2012 FCL Week 04

A second consecutive weekend filled with cricket. Generally seems like a good time of year to be a bowler, though Matt Caven's selectors might think otherwise.

Saturday's were away against the Churchways Saturday 1st XI no less; no Petelas in this side. Within barely an hour of the scheduled start Rich Garner cried off & became the first recipient of the Fantasy Cricket League's most punitive sanction; -30 points for a no show with less than 24 hours' notice. We expect McTWUNT will contact him shortly with regard to this behaviour. It's right there in the Rules & Scoring; there's even a column specially for it in all the tables for cricketer performance scores. 22 team owners are now sympathising with Evan's predicament. Angelo stepped in just in time for what turned out to be the first of two victorious 25 point contributions. Put into bat Grover got his season off inauspiciously with a duck, early wickets fell for small scores & more followed, yet thanks to a gutsy 39 point innings from Higgy, some waggling & a couple of not out bonuses for Joe & Rob all 40 overs were exploited, leaving the cowboys the tricky task of defending a total of 122. Gretch gathered another 59 making him best value keeper & silver in the keeper MVPs; adding to his battling 9 run points with 25 fielding points for a catch behind off Budge & then assisting Grover with the run out which redeemed his duck through some sleight of body, thereby accounting for both the openers. This meant there were no negative scores here, although numerous opportunities for more fielding points were apparently squandered from liberally offered aerial biffings to set up an entertaining end game. A range of bowlers earned points & kept the foe guessing; Joe scored 60 with his all round game; Tim was economical but wicketless, yet scored a healthy 53 with a catch off Old Ned, who with another 3 wicket haul for not very much & 83 more points, runs clear into the lead for the best bargain all rounder & silver for best bargain overall, overall & all round MVPs. Rob Tinkler scored 3 wickets from a full 8 overs, split between opening & the death, supplementing his determined batting & producing another 95 points, taking him to the top of the bowling MVPs, silver for bargain value bowler & bronze position for MVP overall. But this week some key contributions came from all rounders bowling for the first time in the fantasy league this season; Kahlu got a critical breakthrough & the match winning catch leaving him with 65 for the weekend, Evan scores 67 for the weekend with a devastating & critical 4.3 overs, 2 maidens, 1 for 3, & is one third of the way to a hat trick in his next spell; but Iggy added 2 catches & a mean spell of bowling, including 3 maidens, to his batting points to earn him the MoM & Saturday player of the week with 136 points overall.

