up his 200th birthday, had he not succumbed to pleurisy in 1883, your correspondent travelled to Dunnikier to see the Carlton Positively 4th XI meet their latest challenge in the unrelentingly competitive environment of the ESCA super-elite Division 5.

 ‘History’,  Marx wrote, ‘repeats itself [Unlike you then, Ed] first as tragedy , second as farce.’  After the tragedy of last week’s narrow defeat, the Positivelys were hoping for better things; they were also hoping that things would not get too farcical.  [You’re not on about the new experimental rules again are you – we had enough of that last week.  Ed] With Fantasy Bob still mysteriously holding the skipper’s reins this could by no means be assured.

'Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways.  The point, however is to change it.’ Karl Marx’s view suggests that no match report ever won a cricket match.  Your correspondent begs to differ.  He is sure that the prospect of being mentioned in a match report has spurred many a cricketer to greater heights of endeavour [Or to decline the invitation to play  Ed].  For Marx also said that ‘Nothing can have value without being an object of utility.’  He cannot have meant to imply that match reports have no value; therefore they must have utility. [Dream on Ed]

'From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.’ [We know not to expect much from you then Ed] Karl Marx seems to have summed up the Carlton selection policy.  Overlooking the baffling continued presence of the skipper, a team richly endowed with talent experience and youthful potential had been assembled.  The Positivelys welcomed Chris McAllister making his debut.  Chris hails from Manchester, a small semi-rural settlement in the North West of England.  Manchester was of course significant to Karl Marx’s cricketing philosophy – it was where his co-author of the Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels, owned a large textile factory.  Your correspondent does not know whether Engels produced cricket clothing of any worth.

‘Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.’ Karl Marx had evidently met such as the Positivelys’ skipper.  Unable to understand the occurrence of another toss won, with all the fervour of a religious zealot he chose again to bowl.    The season is young – but the Positivelys’ skipper has already won as many tosses as he managed all last season.  An object lesson in the internal contradictions of capitalism.

Dunnikier’s new artificial strip lay gleam in the unfamiliar sunshine – a strong wind blew from mid-off to fine leg (and stayed that way for 10 overs under the new rules).  The temperature approached bearable.  It was time for some historical materialism.

Duncan and Keatinge Major got the dialectic [I think you mean the bowling attack  Ed] underway and were at once accurate and threatening but never managed to convert some good bowling into wickets.  The first 10 overs passed without too much excitement to disturb the tranquillity of the occasional dog walkers on the boundary.  The field changed round by staying in the same place as the proletariat’s assault on the means of production was carried on from the other end by Stephen and RuMac.  It was RuMac who got the breakthrough with a confident shout for LBW upheld by the umpire. ‘The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion,’ wrote Marx.  He might also have added that a successful LBW appeal in lower league cricket runs it pretty damn close.

By this time debutant Chris was showing his quality in the outfield adding to a strong fielding performance that complemented the bowling making scoring difficult.  At the non-drinks interval Dunnikier were 63-1.  Wickets in hand, but they needed to get moving.

‘Revolutions are the engines of history.’  Karl Marx seems to have had definite views of spin bowling and it was Doug Tidy’s revs on the ball which got the next breakthrough thanks to a smart catch low down at square leg from Ru Mac.  ‘Men’s ideas are the most direct emanation of their material state.’  If Karl Marx is correct, then we must pity the Positivelys’ skipper – he must be in a real state.  For his next idea was to bring himself on to bowl.  Through some inexplicable circumstance completely unrelated to the quality of any ball he delivered, he struck in his first over, Duncan taking the catch at mid-off.

The theatre of action turned 180 degrees again to the final block of overs.  The skipper bagged another as Chris McAllister took an excellent running catch.  Keatinge Major then got his mojo going [Is that another quote from Marx? Ed] – bowling the dangerous Ali with a well disguised slower one and benefiting from an acrobatic and limb shattering leap by Eric to take one down the leg side.  Cameron ended with 3-26, Doug 2-25 and the skipper 2-15.  At the close of the overs Dunnikier finished on 134-8.  The overs were bowled well within the prescribed time.

