Mad Dogs Vs Pressure Pumpers

Game Four of the MDCC 2007 Grenada Tour 

The playing part of the Mad Dogs C.C. tour of Grenada concluded on Thursday, with another game against the Pressure Pumpers in St Andrew's Parish. We took a short but lovely drive into the mountains above Grenville to a lovely little ground in the village of Paracleet that was to provide yet another challenge to our collective talents. 

A strong Dogs team was bolstered by the return of Thorndog and Jonas although the latter was battling some severe pain in the rear end area that threatened to derail his cricket. But in the end Jonas proved well hard as always and gritted his teeth to play through the pain, proving yet again why he is the only Mad Dog who can look pretty in pink. On the minus side, Lincoln Harrison was absent for reasons that were initially inexplicable until someone added up the number of drinks he had necked the previous evening - and he missed a day of rare treats..

As usual the field was tiny, and there were a bunch of blokes setting up a Carib tent on the outfield. But of that, much more later. It proved to be a lovely day out but in the end yet again it was a day for "if it's in the V, it's in the tree.." and it was. Often..It was a nice cool and cloudy day in the mountains, a gift after the boiling days we had endured inside the stadium as the sun beat down on the lobster-like
torsos of Eric Harrison and Neil Kimberley in the Party Stand. Tony Boyke was installed as captain and duly won the toss and elected to bat. The old firm of Lawrence and Palmer set off modestly in their stylish helmets against some good quality bowlers especially young quickie David Murray who was pinging it into a wicket that stopped and popped a bit and looked difficult to bat on. Until later...Palmer fell to an amazing catch as he drove and edged and the wicket keeper caught the rebound off first slip's hands to dismiss Rosie for 6. Thornton soon followed, playing about an hour too early and being bowled by Walker for 0, to put the Dogs in a little trouble at 26 for 2.

Perth tennis star John Thomas Ferguson joined Keith in a useful partnership and the Dogs advanced to 51 off 9 overs before Keith drove powerfully back to bowler Rodney who took a "look what I found" no-look one-handed catch to dismiss Lawrence for 23. Neil Kimberley came to the wicket and clipped a 4 and a 6 before skying a return catch to bowler Walker for 12 Jonas Wilson shrugged off his sarong which made him look like a contestant on Survivor, came to the wicket and hit a powerful 4 before being bowled by Rodney for 5 at 83 for 5. New Dog Jide Adedeji came to the wicket and again batted promisingly, mixing carefully placed singles with solid attacking shots while Ferguson began to chance his arm and hit over the top powerfully for a few 4s and 6s. 

Jide edged to slip off Felix to be caught for 13, leaving the Dogs at 106 for 6 after 16 overs. Neil Harrison then talked Boyke into putting him up the order at number 8, and Connecticut's best number 11 batsmen came to the
wicket to join the young Australian. 


These two pushed singles for a couple of overs before Ferguson launched a 4 and a 6 over the top. At this point Neil began to find the spin bowling of Lewis to his liking and connected for some 2s and 4s to mid wicket, followed by a drive for 4 over the bowler's head. Soon afterwards, Ferguson was a spectator as Harrison launched a relentless assault on the next over from Lewis, raining 4s and 6s back over the bowler's head as the bowler conceded 26 to bring the score to 170 for 6 off 22 overs. 

Both batsmen continued to attack and Neil hammered a massive six off medium pacer Felix and then a 4 through cover to bring up his maiden Mad Dog half-century to the general astonishment of the Mad Dogs team and the approval of the gathering crowd and of the DJ in the Carib tent who had now turned play-by-play commentator... " and de Mad Dog has hit a huuuge six and Mister Felix will be searchin' for dat one all night in de banana trees..". 


The return of David Murray brought the partnership of 79 to an end as Harrison was bowled for a lively and aggressive 54 off 27 balls with the score at 185 for 7 off 24 overs. John Ferguson continued to attack with Boyke as the score advanced to 193 for 7 before the DJ decided that "de Mad Dogs have enough now" and terminated the innings unilaterally at the end of the 26th over, which unfortunately deprived Ferguson of a well-earned 50 as
he finished at 49 not out. Exciting stuff, and surely enough runs to defeat the hosts? Nah...

Once again, the opening overs and opening batsmen for Pressure Pumpers raised little alarm as Tony dismissed
the opener Williams with an LBW on the toe for 0 with his first official ball after a no-ball, and gave up just 6 runs while the opening salvo from Eric Harrison conceded only one run. A few loose ones were cracked for a 4 or 6, but then Eric struck, as a ball popped up to Lewis and Eric dived forward to take the return catch before executing the dead ant celebration, well maybe dead beetle.. Boyke then produced a snorter to bowl Forrester for 10. 

At this point Pressure Pumpers were 39 for 3 and the DJ announced that "Mad Dog is well on top now, boot it's a foony game, and tings can turn aroond quick style.." Indeed. Unfortunately this brought Stanley, obviously a popular figure in the village to the wicket to a rapturous reception from the crowd which had grown to number close to a hundred in the natural amphitheatre of the tiny ground ringed by mango trees in the fertile valley above the town of Grenville where Mr Evelyn Fredericks teaches school and raised his seven daughters...

Stanley began by smearing some sixes off Eric and Tony then received similar treatment. Jonas Wilson came on for Eric and should have had Stanley given out lbw first ball, but it was not to be.. and the carnage continued. Ferguson bowled Felix with a ball that never left the ground for 39, but Stanley remained. As the score mounted rapidly, in a pattern that was now eerily familiar Boyke turned to the spin of Neil Harrison, who bowled with uncharacteristic ineptitude or is it learned helplessness, as he and Jonas conceded a continued stream of violent boundaries by Stanley. The DJ continued to monitor the decline of Mad Dog fortunes.." and de Mad Dog wit de pink hat cooms into bowl and Stanley hit it in de mango tree..." " de Mad Dog bowlin again and oh...that one is on its way to Jamaica...". 

Jonas then dismissed Waller lbw for 6, and the introduction of Keith Lawrence led to a stumping as Alexander walked down the track three times, Ed Palmer finally accepting the third stumping opportunity to give Keith a deserved wicket. But it was already late, and despite Stanley retiring for a splendid 78, and the late bowling efforts of Chris Wright and Keith, the Pressure Pumpers reached 194 for 6 in the 19th over as the Dogs crashed to their 3rd defeat on the island 

The bowling figures : Boyke 4-0-32-2; Eric Harrison 4-0-33-1; Ferguson 2-0-19-1; Wilson 3-0-37-1; Neil
Harrison 2-0-31-0; Lawrence 2.4-0-17-1; Wright 1-0-6-0.

The game was followed by Caribs, fish stew with dumplings (oildown) and the saltfish and plantain dish
that is a staple of Grenadan rural life. We also exchanged thanks with our hosts and Mr Fredericks,
leaving a bag of not too smelly Mad Dog equipment behind for his school teams to use, and the usual Dog
hats, T shirts and Jonas' autographed jock strap. As the light faded over the fertile valley, soca mixed
with vintage reggae as the subtle aroma of ganja floated down over the ground and into the fields. We
mingled with village girls, many of whom were either daughters or former pupils of the iconic Mr
Fredericks, and we began to understand the fertile nature of the lovely valley in the mountains above


As usual, too much beer led to a lot of peeing by the roadside during the usual long drive back to L'Anse
Aux Epines where dinner was followed by a sortie to the nightclubs of St George's where Jide and Neil H were
able to save Chris Wright from a bevy of cruise ship entertainers looking for young innocent boys with
wicket-keeping gloves....