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Panthers news and match reports


(Please note that no offence is intended to any third party in the undernoted match reports that are produced with the primary intention of [hopefully] entertaining club members)


Our intrepid reporter writes, "OOOIIIIIIIIIII!!!!! On Tuesday evening there appeared to be a certain buzz around Shawholm. Why? Was it a testimonial game for a certain player? Was it an international game? All we know, was that it was your typical Panthers game.


"The Panthers were going into the final game of the Evening League season without their star players, Adder Maddock, 'The Finisher', who has been signed for Australia, and Moeen Ali who is injured.  This led to some commotion as the Panthers were struggling to assemble a team, fortunately the Academy game was cancelled which led to a scramble of Academy players stating their availability. On a first come, first served, basis, the wannabe Vice-Captain Maal Island-sponsored Abdullah was drafted in, along with Zakir Sinakey. However, there was twist: rumour has it that Zakir Sinakey's manager called in to advise that he couldn't play as he had a game on Friday, which led to Amaan Ali son of Ali Ali being the next in line. 


"Now with the team selected, Umar Gulfam went up to the Captain MI Cobra and passed him a coin, terming it as 'The Lucky Coin'. MI Hanif went for the toss, and would you believe it or not, the Panthers won the toss. OOOIIIIIIIII!!!!!! Those were the war crys from the Panthers team when they found out they were batting first. The air horns were blowing, scarfs and flags waving and random outbursts of OOOIIIIII’s!!!!!! 


"The Panthers went out to bat first with Zakir Siddiqui relegated to the side-lines as mascot, keeping the spirit alive within the Panthers squad. The opening batters were Bogezy Malone (Hunnain the Bogeyman), and Murtaza, with the overs reduced to 18 due to light. The Cobra's advice was to 'play your natural game'. And that is precisely what Bogezy Malone did, blocked the first ball, which then led to him unleashing his Bogey that's haunted his own team and the opposition all season. With the Bogey unleashed, this caused some fury to the opening bowler, who was so 'vexed', he came charging in and bounced Bogezy, aiming right at the Bogey.  Hunnain selfishly, instead of swatting it away for 4, put his bat in the air to protect the slimeball stuck in his nostril, and 'Howzat!', out caught. Panthers one down. Hunnain out for a duck? No he was out for a 'bogey'. 


"This brought Jagimeister - no relation to Jagermeister - to the crease, leaving the former Torrance combo to rebuild the innings, and that is what they did. Some clever running between the wickets by the pair saw the Panthers keep their run-rate at near enough a run-a-ball. But Jagimeister had enough, he wasn’t hearing enough from the crowd, so he went big, VERY big, one HUGE 6.....and that was it, the crowd was buzzing, with the club mascot leading the way with the chants of “OOIIIIIII!!!!!!!”. This fuelled Jagi for another big hit, and what a wallop! This led to an even bigger roar of “OOOIIIIII!!!!!”. Crowd entertainment at its finest, but then, suddenly, this was put to an end as Jagi was given out LBW. 


"This brought Dr Uzzi to join Murtaza at the crease, having to rebuild the innings again.  They kept it in check with some good running and some odd boundaries here and there. 


"Meanwhile off the field, a story had broken out. Amaan Fakeali told Zakir Sinakey that he was the one who made the phone call and stated Zakir should be rested for Friday. Shouts of 'Heavy SNAAAKE YAAAR', 'BROO YOU SNAKED ME! I thought we were boiz?!' were heard around the ground. Meanwhile, Murtaza carried on his batting form hitting some boundaries with Dr Uzzi rotating the strike. Both stayed not out scoring over a run-a-ball, seeing the team to a total of 129 for 2 in 18 overs. 




"With 130 to chase in 18 overs, the Panthers looked to be in a good position, but as we know, it is never that easy. Captain Cobra opened the bowling with The Haati (Awace Ahmed) and the newly Gucci-sponsored Amaan Ali. It looked as if West had been told to attack from the start, as the first ball from The Haati was whacked hard, straight down the ground, only for a running dive from Irfan to stop it. He appeared to take the catch only for the ball to pop out of his hands once he hit the ground. 'What a dive, that would have been a heavy sick catch, yaar', was echoed by the team. West continued their attacking play, several edges resulting in 2s and a dropped catch at point, only for The Haati to get the breakthrough, taking out the dangerous Mills.  Ali Ali was taken off and he threw a mini-tantrum not wanting to field, so MI Hanif switched him with Dr Uzzi so he could 'keep and vent his frustration at the opposition.


