1. Stockholm T25 Exhibition Cricket Match:

    By Blue Baller, 2nd June 2020

    Södermalm AFC vs Djurgården Cricket Club @ JCG, Skarpnäck, Sunday 31st May

    We would usually be three or four matches deep into the footy season by now but due to the pandemic continuing to rage on here in Europe, the mighty Södermalm Blues turned their sporting attention towards the red leather of a Kookaburra ball rather than that of the red Sherrin. Bradman and all the other weather Gods turned the sunshine on for our match against the Djurgården XI with conditions perfect for some beers, burgers and a bit of the gentleman’s game.

    The “Bat Toss”

    The day began with a bat toss by the two Captains (Jordo & Marcus) with Jordo losing the call and getting sent in by the Djurgåden XI skipper. Slightly nervous that we only had nine batsmen we all thought that this could have been a crucial toss to lose. Nevertheless, Club President and opening batsmen Daniel Jordan was extremely confident at the task at hand and rallied the troops to start padding up and get some ‘throwdowns into ya’.

    Söder’s Opening Batsmen

    Both opening batsmen (Jordo & Andrew Smith) certainly looked the part and both even had their own gear to use as opposed to the rest of us that needed the borrowed resources of the opposition team. With Macca (Umpire) and Larry (Square Leg Ump) heading out on to the field, this meant that pre-beers needed to be skulled by all. The first two overs were a bit slowly-slowly as both openers got their eye in on the hallowed synthetic deck but after that Jordo loosened up the shoulders and started to let rip. The run rate suddenly picked up with Smithy building a nice looking picket fence with an important IIIII (5) from an opening partnership of 45 before getting his wicket skittled.

    Joel ‘Iron Guts’ Burnell came to centre without missing a beat and turned up the heat with Captain Courageous as they both started to cart the Djurgården attack to all parts of the JCG. You know an opposition team is in trouble when the wicketkeeper needs to take off the pads after 5 overs to have a bowl. Jordo was putting on a MasterClass as he brought up Söder’s 100 with the established cricket side (formally SACS) looking like they had no answers for the Blues top order. With 11 overs gone the game suddenly became extended to a 25 over match with which a total of 200 now looking on the cards. Macca (Innings Umpire) had an excuse for every LBW and caught behind shout with just as many being a lie as they were true. Joel B(25) got his castle knocked over which saw Blues veteran Jonathan ‘Brissles’ Briscoe come to the crease as Jordo contemplated a chance for him to bring up his first ever cricketing century. With a quickfire (20) Brissles was eventually caught which then saw another Söder stalwart in Marcus ‘Rappa’ Rappoccio arrive to the crease to try and help Jordo score his elusive ton. As the Club Pres reached the nervous 90’s, the running between the wickets become almost diabolical with inexperienced square leg ump Larry waving away any close chances just like someone who has been umping 5th Grade cricket all of his life. With a huge six to bring up his 100, Jordo was forced to retire with rapturous applause (mostly due to those of us batting down the order wanting him gone so that WE could have a bat. Rappa and Tom ‘TZ’ Zacharissen plugged away and both finished 11* not out and 4* not out respectively. It was a fantastic batting effort with the final innings total being 3 for 181.

    During the innings changeover, the BBQ and beers were in full swing with an obvious lack of Mothers in attendance on such an important mors dag. Iron Guts opened the bowling with a Harmison-esque opening delivery that went for 5 wides but soon applied the screws as he and Macca did their work in establishing a strong start to Söder’s time out in the field. Macca got hit for one of the biggest sixes in world cricket by one of the smallest West Indians (subsequently smashing into a passing car) only to then have him get given out caught behind by his captain umpiring at the other end when clearly kicking the ball down the leg side. With Macca not even appealing it was so obviously not out, the opening batter was allowed to stay out there after such a howler of call but it was only short-lived when the same umpire sends him on his way for one of the dodgiest LBW calls in T20 history. 1st change Craig Taylor (2 for 42) came on with immediate success after replacing Joel B with his rapid pace and then Brissles (2 for 24) also picked up a wicket in his first over at the other end bowling some right arm darts. At this stage, the Djurgåden umpires were proving to be the best players on the Söder fielding team as their fingers were being raised more often than an Aussie bogan driving in Sydney peak hour traffic. Not long after his dismissal, the little West Indian opener sprinted back out to the middle and sacked each of the umpires and proceeded to give nothing out even when some players in fact were walking due to it being so blatantly out. Rappa (1 for 7) and Jordo teamed up during the middle overs to keep the wickets falling but as Söder’s established bowlers were completing their spells, opposition middle-order batsmen and token Aussie Sean started to go to tonky town and brought up a quickfire fifty to have us under the pump and feeling pretty deflated. It was our skipper who again stepped up with a direct hit to run out their captain for a duck but Sean kept the runs free-flowing single handily and was looking like stealing victory away from the mighty Blues. With less than 20 runs to get and 4 overs in hand Söder’s King Midas cemented his Man of the Match performance by bowling out Sean with no less then 12 runs to go and finished the match with figures of 3 for 27.

    It was a fantastic day and proved that we may all be footy players but the leather on willow is not that far removed from this talented footy club. Big shout out to all the boys from the Djurgården who made it a bloody terrific day.

    Thanks to Brendan McCormick for this match report!

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