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skuthorp
07-27-2009, 07:01 AM
There must be a goodly number of poems relating to cricket, here's an Australian one from a bush poet named Thomas Spencer (1845-1910).

HOW M'DOUGAL TOPPED THE SCORE by Thomas E. Spencer

A peaceful spot is Piper's Flat. The folk that live around -
They keep themselves by keeping sheep and turning up the ground;
But the climate is erratic, and the consequences are
The struggle with the elements is everlasting war.
We plough, and sow, and harrow - then sit down and pray for rain;
And then we get all flooded out and have to start again.
But the folk are now rejoicing as they ne'er rejoiced before,
For we've played Molongo cricket, and M'Dougal topped the score!

Molongo had a head on it, and challenged us to play
A single-innings match for lunch - the losing team to pay.
We were not great guns at cricket, but we couldn't well say, "No!"
So we all began to practise, and we let the reaping go.
We scoured the Flat for ten miles round to muster up our men,
But when the list was totalled we could only number ten.
Then up spoke big Tim Brady: he was always slow to speak
,And he said - "What price M'Dougal, who lives down at Cooper's Creek?"

So we sent for old M'Dougal, and he stated in reply
That he'd never played at cricket, but he'd half a mind to try.
He couldn't come to practise - he was getting in his hay,
But he guessed he'd show the beggars from Molongo how to play.
Now, M'Dougal was a Scotchman, and a canny one at that,
So he started in to practise with a pailing for a bat.
He got Mrs Mac. to bowl him, but she couldn't run at all,
So he trained is sheep-dog, Pincher, how to scout and fetch the ball.

Now, Pincher was no puppy; he was old, and worn, and grey;
But he understood M'Dougal, and - accustomed to obey -
When M'Dougal cried out "Fetch it!" he would fetch it in a trice,
But, until the word was "Drop it!" he would grip it like a vice
And each succeeding night they played until the light grew dim:
Sometimes M'Dougal struck the ball - and sometimes the ball struck him!
Each time he struck, the ball would plough a furrow in the ground,
And when he missed the impetus would turn him three times round.

The fatal day at length arrived - the day that was to see
Molongo bite the dust, or Piper's Flat knocked up a tree!
Molongo's captain won the toss, and sent his men to bat,
And they gave some leather-hunting to the men from Piper's Flat.
When the ball sped where M'Dougal stood, firm planted in his track,
He shut his eyes, and turned him round, and stopped it - with his back!
The highest score was twenty-two, the total sixty-six,
When Brady sent a yorker down which scattered Johnson's sticks.

Then Piper's Flat went in to bat, for glory and renown,
But, like the grass before the scythe, our wickets tumbled down.
"Nine wickets down for seventeen, with fifty more to win!"
Our captain heaved a heavy sigh, and sent M'Dougal in.
"Ten pounds to one you'll lose it!" cried a barracker from town;
But M'Dougal said "I'll tak' it mon!" and planked the money down.
Then he girded up his moleskins in a self-reliant style,
Threw off his hat and boots, and faced the bowler with a smile.

He held the bat the wrong side out, and Johnson with a grin
Stepped lightly to the bowling crease, and sent a "wobbler" in;
M'Dougal spooned it softly back, and Johnson waited there,
But M'Dougal, crying "Fetch it!" started running like a hare.
Molongo shouted "Victory! He's out as sure as eggs,"
When Pinched started through the crowd, and ran through Johnson's legs.
He seized the ball like lightning; then he ran behind a log,
An M'Dougal kept on running, while Molongo chased the dog!

They chased him up, they chased him down, they chased him round, and then
He darted through a slip-rail as the scorer shouted "Ten!"
M'Dougal puffed; Molongo swore; excitement was intense;
As the scorer marked down twenty, Pincher cleared a barbed-wire fence.
"Let us head him!" shrieked Molongo. "Brain the mongrel with a bat!"
"Run it out! Good old M'Dougal!" yelled the men of Piper's Flat.
And M'Dougal kept on jogging, and then Pincher doubled back,
And the scorer counted "Forty" as they raced across the track.

M'Dougal's legs were going fast, Molongo's breath was gone -
But still Molongo chased the dog - M'Dougal struggled on.
When the scorer shouted "Fifty" then they knew the chase would cease;
And M'Dougal gasped out "Drop it!" as he dropped within his crease.
Then Pincher dropped the ball, and as instinctively he knew
Discretion was the wiser plan, he disappeared from view;
And as Molongo's beaten men exhausted lay around
We raised M'Dougal shoulder high, and bore him from the ground.

We bore him to M'Ginniss's, where lunch was ready laid,
And filled him up with whisky-punch, for which Molongo paid.
We drank his health in bumpers, and we cheered him three times three,
And when Molongo got its breath, Molongo joined the spree.
And the critics say they never saw a cricket match like that,
When M'Dougal broke the record in the game at Piper's Flat;
And the folks were jubilating as they never did before;
For we played Molongo cricket - and M'Dougal topped the score!

Bit of an effort required to put in the breaks.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2009, 08:18 AM
(with particular reference to cricket in Afghanistan, perhaps...


There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night --
Ten to make and the match to win --
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote --
'Play up! play up! and play the game!'

The sand of the desert is sodden red, --
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; --
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
'Play up! play up! and play the game!'

This is the word that year by year,
While in her place the School is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind --
'Play up! play up! and play the game!'

Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938)

skuthorp
07-27-2009, 08:27 AM
Hi ACB, knew parts of that but not the sorce. I wonder if India and Pakistan have any (translatable) cricket poetry?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2009, 08:28 AM
Syed, you're next up! :)

Syed
07-27-2009, 11:27 AM
Syed defeated by two innings. ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2009, 11:34 AM
Everybody knows this calypso:

Cricket lovely Cricket,
At Lord's where I saw it;
Cricket lovely Cricket,
At Lord's where I saw it;
Yardley tried his best
But Goddard won the test.
They gave the crowd plenty fun;
Second Test and West Indies won.

Chorus:With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

The King was there well attired,
So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;
Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;
But Wardle stopped him at twenty.
Rae had confidence,
So he put up a strong defence;
He saw the King was waiting to see,
So he gave him a century.

Chorus:With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six
Just as usual
When Bedser bowled Christiani
The whole thing collapsed quite easily;
England then went on,
And made one-hundred-fifty-one;
West Indies then had two-twenty lead
And Goddard said, "That's nice indeed."

Chorus:With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

Yardley wasn't broken-hearted
When the second innings started;
Jenkins was like a target
Getting the first five in his basket.
But Gomez broke him down,
While Walcott licked them around;
He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,
Leaving Yardley to contemplate.

Chorus:The bowling was superfine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

West Indies was feeling homely,
Their audience had them happy.
When Washbrook's century had ended,
West Indies voices all blended.
Hats went in the air.
They jumped and shouted without fear;
So at Lord's was the scenery
Bound to go down in history.

Chorus:After all was said and done
Second Test and the West Indies won!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2009, 11:46 AM
Hey, look what I found - a Cricket Poetry section in Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_poetry

Not very complete though... would be much better with Skuthorp's poem in it.

Syed
07-27-2009, 11:46 AM
http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=83722

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-27-2009, 11:59 AM
Well deserved. Brilliant victory.

skuthorp
07-27-2009, 08:29 PM
G'day Syed.

skuthorp
07-28-2009, 03:11 AM
We understand boatbum, we get the same feeling when you discuss your version of football. I had an American girlfriend who could not understyand how I knew what was happening by a radio broadcast of cricket. The same applied to me listening to baseball or your football. It's a cultural thing.