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Monday, January 3, 2011

The hat-trick that should have been

Gee people can be quick. I have already received a tweet asking about the non-hat-trick that I can't blame an umpire for.

OK, it's only a short story, so here goes.

It was a one-day match, a final, against a team that really fancied their chances against us. And to be fair, they had every reason to fancy themselves.

The skipper threw me the ball. Almost instantaeous success. A wicket. Another. The hat-trick beckoned. And just like that previous episode, in all important incoming batter was a kid.

I stood at the head of my run up. I glared at the kid, doing my best impression of Merv Hughes, provided Merv had been a short, greying, bespectacled, hopeful-off-spinner. In fact, about all Merv and I had in common was a paunchy gut. But never let facts get in the way of a good story!

The bowl rolled beautifully out of my fingers, looping up in the air, dropping right on the spot. It turned in a little and the batter lunged forward, the ball catching the shoulder of the bat to loop back in the air back towards me. Oh what a dream of a return catch. I could have probably rolled a cigarette while getting into position, it was that easy a return catch. But instead, for some strange reason, I lunged forward toward the ball, only to find myself over-shooting it. A last desperate lunge back between my legs only saw my fingertips brush the ball.

The umpire, having been greeted with the sight of my hands chasing a bowl out from beneath my fat posterior, managed to keep a straight face. Almost.

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