Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
574Trip End Ongoing
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At 08:30, Lucy Andrew and I, walked out the door, grabbed seven rickshaws and waited for the Melbournians to come. They were having problems with their bills, so they told us to go. Once at the office, we waited for our mini-bus to go. It was due to leave at 08:45, and at 08:40, the bus decided to leave. So I stood in front of the bus and told him to fuck off, so Andrew joined me and we waited. Ten minutes later, the boys arrived. Then Lucy told me they had asked for Baksheesh, even though Lucy had put the bags on herself. She told them to fuck off. When I was asked, I told them to stop producing and then they would have more money !!!
We drove for a while and then stopped for lunch. When the bill arrived, I couldn't understand why it was so high. We went through it and they were overcharging me, so after I accused them of being East Pakistanis, the correct price arrived. Once in Chitters, we found our rooms, and then were told that the Waving the Flag crew had caught the train and it was late. In fact, the bus was way faster, by three hours. Top tip for you all there. As this place is way smaller, we took a walk around. We ran into a load of street urchins who latched onto Lucy. We eventually arrived at a Buddhist Monastery. There we were in the heart of Issyville, and we stumbled across it. The incense was burning, and the people looked very Burmese. I got speaking to a guy and he said that there were loads of them. I was so nice to be in this serene place. So quiet and just what I needed at the time. Good things come to an end, so we left and went back onto the street. After dinner, we went for a walk as we had lost the five boys. Whilst walking the main road, it was amazing to see the amount of people sleeping on the footpath. But what was the most horrifying piece was seeing the babies just lying there with huge cockroaches running everywhere. Kind of makes me happy that I was not born a Bengali !!!
Just like Dhaka, the Bangers Cricket Board, changed the location of the ground, so we asked our hotel to write down the name in Bengali. Needless to say, the prickshaw driver took us to the wrong stadium, and as it was further and he fucked up, we did not pay him anymore. Kind of worked out ok as we missed the toss. Doh !!! Once again, we lost it and they were going to have a bat. The game started late, as it looked like there were a group of people staging a protest on the ground, whilst Jeff Thomson was doing a pitch report. Unlike last time, wickets fell pretty quickly. In fact, in the Mullets five over spell, he took 3-11 and would not be seen again today. At lunch, they were four down, so Andrew and I went for a walk. We grabbed some food, and heard a roar. We rushed back to the stadium thinking that lunch was over. The soldiers at the door, would not let us in as more soldiers and police were piling inside. After a while, they let us in. Then Lucy said we had missed the entertainment. Apparently, the police/soldiers didn't like the fact that the journalists had protested before the start, so they beat them with sticks and guns. There was blood flying everywhere. My first comment was, "did you get any photos" !!! Luckily she did, but it was not all good. It held up the game again. During the second session, another three wickets fell, and after tea, we cleaned them up for 197. Hayden and Jaques came in and put on 60ish runs before Hayden holed out. What a fucking waste. The Mullet came in and stayed till the end. A much better effort from the team compared to Dhaka. Well, anything was better than that pathetic effort !!!
Since we have been here, Andrew's stomach hasn't been right, so he decided to stay at the hotel with the Melbournians and come in later to the match. Once there, the game kicked off, with both the Mullet and Jaques taking quick boundaries. They were after fast runs, as it was really dark behind the ground. Once Jaques threw his wicket away with, Ponting came out. And then the rain and winds followed. We ran into a tunnel and watched the wind do it's damage. We normally sit under a bamboo scaffold with a cloth cover, but this was moving like there was no tomorrow. Pieces were picked up and being chucked away. We were running around taking photos, and then the wind attacked the scoreboard and half of it flew away !!! We moved into the private pavilion and watched the rain finish. We hung out for a while and then we spoke to the number one Indian commentator, Harsha Bogle. Nice guy. He told us that we had no chance of getting back on the ground, so maybe we should leave. Gilchrist then gave the same news, so we packed up and left for the day. It's a pity that we had so little cricket, but it was a great storm and at least we had some excitement for the day !!!
Once again we made our way out. The sun was shining so we were expecting a good days cricket. Both Gillespie (the Mullet) and Ponting moved to 50, before Mullet hit a ball behind square, Ponting called for a single, there wasn't one, Mullet sent him back and Ponting was runout for 52. Hussey came in to keep the Mullet company and started scoring runs at a great rate of knots. As the Mullet moved towards his 90's, Hussey moved to 80. The boys were offered the light, but the Mullet would have none of that. Tea was getting close, and the rain started to come down lightly as the Mullet moved towards his maiden ton. And he got to 98, and we were all excited, Hussey had moved to 93, the ball was tossed up, and then it happened, he pulled the drive out and his century came up. He went crazy, we went crazy. It was unbelievable !!! So far, this has been the best thing I have seen in Bangers. Then the heavens opened up and play was called for the day.
Sometimes people say, "Where were you", well, today, we were there. The game started 1/2 an hour earlier, to make up time, and as the boys walke on the field, we sang happy birthday to Gillespie, as he was celebrating. Once play started, it didn't take long for Hussey to get to 100. Both the boys were going shot for shot, and it wasn't long before they both reached 150. Hussey, being a batsmen, started to move away from the Mullet. But, what amazed us all was that Gillespie must have been studying the art of batting overnight, because he now was pulling out all of the shots. He even managed to hit a 6. When Hussey reached 182, he was caught on the boundary. It was the end of a 322 run partnership. At Lunch, Gillespie was on a 182. After lunch, he moved on through the 90's, and at 197, he turned one around the corner, and he brought up his 200. 201 not out. What a present. He went crazy !!! Ponting declared, and we came out to bowl. Lee took an early wicket, and then Warne dropped the Bangers Captain on 0 off of the Mullet. The Two had a 100 run partnership, before Warne took 3 wickets at the end. So, Bangers, 195 behind, with the last day to come. So, we were there, when our number 8 made 201, batting as a number 3 !!!
The boys came out, and started again. Warne and Lee to begin with. It didn't take long before Warne was amongst the wickets again. Lee was being hammered so he was removed from the attack and McGill was brought back on, and straight away, another wicket fell. Warne picked up his fith and McGill had three before Rafique decided to have a go. Three 6's in one Warne over had the score racing along. Thankfully, McGill finally got him, and it was all over.
The presentation was up next, with Nafees picking up the most runs, McGill the most wickets, and Man of the Match and Player of the Series could only belong to one man. Jason the Mullet Dizzy Gillespie. It was quite obvious really, especially after the 201 N.O. As I look back on the series, the Bangers team fell into their usual habit of scoring big in the first innings and crumbling like a heap in the second. They say that you learn from your defeats, so hopefully, they can only improve, but it really is a worry when your number 9/10 can score 201. Until this happens, Bangers will suffer many more defeats