Jerry’s homemade parathas spiced up the tea interval nicely, and within the regulation 20 minutes the Positivelys were ready to set about the chase.  Karl Marx evidently had some understanding of the concerns behind ESCA’s plenipotentiaries’ obsessive focus on the clock in the design of the new rules, for he wrote, ‘Time is everything, man is nothing, he is at the most time’s carcass.’ And so it was the carcasses of Eric and Keatinge Minor who took guard.  Opening bowling was accurate, the batsmen were watchful.  Arman did for Keatinge Minor taking the top of middle as Euan misjudged the length.  Chris came in to join Eric and together they developed an excellent partnership.  Eric got the measure of things and began to dominate – anything short was dispatched with venom.  Chris did the sensible thing – took the runs where they were offered and let Eric attack.  The score rattled along.  The partnership had reached 90 when Chris mistimed a pull and was well caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 27.

Martin came in – slimline, lithe to the point of invisibility, he had lost 3 stones through a diet of Goji berries and distilled geyser water.  He had been a gazelle in the field.  His bat gleamed in the sun – he had sent it for reconditioning over the winter.  Sadly the factory had not only removed marks and scratches but had sucked the middle from it and he popped one up to mid-off.  Ewan and Eric then played the end-game until with 2 needed to win Ewan was suckered when wicket keeper Khalid came on to bowl still wearing his pads.  Ewan tried to give a half tracker the treatment but was caught.  He trudged off at 1 mile an hour.  ‘The worker of the world has nothing to lose but their chains;’ maybe, added Ewan, but did Marx not also realise that losing your wicket in that fashion was pretty disappointing.  Ewan gained no consolation from the thought that it was to give just this type of learning experience to young cricketers that the Positivelys were designed.  Stronger next week. Douglas came in to biff the winning runs, leaving Eric undefeated on 92, including 5 6s.  The Positivelys won by 6 wickets.Many thanks to Dunnikier who were excellent hosts and made for a most enjoyable afternoon. 

The Positivelys had celebrated Marx’s 200th birthday in fine style. ‘History does nothing;’ he wrote, ‘it does not score runs, it does not take wickets.  It is the Positivelys, real, living (even the skipper) who do all this.’  [Are you sure that is the exact quote?  Ed] The revolution continues next week at GL against Kirkbrae – tickets are selling fast.

Sunday 13th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
W
Carlton 4
v
Kirk Brae 2
H
  GL

Kirk Brae 2s 136 for 9 (Douglas Tidy 3 for 25)

lost to

Carlton 4s 137 for 2 (Alex Fedenczuk 69*, Douglas Tidy 49)

Scorecard

Your correspondent’s night’s rest had been disturbed by the thudding of heavy rain on the roof.  The morning came grey and damp.  A message on Twitter reported that Grange Loan was under water and that the morning’s planned Kwik Cricket Festival had been cancelled.

With heavy heart, your correspondent therefore began to wonder what he would do with his afternoon.  His plan to join the Carlton Positively 4th XI in their keenly anticipated tussle with near neighbours Kirk Brae 2 in the super elite ESCA Division 5 seemed forlorn.  It would be disappointing if on the Feast Day of John the Silent, your correspondent were himself rendered silent.  [Some of us would think that a blessing – is this John available for future match reports?  Ed

Over his meagre breakfast fare your correspondent gathered thoughts for one of his legendary reports of unplayed matches. [Legendary?  Dream on.  Exactly what had you sprinkled on your muesli?  Ed] He glanced at the weather report – the previous picture of unrelenting cloud and rain seemed to be changing.  Perhaps all was not lost.  There was prospect of sun and clear skies in the afternoon.  John the Silent must have sorted things. 

And so your correspondent found himself entering the hallowed gates of Grange Loan at the appointed hour to find the ground basking in all its glory under a blue sky, the expectant hum from the large crowd accompanying the players as they went through their strenuous pre-match rituals of standing around waiting for the skipper to get his act together.  Matches between these two rivals have in recent seasons been high scoring and keenly contested with occasional interesting interpretations of the laws being politely debated.  Even John the Silent would have had much to say on the matters at issue.  A good afternoon’s entertainment therefore seemed assured.

The skipper went to the middle for the toss.  Who knows what was on his mind?  [Nothing probably.  Ed] The outfield was damp but the pitch was dry with a few green tinges.  Could it be a bowl first day? [Oh come on – every day is a bowl first day for this character.  Ed]  The skipper returned to report that the Positivelys would field [Surprise – not! Ed]  He had won his third toss in a row.  There seemed no explanation for this run of extreme skill [Eh do you mean luck  Ed].  Maybe John the Silent has something to do with this miracle but he was Silent on the point.  [Is that the best you can do? Ed]