Sunday 1s enjoyed the undulating contours & foliated horizons of Oldbury Park for their match away against the Bristol Bangladeshis 2nd string, choosing to field on what appeared to be a green, untrustworthy & drying track. Omar immediately threatened & kept them pinned down at one end, while the decades were rolled back at the other as Duncan wheeled round at the top of the arc in his run up for a probing & edgy opening 5 over spell of swing & seam bowling that ended up with a field of 3 slips, a gulley, point & 3rd man, but the ball flew past the edge, between or over these catchers more often than not to yield only 1 maiden & 1 lbw wicket from a debutant & instantly replaced umpire. It was the next change high contrast partnership that did most of the damage with Rob Taylor & Martin Stratton getting 3 wickets apiece. Rob was miserly throughout his 5.1 overs, despite the Windies '76 field, got his wickets bowled for pace, movement, lack of bounce or combinations of the above, included a maiden & went for 7 runs, Martin, after a tight start with deceptive changes of pace & bounce performed an lbw appeal, a wait for the decison, followed by a celebration, all in the right order, then suckered a loopy slowmo slip catch for Wilko & a proddy lift to Bolts at point, decided the fielders weren't getting enough exercise after the drinks break & ended up going for 42 from his 8 over spell. Just for a brief spell things threatened to get out of hand as one decent looking batsman persisted & Andy Chester sent down the first of his 4 overs of extreme contrast, then got 1 for 22 with a plum(b?) LBW plus an assist for Angelo's sharp & level headed run out, as the batsman at the other end panicked to avoid the strike. Going for the jugular Omar returned to get the wicket he deserved & RT2 removed the batting danger with the first ball of his return to leave him with messy data, another potential hat trick in the making & them all out for 107 in under 30 overs, challenging the batsmen to equal the total made the week before but without losing 10 wickets in the process. The response began with a grindy opening attitude which saw off the opening bowlers, but scored few fantasy points as it mostly took full advantage of any potential extras & fielding laxity & reached 38 at the start of the 10th over. Surely a solid enough foundation. But the two-paced lefty chinaman/fastball bowling Bristol Indians ringer suddenly got Justin to lift a dolly towards a responsive point, Bolts to dance around a quicker, straight one (so leading to the displacement of last week's gold situated MVP batsman) & Duncan to offer his leg in front & things suddenly gained the possibility of going familiarly wrong. Fortunately it was just the situation for Mark & Angelo as they took on the challenge, adding the innings' top two scores in contrasting styles with a couple of powerful 4s from Angelo & the obligatory 6 lifted nonchalantly over square leg, we're definitely on our way now, then up in the air again & all over. Mark persisted with Andy C to see off the final danger ringer overs full of appeals for LBWs off the bat, byes that hit nothing & nobody catches anyway or some other methods of dismissal currently unknown to the laws of cricket, but resolute umpire Jeff fell for none of them, then having brought us to the verge of triumph Mark succumbed with little fantasy reward to an incutter from the returning opener & 2 balls later RT2 was heading back having missed a repeat of the same ball, quacking precariously close to golden & ruining his chances of organising another MoM conspiracy. In an uncannily well balanced team performance, as was later to become apparent through the diversity of MoM nominations, as well as anyone had done with the ball, they did inversely well with the bat. Omar took up his gunslinger pose & prepared to charge the bowler, but one four sliced to the boundary almost on the full over the head of slip later a slow but sure stump targeted offbreak ends the duel, then with a lofted swaft loopily to backward square leg, Dean gets a duck & suddenly Jeff's in, there's only Martin to follow; we know how well he bowled & we're still an almost unfeasibly large number of runs away. But before the sense of horror at what has happened can sink in & gain too much of a hold, Andy C carves one behind for four, turns another off his legs & it was an easy win really, & because it was a win, no-one gets a negative score. In his comeback from the retired ex-opening bowler community performance Duncan scores you 51 this week; Wilko 54 for his catch just more than his sterling batting, & in another good weekend for bowling, the bigger points come from Martin & Omar (currently silver bowler MVP) scoring identical 60s & RT2 with 71.6666 recurring, no longer featuring in any of the top 3s for the tough all rounders class but hanging around in the general vicinity (those ducks are killers). Angelo puts together 96 for both games & leads the keeping MVP race & MoM Andy Chester saw the team home with his unbeaten resolve & Jeff, & with 97 moves into silver spot for bargain all rounder.

Sunday 2s were home to Beckington in the first competitive tea of the season & upon losing the toss were therefore inserted on the grounds of projected leisure. There were no ducks this week. None whatsoever, from anybody. Not only this, but 40 full overs were batted. Nevertheless the only serious scorers in the batting department were the partnership of the innings; Jonse with his spirited 38 & Matt Caven who has arrived at the party at last (sadly no jug was available) with a MoM & MVP of the week performance for his maiden 50. Matt Noodles made 16 in his first league game, which was decent till his bowling was treated harshly & Wayne got a nice little not out bonus. The bowling suffered universally with a couple of notable exceptions; Wayne just about held his own, taking a wicket & a catch & keeping something of a lid on the runs conceded, but DCs1&2, James & Matt Noodles all had negative experiences with the ball; Dave Littleton pulled in another useful little haul of points with 2 for 13, yet surprisingly no maidens, off his 7 overs; but it was Matt Caven's day buying 2 wickets from his 3 over spell to go with his 2 catches. DC1 scores 7.5 for the tea, but we do not have a valid algorithm for this. Reg got a catch, so his batting score can't hinder his rise to the bronze position in keeper MVP & bargain keeper categories, scoring 26 this week. A couple of bowling extravagances persist as James scores -1 & DC2 slips to bronze in the overall bargains but holds the lead in bargain bowlers irrespective of his transitory blip of -5 this week. Wayne scores another 45 & holds bronze in bowling MVP & bargain value. Jonse gets his season moving in the right direction with a solid 48 & Dave L makes another worthy 55, but player of the weekend with the fantasy performance of the season so far is the incredibly affordable (fanfare!), yet under contract to only 3 team owners (gasp!) Matt Caven with 163 points (applause!); taking him straight into gold position for best bargain, batsman MVP & bargain batsman (extended ovation with horns!!!).

