Blushing Blanch bowls big mouths
That’s the number of times Examiner loud mouths and former first grade cricketers Nick Inmon and Dan Firth had the competition’s premier speedster under control during yesterday’s two-over square-up.
Record-breaker John Blanch was put to the test on a seamer-friendly Ellem Oval deck but the Westlawn quick needed no help against his two former clubmates.
Inmon and Firth got the chance to see what the rest of the competition was raving about – and left with their tails between their legs on 11 of the 12 deliveries sent down by the left-armer.
Blanch knocked the pegs over twice – once for each batsman - and twice had Firth caught at mid-off as well as playing a french cut.
At least he managed to get willow on leather.
Inmon played and missed at five of his balls – his one skied connection landing just out of reach the cover fieldsman.
Only one delivery – a poorly struck drive by Firth – was played with any real comfort.
The pair was quick to retract their previously unsavoury opinions of Blanch and the mode of his 50 wickets in the Premier League.
“This isn’t good, it’s embarrassing,” Firth said.
“I’m going back into retirement. Jeff Hackett must have doctored the pitch.”
Firth could still be seen muttering under his breath about his ill-justice hours after the debacle. Inmon was more complimentary with his new-found attitude and respect for Blanch.
“I had to tell him to bowl straight,” he said. “But he was too good. His off-cutter is unplayable on a slow wicket.”
Blanch accepted the moral victory humbly but not without firing some well-landed parting shots on his vanquished duo.
“It was all too easy. Nick has nothing,” he said.
“Dan was a bit harder to bowl to being a left-hander.
“But I think I proved a point – they can’t bat.”
The day was all in good jest with Blanch shaking hands with a bashful-looking Inmon and Firth at the conclusion. The pair disappeared for a period after the clash before sneaking back into the Examiner office. They said they will keep their mouths shut... at least until next cricket season.