"Then, bowling changes of Hasan Syed and Abdullah Malik didn't work, with Abdullah keeping it steady, but his partner leaking runs. 


"The bowlers were not helped by The Haati: despite his size, he was never agile enough to stop anything coming across his path. But something unusual was seen on the day: a dive from the big man! OOOIIIII!!!! But was it stopped? Nope, the ball, nearly trapped under his smelly armpit, put up a fight and rolled away. He then came out with, 'Here that ball did a heavy u-turn, spun this way, then went that way', after another fielding effort slipped by him. In the extras section, there should now be an Awace Ahmed column so we can tally up the misfields. 


"Another bowling change then saw Bogezy Malone brought in to the attack: first ball, goes straight to the 'keeper, no-one appeals apart from the Bogezy himself, and - WOAAH!!! - IT’S GIVEN! Batsman adamant he hadn’t hit it, most people thought pad, but never ever underestimate the Bogezy appeal. Leggat gone for 33. 


"Bogezy's overs were tight and he bowled four on the trot, with Murtaza coming on for three at the other end. In the midst of all of this, West of Scotland were now ahead of the game, running hard 1s and 2s.  Some poor fielding also resulted in them going at more than a run-a-ball. Fielders were brought in to tighten up on the singles being run, yet still runs were leaking. Murtaza was then taken off, replaced by Afghan Jalebi (Habib).  Jalebi's over kept the opposition in check along with Hunnain's last over: better, tighter, fielding.  The Panthers took a crucial wicket near the dying stages of the game, with the West Captain Deshmukh chipping it in the air for Umar Gul-fam running in from deep cover taking the catch like a crocodile. 


"With Hunnain's four great overs, it was left to Habib to give the Panthers the best possible chance of winning in the final over. 12 needed from twelve balls and Jalebi Saab goes for 6 in the seventeenth: dots, singles and twos. A good penultimate over, as the Panthers intentionally got the new batsman on strike for the final over: 6 needed from six. Not an ideal scenario, but the Panthers were still in the game. Question was, who would bowl the last over? The Cobra had two realistic options, himself with the toe crushing yorkers, or Dr Uzzi with bundles of experience. Captain knows best,.....Dr Uzzi to bowl.


"First ball...dot.  Second ball...dot.  Third ball...again...dot.  Sounds a bit like Slownnain batting now doesn't it!.  Fourth ball....edged to the 'keeper but is it taken?! Yes! Ali Ali doesn't do a Slappy and finally a 'keeper actually takes a catch for Panthers!!  Fifth ball...batsman gets bat on ball, it passes through backward square-leg and somehow West manage to get 3!  Last ball of the over, West needing 3 runs to win, a couple of fielders out to the boundary just to be safe, Uzzi bowls, and it's a dot ball!!! Panthers have won! They're celebrating! 


"But,...hold on, WIDE BALL is called by the umpire!  Drama!!


"West of Scotland now need 1 run to win the game, scores now tied with the wide and the sneaky single that was taken while the celebrations were ongoing!  West's "Overseas Amateur" is back on strike too!  1 run needed and things now back in West's favour!  But it was here Panthers turned into Pythons and were ready strike: all fielders in tight on the single, saving that 1 run, that 1 run that could change everything. Dr Uzzi comes in to bowl, ball pitches outside off, Boller swings, and...BOOM! There goes the off-stump! The Panthers win! The scores may be tied but they lost the least amount of wickets! OOOOIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!"


More Evening League Panthers glory [posted 11/07/17]

Our intrepid reporter writes, "The mighty Pythons [Ed: ?] of Poloc ventured northwest in their latest Evening League adventure, to take on Renfrew at the KGV Oval. It was a warm, sunny evening, but the lush grass was still wet from recent rain, leaving a slow outfield surrounding a flat, green pitch. The line-up had two new debutants with Aman Jagdev and Hassan Syed making their first appearance in Poloc jerseys. 


