Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A small crowd gathered at Erskineville Oval for a challenge cricket match to celebrate the end of bachelorhood for one of their friends, Captain Mackay, shortly to sail the wedded seas in the good ship Caren.
Esteemed umpire Gonzalez, R dusted off the whites and came out of retirement for the day. Retirement has done him no harm at all; and his characteristic posture was still in evidence as the players waited for the start of the afternoon session.
Captain Mackay won the toss and elected to bat, resplendent in the baggy green.
Farmer Adcock, up for the weekend from country Victoria, opened the bowling from the Kurajong end, and soon had the assembled crowd reminiscing about great Sri Lankan 'spinners' of the past.
With the 6 stitcher moving around in the early afternoon breeze, it wasn't long before Mackay was tempted by one down legside; clearly collecting a top edge. The team went up as one, confident they had bagged their buck ...
... but Umpire Gonzalez was unmoved.
Next up Mad Matheson flashed at one outside off stump; the sound of the nick even waking up the old geezer asleep at the bar at the neighbouring bowlo.
Umpire Gonzalez was, however,
By now the bowling team was getting frustrated. Star batsman Slee was called in to face the music, and could only poke at a sharp lifter at his body. The ball lolled up in the air; and was safely taken by the bowler. The fielders appealed in unison ...
Umpire Gonzalez was,
Evo played all over a straight one from the opener, and the death rattle was heard in neighbouring Newtown.
Clean bowleds rarely require confirmation from the umpire; however all eyes turned in anticipation. Surely this time they had their man.
To the onlookers delight; last man in Dubbers poked at one, only to see the bootbail dislodged, provoking one final raucous appeal.
Umpire Gonzalez ........
... under the spotlight
... but stubbornly,
Time was running out and Captain Mackay swung wildly at a short one.
... the runner ducked
... the fieldsmen scattered
... the ball was straight as an arrow
... all eyes turned to the umpire;
... and umpire Gonzalez,
... ever so slowly,
... and unexpectedly,