Play got under way with Matt Edwards and Saif Khan sharing the first of the 4 60 ball overs that are ordained by the experimental rules under which the Positivelys are playing this season.  [Are you going to give credit to Magnus Barelegs for that joke?  Ed]  Saif painfully rapped opener Thomson a couple of times on the shin, persuading him to think about playing from nearer square leg and middle stump then cartwheeled out of the ground.  The Positivelys were on their way.  An excellent spell by Saif – fast and accurate.  Matt disposed of the number 3 – taking his leg stump out of the ground.  The ball accelerated off the stump at head height causing Eric to take spectacular acrobatic evasive action to avert the first case of patricide seen for many years at Grange Loan.  [Eh? When was the last one – even your flesh and blood never went that far – tempting though it must have been.  Ed]  Eric’s acrobatics have earned him a call up to the Scottish Gymnastics Squad training for the next Commonwealth Games.  [Really?  Are you making this up?  Ed] Skipper Rasool joined Colvin and they progressed well to repair the damage – riding their luck a bit as the Positivelys failed to grasp any of a number of hard chances which denied Steven the reward he deserved. 

Kirk Brae negotiated the second 60 ball over without further loss (© Magnus Barelegs) and were 77-2 at the non-existent drinks break.  Well placed to accelerate in the second half – a big total looked probable.   The 3rd 60 ball over (©Magnus Barelegs) got underway with Shaun Smith charging downhill giving little away.  But it was Douglas who broke the back of the innings when he had Rasool LBW for an attacking 43, before bowling the opener Colvin for a careful 31 shortly after.  Wickets continued to fall regularly after that as Kirk Brae’s hopes of a challenging total withered in the sun.  Eric snaffled one down the leg side to give Douglas his third wicket and he finished the 3rd 60 ball over (© Magnus Barelegs) with 3-25.  Shaun could not force the wicket he deserved for some excellent deliveries, but he contributed a fine catch in the deep to give Keatinge Minor the second of his 2 wickets – the first a well taken catch by Steven low down at backward square leg.  A fine spell by Keatinge Minor, tossing the ball up courageously and causing Keatinge Senior on the boundary proudly to lift his eyes from attentive study of his newspaper – Keatinge Minor 2-17.  There would be dancing in the Keatinge household that evening.

The crowd now purred in anticipation – surely the skipper would be giving them his comedy turn from the bottom end soon.  What else had they paid their entry money for?  But as the overs went by there was no sign of that fabled arm being turned over.  [Dear me. Still on the happy dust? Ed] They grew restive.  To appease them the skipper in a single lightning movement swooped on the ball at backward point and threw the wicket down to gain a match winning run-out [Are you sure?  Eye witness accounts describe a laboured bending of the knees, a grasping for the ball, followed by a short rest, before a bobbling push of the ball which accidentally collided with the stumps as the batsman, having noted who was fielding, justifiably took things easy.  Ed] Matt got another to finish 2-21, and Kirk Brae’s innings closed on 136-9.  Even John the Silent was moved to comment that it did not seem enough.

After the regulation experimental 20 minute tea interval the Positivelys got the chase underway.  With the outfield now dry and any demons in the pitch having dried off in the sun, they were confident that they could reach the total.  However Budha had other ideas.  (Your correspondent should point out that this is not the Budha whose writings inspire more than 300 million followers. [Not quite as many as your own then – ha ha!  Ed] and who might give John the Silent a run for his money in inscrutability.  [Just get on with it  Ed]  Zen mystification blanketed the ground when Budha inscrutably castled Eric for a disappointing 2.  But that was the only interruption to the Positivelys’ progress as Feds and Douglas pounded the boundaries on either side of the wicket.  Douglas fell one short of a pugnacious half century mistiming a pull and giving a simple catch.  Feds continued to cruise and together with Rob, making a welcome return to the Positivelys ranks, reached the required total at the end of the 2nd 60 ball over (© Magnus Barelegs)   Feds finished on 69* in a consummate exhibition of strokeplay [How much did he pay you to write that?  Ed] and the Positivelys won by 8 wickets.

A good afternoon in the sun for the Positivelys with several good contributions.  Your correspondent sought a view from John the Silent but he wasn’t saying anything.  Kirk Brae were perhaps under strength but the work still had to be done.  No doubt they’ll be stronger for the return fixture in July when honeymooners and others return.

Saturday 19th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
W
Livingston 2
v
Carlton 4
A

Livingston 2s 168 for 9

lost to

Carlton 4s 170 for 3 (Chris McAllister 56*, Eric Edwards 43, Alex Fedenczuk 35)

Scorecard

Your correspondent had found it a very difficult decision.  Several weeks ago a crown encrusted envelope had tumbled through his letter box informing him that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was pleased to invite him to the wedding of Major Harry Windsor and Ms Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel Windsor on Saturday 19 May.  If he wished, he could consult the wedding present list in Argos.