"Captain MI 'King Cobra' Hanif lost the toss (is there any point in even mentioning this now?) and the Pythons were put in to the field by their hosts, who opened with a less-than-optimal pairing due to late arrivals. Reddy soon departed for 1, bowled by Awace, followed by Chaudhry who fell to the same bowler, but this time caught behind by Professor Usmanconda after chipping it in the air, Slappy known for his non-existent wicket-keeping skills did his absolute best to drop this, but clung on with just his fingertips.  Renfrew went from 3 for 1 to 11 for 2, and it looked a good start for the Pythons, however their third wicket partnership added a useful 20 before first change bowler - King Cobra himself - started his spell in the best possible way by eliciting a nick from Murray, which also ended up in Usman's gloves.


"but it was all downhill from there for Irfan, as unfortunately the Cobra's bowling hand got busted wide open mid-way through the first over and was unable to control the ball – however there's no sick note to verify his excuse.  31 for 3 after 6.1 overs looked like a good start to the Panthers, but they were to be frustrated by the next partnership as wunderkind Muhaymen Majeed, and the man best known at Poloc as 'Ihty's dad' – Imran Malik – put on a partnership of 70 runs.  Mamba's Father was eventually bowled for an excellent 45 by Murtaza, who then had a hat-trick ball as Mohsin Majeed went first ball. The rest of the Renfrew order contributed zero runs, with Dr Uzzi's bowling resulting in another couple of ducks. The home side finished on 108 for 7.


"As usual there were a few things to lament in the field for the Panthers –27 extras, including 16 wides, could have been costly – and three dropped catches. Genuinely, though, and not just because one of the droppers (Ali) is writing the match report, Hunnain's drop at slip, Ali's put-down at square leg and Gulfam's diving effort at short mid-off were all difficult chances, at least by Panthers standards! 


"To the second innings, then; thanks to the Pythons' famously inefficient over-rate, and the appropriately-named Slow-nain taking an age in the changing rooms, they didn't start batting until 8:10pm. The target of 109 looked eminently gettable at less than a-run-a-ball, but after a few overs of the reply it looked anything but!  Hunnain in fact spent more time getting ready than he did in the middle. All fielders were ready, umpires, and his opening partner, yet Bogez decided to take his time, rumour has it, he was putting on his make-up and walked out, but then forgot his batting gear. Slow-nain did his special, nearly playing out two maidens only to get bowled for one by Baig. Usmanaconda soon followed for a duck, this snake was so frustrated at the display shown by Bogez, that he just wanted to leave the field and give him batting tips in the Renfrew nets. In came in Aman Jagdev and the King Cobra, steadying the ship for a couple of overs until the Captain departed. This left Aman and Murtaza batting, with the unenviable task of rescuing the Panthers innings from 18 for 3 after seven overs.  A solid rescue operation was effected by the twosome, steadying the Panthers' ship with composed innings of 44 and 35 respectively. Both navigated the uneven boundaries with good shot placement, and Aman will feel a bit aggrieved he didn't go on to a half century before he was bowled by Majeed. Things, by this point, had got serious, with the Panthers now in contention, and Renfrew changed 'keepers so Ihty's Dad could bowl some of his threatening GAAAAAAS from the pavilion end at the death.  Snake move.


"While all of this was going on, Hunnain Snakail was justifying his batting to Slappyconda and the Cobra, only for his theories to be debunked which lead to Bogez advising that he saved '10 runs' in the field. This was shot down instantly with venom by the other two snakes as they were quick to realise Bogezy Malone dropped a catch at slips. Another incident appeared on the sidelines with Umar Gul-fam claiming his dropped catch was a 'bump' ball, only for Dr Uzzi to respond with a shake of the head and a blunt 'No.'  Another myth busted. Black Mamba Snr. took Murtaza's wicket, putting Faux-een Ali and Dr Uzzi in the middle with a job to do. 17 runs were needed off the last three overs. Dr Uzzi added 5 runs before he was bowled by Murray Mints spin, replaced by Ali mid-way through the nineteenth over with a few still required. After a wild stroke facing his first ball, Adder Maddock connected with the next couple to slither for singles with Awais.  As they entered the final over – from Malik again – the Panthers were on 104, still 5 short.  2from Ali, and then another 2. Scores tied. Ball hit to cover – no run likely – but a fumble by the fielder!  Ali shouted for a run and made it to the other end, but Awais, far enough down the track, failed to ground his bat and was run out.  In came Awace, with Captain's instructions to run, whatever happened, as the Panthers had more wickets left than balls left to face. Malik's next (and only) delivery to Awace: a wide!  The Panthers were over the line with two balls to spare."


