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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Page #27 & 28 of “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

“Well, we do get side-tracked don’t we John. But, no harm done. In fact I seem to remember a similar incident in Madras in the early fifties in, I think it was the fifth test when the Indian bowler Patel took J.R. Reid’s middle stump. But the umpire, who was it?”
“Joshi it was Dennis.”
“So it was thank you John! Anyway, it was about the first over Reid had faced that day and he went on to score forty-four in that innings!”
“And, if I may add, he scored sixty-three in the second innings so it didn’t seem to affect Reid’s confidence – it’s a pity Wilde can’t hear us but I’m sure he knows – he’s been around the cricket pitch long enough to understand all this.”
“Anyway, we’re watching Hadlee, who is back for second spell, coming in to bowl to Wilde and … Good Lord he’s bowled him again and this time there’s no no ball!”
“Well, that was a good piece of captaincy bringing Hadlee back. Wilde had really taken Cairns and Bracewell in the last few overs and Coney had the option of bowling them out and leaving Hadlee to come on in the last bracket. But, I think he’s done the right thing because the weather is so uncertain – I mean, Dennis, the fact that fifteen overs have been reached means that there is definitely a game on. In fact, we are now in the nineteenth over and with the Out of It team score being 172 means they are scoring at just under ten runs an over, a formidable run-rate – and this may be one of those games in which the run-rate, and not the final score, could be all important.”
“I couldn’t agree more John. I think whatever happens the New Zealanders have got an uphill. Well, you can’t help but admire Wilde. He was at the crease for just six overs and in that time he scored fifty-nine runs including 5 fours and 4 sixes. I should imagine he would be feeling quite pleased with himself as he makes his way back to the pavilion with that arrogant, manly stride of his.

Yet each man pulls the stumps on himself
By each let his be heard
Some do it with a simple French cut
And with unflattering word
Cowardly commentators say “played on!”
Cutting deeper than a sword

Some play careless strokes when they are young
And some when they are old
Some leave such a gap twixt bat and pad
That the ball, like an arrow of gold
Straight to its target blindly goes
Leaving the batsman out in the cold

Some hit too little, some too long
Some wait for an extra or a bye
Some leave the field almost in tears
And some without a sigh
For each man pulls the stumps on himself
Yet none can answer why.

“I’d like to welcome back to the commentary box Billy T. who’s just brought us a lovely plate of mutton bird and cucumber sandwiches and some drink – thank you so much Billy. Now I believe you have something interesting to tell us about the Put of It Captain.”
“Yea, a kia ora everyone again. Seems that Te Rauparaha only just made it into the team, despite what his present batting performance would suggest. They got this fella who plays for Central Districts called Titokowaru, e. I was talking to Ian smith before the game today and he told me ‘bout this, e bro. Apparently old Titokowaru has a similar relationship with the Out of It selectors as Glenn Turner had with the New Zealand Selection Panel. The result is that he rarely gets to play on the international scene. A great loss to Te kirikiti O Aotearoa ia bro!”
“Well, Billy, that certainly is interesting. It’s a constant source of amazement that this game of cricket throws up new or unknown knowledge no matter how long one has been associated with it.”

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