Your correspondent was humbled, but consulting his diary he felt a twinge of anxiety as he discovered that that was the very day that the Carlton Positively 4th XI were to make the arduous journey to Livingston to take on the might of Livingston 2s in the super elite Division 5 of ESCA.  An impossible dilemma.  Either the soon-to-be Mr and Mrs Windsor (now known to their friends as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Count and Countess of Dumbarton and Baron and Baroness Kilkeel) or the hand-picked squad of untitled commoners and highly trained athletes faced crushing disappointment.  [Yes, whoever you turn up to will be disappointed.  Ed] Your correspondent’s loyalties were stretched to the limit.  After many long nights worrying, he finally decided.  Noblesse oblige – he would bow his knee. He swore his fealty to the royal blood of the house of the Positivelys and their most noble skipper,  the Duke of Up the Hill Against the Wind.  Your correspondent dashed off his response to HRH expressing his sincere regrets but hoping the newly-weds would find useful the toaster that was in the post.  He had made his choice – Livingston it was.  

So, having negotiated the many roundabouts that festively decorate Livingston your correspondent arrived at the historic venue of Dresselrigg where in 1348 Edward III founded the most noble Order of the Garter [Are you sure? Ed] , presumably a reminder to the knights of the day to pull their socks up [Dear me, if that is that the best you can do we are in for a long haul  Ed].  He was just in time;  out in the middle the solemn sacrament was beginning.  The Positivelys’ skipper’s outfit had stunned the crowd.  Head to toe in white, his trousers specially designed by Newberry, subtly finished at the knees with traces of last week’s grass stains.  In his hand he carried a bouquet symbolic of the team sheet [You mean the team sheet don’t you  Ed.]  Fanfares echoed round the hammer beams of the ancient Gothic ceiling as the moment of truth came.  [You’re making that up  Ed] The Positively’s skipper was on a roll with three wins out of three this season.  How long could this towering performance go on was the question on the celebrity audience’s lips [No it wasn’t – the question is how long can you go on without mentioning any cricket  Ed]

The skippers looked in each other’s eyes [Careful  Ed] - the ceremony blended the modern and the ancient.  Dry eyes were hard to find [Yes this weather is playing havoc with everyone’s hay fever.  Ed] The vibrant energy of Gospel music blended with the pageantry [Oh for goodness sake – who won the toss?  Ed]  The Rt Rev Madras Curry, the Chicago born preacher, movingly addressed congregation saying  ‘We gotta get y’all playin’ cricket’ [Never a truer word.  Ed]  The uplifting strains of Etta James’ ‘This Little Light of Mine’ rang round the ground as the skipper returned.  ‘Amen, amen, amen,’ he incanted.  ‘Toss lost by inches. We bowl.  Hallelujah.’  His team mates were astonished – a loss – but on this special day it felt like a win because the Positivelys were in the field nonetheless. Vainly did the skipper try to convince the team that he had had it in mind to bat…….

A light breeze rippling across the ground stirred the happy bunting [Do you mean the boundary flags  Ed].  The outfield was flat and firm: the wicket looked full of runs: credit to the efforts of Livi’s groundstaff.  Duncan and Keatinge Major got proceedings going under a clear blue sky.  Opening overs were uneventful – Duncan’s well disguised slower ball went past the bat regularly but once again he had no luck.  It was Keatinge Major who got the first wicket as the big opener lost patience and gave a catch low down to Eric at mid-wicket.  Livi then made steady progress as proceedings turned 180 degrees for the second 60 ball over [Yes, we know copyright M Barelegs.  Ed]  Rob and Al were the happy couple from the Pavilion End.  Keatinge Major was in the action again, snaffling a catch at mid-on off Rob.  Al Murray then got the third to leave Livi 74-3 at the half way point.  An illicit drinks break combined welcome hydration with the thrill of a criminal enterprise as the skippers had agreed to flout the prohibition of the experimental rules.  The match was evenly balanced but now Marhija looked belligerent and in partnership with his skipper Gul he began to pepper the boundaries.  A run out seemed the most likely way for the Positivelys to make progress.  Several times the solemn question ‘Do you take this short single, to have and to hold, ….’failed to get the answer ‘I do.’  But the Positivelys’ couldn’t take advantage.  Livi had advanced to 133-3 and looked good for 200 or more.   