Panthers win at Prestwick in a game of 100s of runs! [posted 02/07/17]

Here's the Panthers' insider's view on today's win down at Prestwick.  "On Sunday afternoon, the Panthers slithered their way down the A77 to Prestwick, under foreboding skies – the dark grey clouds and light showers not looking particularly conducive to cricket.  The side was full of Panthers regulars, with one debutant in the shape of Murtaza Syed, who had just joined the club from Torrance, Usmanaconda claims he lured the debutant, however, news has came out that Slappy was looking to move to Torrance, but they did not want the biggest snake in the Western District at the club . The King Cobra, more punctual than most of his team, leading from the front as usual, unlike Bogeyman Hunnain a.k.a. Bogez, who is known to be late due to bowel problems, however this time he did not blame diarrhoea, but he did arrive with a bottle of water indicating...it had struck again!


"Having lost the toss. The home side elected to bat first on a dry wicket which looked like it had a bit to offer the bowlers. The Pythong opened with Aghan Habibi (jalebi) and Awace, who kept things relatively controlled once Habib had found his line after a few early wides. The Prestwick openers, Kennedy and Smith (the latter the Overseas Amateur) put on an first-wicket partnership of 67 before the former was run out for 10.


"This set the pattern for the first innings: partners coming and going as Smith kept racking up runs in the middle. It's worth noting, unfortunately for Moeen Ali, that he dropped Smith early in his innings after a thick edge off Awace's bowling to gully. Even more unfortunately, it was a dolly which really should have been held. Zakir Sinkaey (Siddiqui) was brought into the attack to bowl some 'GAAAAAAAASSS', which is apparently his new thing. Unfortunately, it proved somewhat expensive, with his only over going for 18. He was immediately swapped for another Zakir – Dr Uzzi – who got things back under a semblance of control with the King Cobra bowling back-to-back maidens which led to the run out. Bogezy Malone tried his best Adder Maddock impression by juggling the ball and dropping it, but to his disbelief he held onto the catch to take the second wicket (with the wicket keeper looking in awe thinking 'I wish I could catch').


"Some spin was introduced to the mix in the shape of Murtaza, followed by the Malone Brothers of Bogezy Malone and Bugzy Malone. Murtaza went on to be the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 8-2-33-4, his spin bamboozling the Prestwick batters for a good while until they (sort of) figured him out. The rest of the home batting lineup didn’t offer many runs – only McGregor's 28 was notable – but they did offer some strike rotation for Smith, who went on to make a big 100. When he eventually departed late in the innings, caught by Murtaza off Dr Uzzi, he'd amassed an impressive 143. There was some hope the Panthers might bowl their hosts out, but it wasn't to be. They finished on 248, nine down. The Panthers will rue a few things from the first innings: a real dip in fielding and concentration in the final third of the innings; dropped catches (as well as Awais dropping Smith at gully, Ali put down a half-chance at short backward point, while Zakir OOOAAAAAYY!!! ran away from the ball when it came to him in the air shouting OH BHAS KHAR!!); and some bowling expense in the shape of wides and leaky overs from Abduallah Spinaj and  Hunnain (who the Captain tried to bail out by running from mid-on and doing a full stretched dive to catch the ball which was whacked straight. All this resulted in was a boundary and a bruised middle finger which the Cobra rightfully showed to the bowler). A run a ball, more or less, was the target for the Panthers batsmen. 


"After the innings break, Slow-nain and Murtaza got padded up to open. One tried his hardest to lose the game, the other however, did his absolute best to win it on his debut. Slow-nain racking up the dots and living up to his name of dot-to-dot from last season kept on hitting the ball to the fielders, most runs coming from misfields, even then he was reluctant to run for the 1s and 2s until Murtaza was practically at Hunnain's end forcing him to run. Hunnain played wingman to Murtaza, amassing 60 runs from 90 balls or so (yeah that's right!) before being adjudged plumb LBW by a moonlighting ICC Umpire. Zakir Sinakey and Minaj-e-Pakistan were at the sidelines 'talking da hardest' with Afghan Habibi trying to show the Captain Irfan on how to he should be up the order with him middling the edges. But now it was their time to shine Abdullah Kardashian came in at three, but very quickly came out again, as he departed for just 2 runs. Professor Slappyconda came to the crease and looked to be an effective partner for Murtaza as they chased down the target, which by now was well within sight, complicated somewhat by Syed’s departure for 122, with the team on 222. An academic twosome of The Professor and Dr Uzzi kept the Panthers on pace for the finish line until the former threw a spanner in the works as in typical snakey style was bowled for 16 making the game difficult for his team with the scores (thought to be) tied with three balls left. Awace's first ball, off Smith's off-spin: dot. His second ball: straight back down the ground for 4. The Panthers had won with a ball to spare. Today, to quote Master Spinaj, was the day."


