Match Details
Round Round 2
Opposition Men of the Bat
Date 1-Oct-2006 & 8-Oct-2006
Ground Rowland 4

Match Summary
Result DRAW
Men of the Bat 1st innings all out, 309 runs
Kurrajong Gypsies 1st innings 9 wickets, 216 runs

Match Report
The Gypsies Cricket Club opened their season to rave reviews this week as they premiered a new work by Nathan Cohen and Kitty Vanstead entitled Jesus Christ It's Dark Out Here against Men of the Bat at Rowland Park. Following their wooden spoon IN 2005-06, critics & fans thought it was going to be more of the same when the Gypsies conceded over 300 runs in the field and then crashed to 9/197 in reply before the two veteran Gypsies came together to snatch a dramatic draw. Theatre critic and part-time umpire Bill Glaxo was moved to comment that the final 9 overs were 'an emotional journey that took me to a place I haven’t been without a Men’s magazine in a long time.’

When Cilla’s mobile rang to let him know the season was about to start without him, he was on the throne at home learning his lines for his upcoming role in Britney Spears’ new diet. By the time he reached the ground the game had begun and he was already $10 in the red. Despite the Gypsies having only 2 recognised quicks, the Men of the Bat struggled to 6/123, mainly due to a lively rendition of The Pirates of Penzance with Masters in commander, taking 3 wickets. But it was about now that new V-C Tim Duck discovered that there is no substitute for professional actors. He hastily assembled a makeshift chorus of third-rate tweakers in Tap, Harrison & Vanstead who contrived to concede 140 runs from the next 20 overs. While Tap & Harry’s duet ‘Who’s Throwing Fruit Now’ drew muted applause and a wicket each, Vanstead’s rendition of the James Gray classic ‘I’ve Only Got Rubbish’ was given the treatment it deserved from the critics. A last-wicket partnership of 90 further added to the Gypsies’ frustrations, allowing Men of the Bat to score 309.

The day’s highlights included Arjay’s two stumpings, one of whom was top-scorer and English reject Mark Ramprakash (or his twin brother) and the surprise appearance of a septuagenarian streaker whose lap of the ground held up play for 18 minutes while she abused all & sundry to the tune of ‘I’ve Got A Wrinkled Bunch Of Coconuts’.

Act Two started well for the Gypsies; Duck (86) & Harry posted an opening partnership of 48, followed by a stand of 120 with Tap (51). At 1/168 on a small ground against a tiring attack, things were looking good until the inevitable Gypsy collapse. On cue, and in perfect harmony, the next 8 wickets fell for 29 runs, including an horrific LBW decision against Midnight Oil replacement front man Aaron Neal, who enters the record books as the 13th Gypsy to get a duck on debut.

By this time, the weather had turned for the worse, and Vanstead (who had come in at no. 5) had already complained that he could hardly read the script. Cohen called for a torch. Vanstead asked for the night-vision goggles. Cohen asked for a bell to be inserted into the ball, while Vanstead took a short single to square leg and became lost in the gloom. Finally, the Umpire suspended play pending construction of a lighthouse.

Incredibly, play resumed a short time later in near total darkness and Vanstead, now covered in phosphorous sticks and a miners’ helmet, gathered wood to build a bonfire and released flares to signal passing ships. But it was Cohen’s harrowing portrayal of the blinded Gloucester from King Lear that swayed the umpire and he called a halt to proceedings with the score at 9/216. The Gypsies had hung on for a draw – and a standing ovation from the audience.

Since they burst onto the Park cricket scene with a Grand Final appearance in the mid-1990’s, the Gypsies have largely failed to re-capture their irreverent spirit. Following their stirring Premiership victory in 2003-04, there were whispers that senior players had become soft on sledging, culminating in the outright capitulation to Randwick last year. Hopefully this game signals a return to their early, funny stuff.

Men of the Bat 1st innings
Cohen, Nathan 15 overs, 3 for 60
Duck, Tim 10 overs, 1 for 49
Masters, Tony 16 overs, 4 for 81
Harrison, Adrian 3 overs, 1 for 33
Bradley, Steve 8 overs, 0 for 35
Colman, Dave 5 overs, 1 for 24
Fenton-Smith, Will 4 overs, 0 for 22
Kurrajong Gypsies 1st innings
Duck, Tim 86
Harrison, Adrian 14
Colman, Dave 51
Barnett, Tim 0
Fenton-Smith, Will 15*
Damianakis, Manuel 8
Bradley, Steve 0
Upasena, Arjuna 0
Neal, Aaron 0
Masters, Tony 2
Cohen, Nathan 15*