MVP (Most Valuable Player):

This Week:

1st: Matt Caven 163 points

2nd: Ian Higgins 136 points

3rd: Andy Chester 97 points


1st: Kahlu Kumara 227 points

2nd: Steve Ormesher 198 points

3rd: Rob Tinkler 185 points

Toxic Cocktail of the Week:

1st: Rich Garner -30 points

2nd: Dave Crowle -5 points

3rd: James Tinkler -1 point

Honest Ned's Kosher Team of the Week:

Neil Boulton 44 £11Bn

Matt Caven* 326 £6Bn

Rob Taylor 71.67 £11Bn

Ian Higgins 136 £10Bn

Steve Ormesher 83 £7Bn

Andy Chester 97 £6Bn

Angelo Bordi 96 £10Bn

Joe Burgess 60 £11Bn

Rob Tinkler 95 £9Bn

Omar Miakhail 60 £9Bn

Martin Stratton 60 £8Bn

Total: 1128.67 £98Bn

This week's team come at a bargain price of £98Bn. The allstars would drop Volts & one of the bowlers who scored 60 & this time go with a 1-6-1-3, boosted all rounder formation. The two elite all rounders, Ev & Kahlu would come in at £15Bn apiece with scores of 67 & 65 respectively, raising the total score to 1156.6667 & the budget to £106, 108 or 109Bn. Who cares!

Bargain Standings:

1st: Matt Caven 28.83 points/£Bn

2nd: Old Ned 28.29 points/£Bn

3rd: DC2 25.00 points/£Bn

Trophy Tracker:

League Standings:

1st: Netball Berds 1604 points

2nd: Horny Mofos 1509 points

3rd: 3 Not Out 1458 points

Dainty's Netball Berds made the biggest weekend score of the competition so far with 899 points taking them straight into the lead on 1604 with all her players making solid contributions, including 6 players from Honest Ned's choices & one of the allstars, but did not require the services of this weekend's MVP. Ev's Horny Mofos remain in silver position after a tougher weekend but still making a handy score of 570, though his Perpetual Underachievers remain at the bottom of the table after another poor weekend showing. Duncan's Payperscissorstoners got up strongly with 861 & now lie 8th on 1312, but this week's 3rd highest scorers were Aaron's 3 Not Out managed from the land of away, scoring 739 to take them into bronze place on 1458.

Last week's 2nd & 3rd placed teams, McTWUNT & Rag 'N' Bones both had sorry weeks & have now slipped to 23rd & 18th respectively. Matt has finally sorted out his Nooderlaters & they made the 4th best score of the weekend, with 663 taking them into 16th on 1265. Ian's Wistical Mankers made 654 & made up plenty of ground to sit in 41st on 1070 after a poor start to the campaign. Admin insider Hopeless Wonder also improved strongly with 639, totalling 1199 & are now lying 24th.

Andy Chester's Rhinestones are starting to threaten after another 637 takes them into 6th on 1320, while as a cruel mirror to his own form, Nelly's Johnny Jihad's Giants made another 629 & now have 1395 in 4th, just outside the prizes.

Military Medium Mercenaries move in the right direction again after scoring 616, making 1218 in 19th & scoring 607, Scott Thomas' Welsh Cricket Board now have 1284 & lie 13th. Dave L's Coasters keep up their progressive form & lie 5th on 1329 after 574 this week, while in 7th another Admin dark horse, Himalayan Monkshoods have 1313 after another consistent week of 576.

Team of the week has to be Netball Berds, making it a second successive record-breaking weekend with their score of 899.