Greenwood Trophy win [posted 22/06/17]

Scott Ellis Fields was the venue for tonight's second round Greenwood Trophy clash between the Panthers and Kilmarnock.  In the field first, the Panthers started well, restricting their hosts to 47 for 2 at the halfway point.  Humza Sabri had, in particular, bowled tightly, his first three overs costing just 9 runs.  At the other end, Abdul was troubling the batters with extra pace, and bounce, but was actually far less economical as batters got bat on ball to see edges race for a couple of boundaries behind the wicket.  The two wickets that had fallen had seen Flanagan adjudged LBW and Ahmed caught by Irfan.  The containment of the home side's run-rate continued beyond the mid-point too,.....at least until the fourteenth over.  Sixteen overs gone and Kilmarnock were 71 for 3, Ali having been run out by Humza.  However three overs later - almost incredibly - Killie were 132 for 3, overs fourteen, fifteen and sixteen costing 24, 18 and 19 respectively.  Ouch!  So instead of thinking they might be chasing a run-a-ball come the second innings, the Panthers were now thinking 8-an-over was more likely.  And so it was.  161 was posted, and a decent run-chase would be needed.  31 runs in extras didn't help the cause it has to be noted too!


To the Panthers' reply.  Humza and Uzzair opened, and were positive from start.  Humza would depart first - 13 for 1 - in the third over however, bringing Abdul to the middle.  He and Uzzair continued the positive start, and added 69 for the second wicket, in 6.4 overs.  Uzzair was moving along nicely at a run-a-ball, Abdul was more brutal, his 52 coming from just 31 deliveries, and including four 4s and two 6s.  He was, however, given a life when he was dropped in the deep, as well as surviving a big appeal for caught behind.  But he was the second batter out, caught by Flanagan after mis-cuing one.  Rambo then joined Uzzair, and these two - used to batting together in junior cricket - continued the onslaught.  They'd add another 69 for the third wicket, all-but seeing the side home, before being separated in the seventeenth over with only 11 runs needed for the win.  Uzzair it was who departed, caught and bowled for 40 (38).  Rambo couldn't quite hang around until the win was secured either, being fifth out with 4 runs still required, caught for 33 (25).  But the win was secured four balls later, and the Panthers had won by five wickets, and progress in the competition.


A match that should have been won [posted 28/05/17] 

Irfan Hanif reports, "The Poloc Pythons were hosting Weirs on a wonderful Sunday afternoon. The Pythons XI wasn't really confirmed until the last moment. A lot of confusion here and there. Bogeyman was still recovering after yesterday's antics at Prestwick  and called off at the last moment. Slappy didn't know if he was playing as he broke his fingernail at Prestwick as he did that "hand thing, you know...the point" when 'keeping. Captain Cobra was running out of options, so he brought Amaan Ali out of retirement and had Zakir Sinakey waiting on the sidelines, but no, Usamanaconda confirms last minute after going to A. & E. that he would be available, thus making Zakir Sinakey twelfth man and bringing on the drinks.

"The Pythons lost the toss and were sent out to field. This led to the extras duo Afghan' Jalebi (Habib) and Faizan to open the bowling. Habib, during the month of Ramadan wanted to be more generous than his usual self, and thought he'd give the opposition the best chance of winning by bowling one or two extra overs with his wides. Faizan tried to join him with first first over, out-gifting Habib, but could not keep it up as he ended up taking a wicket and said to the Cobra "take me off".  Weirs were sitting at 70 for 1 after just seven overs.

"This led to the much anticipated return of Amaan Ali who was joined by Umar Gul-fam. Both dried up the extras and bowled with a lot more discipline, however Weirs were enjoying the pace on the ball as they were middling their edges, resulting in boundaries.  The Pythons looked at the scoreboard and it read 120 for after fifteen overs, resulting in a big hissssss.

