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Number 16

A return to form at the right time.

Number 16

#16: TIM WILLIAMS – 179 vs Buckley Park. 2nd XI. 2007/08.

Captaining the 2nd XI in 07/08, Tim was having a horror stretch with the bat as we were approaching the pointy end of the season. Going in to the final home and away game, Tim’s previous six scores were 11, 4, 3, 10, 12 and 0. It is a very awkward feeling standing in front of your teammates as captain when you’re out of form. Asking them to do things that despite your greatest efforts, you’re unable to do yourself. It was weighing on Tim.
Tim comes to the crease with the score at 2/87 with young colt Graeme Bennett flourishing. We are all watching intently. We need Tim in form for the finals if we are to be competitive. First ball Tim faces is a reasonable length ball. Tim steps back & tries to paddle it around the corner. The ball wraps
him on the pads. HUGE LBW appeal. From side-on, it looks OUT. There’s a collective “OH NO” amongst us on the boundary. All eyes are now focussed on Umpire Fenn who had delivered a few dubious decisions against us earlier in the year. Fenny pauses. And then he pauses again. He looks at the bowler and finally yells, “THAT’S NOT OUT BRO”. Most of Fenny’s decisions ended with a “Bro”. We have the giggles on the sidelines as we know Tim’s heart must be racing out of control.
To his credit, Tim settles & his mojo soon returns. Over the next 3 hours, he’s blasted twenty-eight 4’s & five 6’s and is now on 179. He’s been involved in three consecutive partnerships of 119 (with G Bennett who blasted 130 in his own right), 92 (with M Smith) and 119 (with yours truly). The score is
now 4/417 with 10 overs still remaining. Tim is now scoring freely and is in that most rare position that most batsmen dare only dream of – INVINCIBLITY. I know Tim must be nearing 200 which was the club record at the time. I tell Tim, “Mate, you must be getting close to 200, you’ll never get another chance to break that club record.” BIG mistake. Suddenly I’ve given Tim something to think about. Next ball – OUT – caught behind!!!
We end up with a club record score of 8/509, but most importantly, El Capitano is back in form. The monkey is off Tim’s back. I can only imagine the sense of satisfaction and relief he felt that night as he cradled his first beer.
The following week, Tim takes 5/29 off 13 overs. And he then followed up the next week with another ton in the Semi Final. Suddenly cricket had become the easiest game in the world.

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