Desperate times breed desperate measures.  The skipper sniffed the breeze – a cross wind.  He  began to stretch.  Time for the world famous in swinger [Oh come on Ed]   He struck in his second over as Marhija found Rob’s safe hands in the deep.  The scoring rate slowed, the stumps had a charmed life as the skipper consistently found his way through the batsmen’s defence.  The final 60 ball over [Yes we know Ed] began with Al coming back and bowling Jindal round his legs – ‘Anything Shane Warne can do’ he modestly said, ‘ ….anyone got Liz Hurley’s phone number?’  Feds then woke up from the effects of his revels of the previous evening. [Any suggestion you make that he had been at Harry’s stag night will be strictly censored.  Ed]   xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [Told you Ed] He safely pouched a catch off the skipper then delivered 2 run outs, wisely sprinting to take the stumps himself rather than flip the ball to the skipper at the bowler’s end.  Rob finally worked out that aiming at the stumps was a sound strategy and knocked back the off peg.  Livi finished 168-9 - A good come back from the Positivelys.  Duke of Up the Hill Against the Wind 2-20, Al 2-23. 

The wedding breakfast was taken en plein air [I thought you were in Livingston Ed].  (Dear Ed, if that is the best you can do……….YC) A sumptuous buffet containing delicacies from all four corners of ASDA was washed down with non-vintage orange juice.  The regulation 20 minutes passed pleasantly, maybe lingered to an illegal 25 before, until threatened by a performance from Sir Elton John, the celebrating cricketers got back down to it.

Eric opened with Feds and after a quiet beginning they soon had the score rattling along.  The first 60 ball over [The editorial staff trust that readers know to whom this observation can be credited and it will take it as read from now on thus shortening proceedings in line with the experimental rules  Ed] (Dear Ed, Can I get on with it?  YC) had yielded 52 runs without loss before change bowler Collins got through Feds to take his middle stump for a good 36.  (If anyone is interested Feds would be happy to explain to them his present batting average for the Positivelys) [I am sure there will many just itching for that opportunity.  Ed]    Chris joined Eric and together they prospered.  The scoring accelerated.  Eric went big down-wind to clear the boundary by several yards, but after the change round,  having got the team safely past Nelson he tried to do the same against the wind to be caught on the boundary for 43.  But his job had been done.  112-2.  Charlie came in after a long wait, opened his account with a perfect drive through extra but was unlucky to edge to short third man trying to force it.  Kentish Snr took over and together with Chris saw the Positivelys home without further alarms.  Chris made his way to an excellent half century finishing on 55* (1x 6, 5x 4).  Paul 21*.  The Positivelys won by 7 wickets in the 32nd over.

And so the team processed through the streets of Livingston in an open landau waving happily to the hordes of joyful flag-waving well-wishers who lined the pavements.  People had travelled from all parts to be a part of this special day – there was a man and his dog from Pumpherston.  Church bells throughout the land tolled in honour of the Positivelys.  The fairy tale day ended and they lived happily ever after – or at least until next week’s encounter against OCCC at the Inch.

In a short but effecive speech the groom paid thanks to Livingston for making the occasion so joyous – game played in good spirit in bright sunshine, the ground in excellent preparation and a splendid tea.  So did the bride.

Saturday 26th May 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Carlton 4
v
OCCC

H

Inch

 
Saturday 2nd June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Morton 2
v
Carlton 4
A
 
Saturday 9th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Carlton 4
v
Drummond Trinity 2

H

Inch

 
Saturday 16th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Tranent & Preston Village 2
v
Carlton 4
A
 
Sunday 24th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Carlton 4
v
Largo 2
H
GL
 
Saturday 30th June 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Musselburgh 2
v
Carlton 4
A
 
Saturday 7th July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Carlton 4
v
Dunnikier 2

H

Inch

 
Saturday 14th July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
 
Kirk Brae 2
v
Carlton 4
A
 
Saturday 21st July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
 
Carlton 4
v
Livingston 2

H

Inch

 
Saturday 28th July 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
OCCC
v
Carlton 4
A
 
Sunday 5th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Carlton 4
v
Morton 2
H
GL
 
Saturday 11th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Drummond Trinity 2
v
Carlton 4
A
 
Saturday 18th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Carlton 4
v
Tranent & Preston Village 2

H

Inch

 
Saturday 25th August 1pm
Baillie Gifford ESCA Division Five
Largo 2
v
Carlton 4
A

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