"The Cobra introduced spin by throwing the ball to the debutant Awace Ahmed who was confused, asking the captain "What do I bowl? Pace, off-spin, leg-spin or under-arm?". The answer was off-spin.  Awace's often used as a sparring partner in the nets, the King Cobra turning him from a seamer into an offy, and Mr. Khatarnaak repaid the favour by racking up the dots in his first over. His tag team partner Abdullah Minaj-e-Pakistan (also known as the tourist attraction Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore), bowled in tandem, drying up the runs and taking wickets. With the pressure building up, wickets were tumbling, two for Awace, and two for Abdullah. The score was at 145 for 5 after 25 overs.

"Momentum was building, the Pythons were closing in with an attacking field. Weirs were unable to keep up with the Kardashian (Abdullah), who went on the rampage, getting the batsman to play and chip it, which resulted in.....dropped catches, and several [allegedly] "plumb" LBW appeals being turned down. Three wicket-taking balls were bowled back to back, one was dropped by the King Cobra, who was distracted by another snake in his territory, looming at the other side of the boundary, a snake who recently moved to GHK...the snake had his "hood up", only to be revealed later on as Ghussa (Hasan). Next ball...a huge LBW appeal, but not given?! Third ball is chipped in the air and Faizan does a random sideways roll, but there is a ball in his hand, A catch has been taken!


"Abdullah, closing in on his 5-for, then clean bowls another batsman, the Pythons were sensing it..."Today is the day". Bowling well, close shaves here and there, the batsman getting rattled by the snakes ends up smashing one down the ground, only for Irfan to take a stunning catch, the Pythons started to slither in celebration...but "No ball!" is the call from the umpire! The reaction from the fielding team is unprintable.

"So the Panthers had pulled it back with Awace and Abdullah doing the most damage.  Weirs 165 for 7 in 28 overs. Panthers Moeen Ali (Awais Ramzan) was introduced who was using this as a warm up game for the ICC Champions Trophy, experimenting with bowling on the pitch, off the pitch, and making the ball roll to the 'keeper. This resulted in not so generous figures and a bumping up of the Weirs score. Experimentation over.

"The King Cobra and Umar Gul-fam were brought on to finish off the innings, both bowling to plan, and giving them three wickets between them, superb death bowling from Irfan leaving him with two wickets.

"But the Pythons did not really know what they were chasing having looked at the Weirs scorebook, where four different totals appeared.  In the end Weirs decided the Pythons required 205 to win.

"The team gave Zakir Sinakey a courtesy call and advised that drinks and tea were not needed due to nearly everyone fasting and to just rest at home.

"Having restricted Weirs to 204, Slappy and the Goatee (Amaan Ali) were sent out to bat. Going along fine with the score on 40 for 0 after ten overs, the struggling Goatee then got out to a superb in-swinging ball that hit middle stump. This brought Rambo Scotland to the crease, who was quiet for his standards, and was maybe hourse from shouting "Shot boooY!!!" at Prestwick. Both Slappy and Rambo were going along at a nice rate of 4 or 5 an over, keeping the scoreboard ticking over with 1s and 2s and the odd boundary. This looked to be a solid foundation being built, and they were at 80 for 1 after eighteen overs.

"Slappy then decided to take on the Weirs Captain and slapped him around for a couple of 4s and a 6, looking to up the ante. However, Weirs secret weapon Zohaib Qayyum came on to bowl, and took out Scotland with a great ball leaving Rambo disappointed in himself stating "That was some bouncer", after him getting out to a yorker. But the Pythons were still in the game, at 105 for 2 after twenty overs, and with some strong batting to come.

"Rambo's wicket brought out Dr. Uzzi (who was wicket keeping to an excellent standard). With both Usamanacondas at the crease the game was looking to be in good shape. But no, Slappy being his usual self decided to pull a snake move, deciding to get himself run out at an important stage of the game, and then realising that he was on 49, which resulted in some serious rage and a tantrum thrown: the snake had been snaked. His excuse was, "My bat was grounded, I was well inside my crease, the umpire that gave it out was standing at third man".  And to be fair to Slappy, unlike previous times, he was actually indeed correct for once.

"Moments later, there was a small appeal.  "Not out" stated everyone in the dressing room.  Dr. Uzzi was out! What for?  The opposition were dumbstruck too, and asked the umpire the question.  He advised caught behind, but the ball struck Dr. Uzzi high above the thigh.  The non-striking batsman therefore posed the same question, the umpire replying this time, "I don't know".  The Panthers were starting to realise "Today wasn't the day".

"Zohaib Qayyum then gained in confidence and took some quick wickets: Irfan, Faizan and Abdullah all departed in quick succession due to some excellent bowling. This left Mr. Khatarnaak on his true Panthers debut holding the innings together with a quickfire 25, but just like in the friendly against West of Scotland, he was dropped a couple of times. Speaking of dropped, Weirs placed a fielder at mid-off who, like Habib, was generous and dropped four catches off throughout the innings, in the same position. However, with no support, Awace couldn't use his clever batting to good use as he ran out of partners and finished 25 not out.

"The Panthers therefore sunk to defeat, a first loss of the season which shouldn't have been. Some strange scoring, umpiring and lack of support from the tail ended their winning streak. Even though Habib was being generous, the scorebook reported 60-plus extras, with over 50 of them being wides?!?

"So a good all round effort from the team, with a good comeback to restrict the opposition in the first innings, in vain.  Leeping the Booger out of the team, the extras count, and catching still appear, however, to be an issue alongwith the tail not wagging. Notable performances were Slappy scoring 49 with the bat, Abdullah and Irfan with the ball, and a Khatarnaak debut for Awace with two wickets and 25*. Today however, wasn't the day."


"This is the day!" [posted 18/05/17]

"'Oh bus khar!!! Today...is the day''  These were the words uttered by the wannabe Vice-Captain Abdullah Malik (the Iron Dome) who was making his return to the Panthers eleven tonight. So was today the day?  The day started off with glorious sunshine and the Panthers were hosting BBC Scotland in the Greenwood Trophy.  The King Cobra went to toss and, as you would expect, he lost.  He did try a Hasan Rafiq (Ghussa), i.e. persuade the opposition captain to let the Panthers bat first by saying 'Oh bus Khardi, yaar! Let us bat, yaar! Today is the day!'.  The other captain somehow comprehended Abudallah's language and chose to bowl letting the Panthers bat first. 


"The team had seen some last minute changes with Faizan and Dr. Uzzi calling off only to be replaced by the snakes known as SoBoa Constrictor and Uzzair Shahnake.  In other news, Zakir Sinakey made his Panthers debut, and just before the batters went out, Captain Irfan handed Zakir his well earned T20 Panthers cap.  Sobo and Abdullah Kardashian went out to open the innings for the Panthers.  It was a slow start, with Abdullah departing for 1 with an LBW, only to dispute it, asserting 'it was going down leg side, yaaar'.  His opening partner Soboa Constrictor soon followed, constricting himself by making 5 from twelve, and eventually top-edging one.  This brought out Mr. Rambo Scotland to the crease to join Uzzair Shahnake.  Both took their time seeing off the Beeb's best bowler, David Blane, the magician, and Indrajit Kar.  Surviving the new ball, and some good bowling, they kept the scoreboard ticking over with singles however.  Once the Beeb bowled out their opening bowlers, the Panthers were only sitting at 36 for 2 after eight overs. The Panthers team, however, were not worried, in the dugout they were constantly reminded by Abdullah that 'Today...is the day'.  This message was uttered on a regular basis by the hyper Abdullah, and the whole team became motivated to find out just what on earth this actually meant.  Back to the game: at one point, after only batting three or four overs Rambo Scotland wanted a change of gloves. Why? He just wanted to hear 'Today is the day' up close to give him a peace of mind that all would be well.  The Captain gave him the replacement gloves, and advised him to pass on Abdullah's inspirational quote to his batting partner.  And what do you know...the Panthers run-rate started to accelerate; they had hope after the wonderful quote.  It was sensible batting by Rambo Scotland and Uzzair Shahnake as they ran singles and scored a boundary every over.  The Panthers were now up to 74 for 2 after twelve overs.  Zohaib Qayyum then, however, momentarily, put a stop to the good batting by only going for 1 run in the thirteenth over.   But, the batsmen knew, 'Today is the day.'


"From the fourteenth over on-wards, only five dot balls were played by Rambo Scotland and Uzzair Shahnake, both making excellent 50s and punishing the bowling while still getting the crucial 1s and 2s from the good balls.  Both finished not out, with Rambo 80* and Uzzair 73* letting the Panthers post 177. 


"The bowling was led by Yasir Shah (Habib), who thought he'd bowl some pace, and Gulfam his opening partner. Habib started off with his usual generosity giving away 4 wides in his first over. With the high total in mind, the Beeb opening pair were taking on the pace attack, hitting lots of lofted shots.  This caused a change in the field by Captain Irfan, bringing Zakir Sinakey out of second slip and placing him at extra cover. Putting the pressure on him as a result,  the batter went for a big shot again; another skier; and it dropped to the man at cover, none other than the man who wisely prophesised 'Today is the day', Abdullah Minaj taking the catch off of Gulfam's bowling.  As the batters kept slashing away at the pace bowling and with the score having raced to 44 for 1 in just four overs, spin was introduced.  Hunnain The Bogeyman appeared, much to the disgust of the opposition as well as those standing at mid-on and mid-off.  The Booger kept the run-rate in check in his first over, which led to Abdullah, the man of the moment, coming on from the other end. Abdullah added pressure onto the batsmen, following Hunnain's over, and got The Magician David Blane to knick one to the 'keeper, Ishant Sharma (Graeme).  This caused the whole of Poloc to go wild, Abdullah knew, the Panthers knew, Poloc knew...today was indeed the daY! 


"The Bogeyman returned next over, with his slimy one appearing, using his secret weapon to put the batsman off his game.  Varghese Jose took his anger out and lashed at the Bogeyman's delivery, only for it to be held at long-off by the forever smiling Habib.  However, his smile disappeared once he seen what was brewing in Hunnain's nostrils, leading to no team huddle for this wicket, everyone staying rooted to their fielding positions.  Hunnain, using the pressure built by the spinners trapped Indrajit Kar LBW, after a huuuuuuuuuge appeal by Hunnain,.....but no-one else.  But the umpire gave it!  Yes, the umpire raised his finger as quickly as possible so he could get Hunnain to turn away from him, the Bogey forever growing in confidence.  The Beeb were now on the back-foot, the score at 58 for 4.  They hit back though in Hunnain's and Abdullah's next overs, as these went for 23 (a number reserved for Shaan Khan) in two overs, pushing the visitors' score up to 81 for 4. The debutant Zakir Sinakey was brought on, adding to the Beeb's fear with his aggression, along with partner-in-crime Soboa Constrictor.  Keeping runs to a minimum led to the dangerous Zohaib Qayyum skying one.  It looked as if it was going to land in no man's land, but no, Abdullah, the hero, ran from point all the way to fine leg to taking a superb catch, in style, and with a slide. Abdullah stunned, not knowing what he done, looked at his whole team and then to the Captain, holding the ball in the air shouting 'Today is the day!'.  Wickets started to tumble at this juncture, with the pressure on, and with Zakir and Soboa bowling well. Three wickets fell in two overs, and the Beeb were now teetering on 91 for 7.  Zakir got his first wicket for the Panthers as one was chipped to Adder Maddock at short mid-wicket.  Zakir, elated, ran a lap of the ground like Imran Tahir, resulting in him being called.....Imran Zakir, for the rest of the game. Soboa then bowled out Jack McGill with his wannabe spin bowling, claiming it 'spun from outside off, yaar, and came in'.  The whole team disagreed, having witnessed a straight full toss. This led to SoBoa getting frustrated and taking another wicket in his over, with a caught and bowled.  Habib came back into the attack to finish things off. Unfortunately, Rambo Scotland had other ideas. Not only did he want to be a hero at the end of the first innings, finishing 80*, he thought he'd be a hero again at the end of the second too, finishing it off with a run out.  Game over, BBC Scotland bowled out for 111 in 18.2 overs, and the Panthers win by 66 runs.  The Panthers could have finished the game off earlier if less extras had been given, and catches had been taken. Zakir Sinakey still has a lot to learn, getting a Panthers saying of 'A dot ball is a hot ball' (coined by none other than Abdullah) so wrong, shouting 'A good ball is a dot ball' instead?!?  Post-match the team spoke to Abdullah and questioned why he thought 'Today was the day'.  Simple response: 'Usmanaconda wasn't wicket keeping today bro', dats vy, yaar".  A solid win for the Panthers unit."



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