Saturday, 24 December 2011

Vitaï Lampada

Vitaï Lampada
The young lad swaggers
From the pavilion
Pads curling round
His thin shanks
The box already
Warm from the
Previous batsman

The score is
One hundred and
Twelve for nine
Leaving a deficit
Of twenty four
To win
From the final over

"Middle and leg"
He requests
And the umpire
Assists him with
Uptilted palm
Like a Monsignor
Blessing the faithful

The bowler grasps
The new ball
In a cunning grip
Only he knows
Which way it
Will swing

The red missile
Five and five eighths
Ounces of deerskin
Coated menace
Flies down the
Wicket and
Sizzles past
Off stump

Past the keeper
For four byes
The bowler is
Chagrined and
The batsman
Laughs in order
To wind him up

The second ball
Is the predictable
Vicious bouncer
Which the batsman
Flips nonchalantly
Over square leg for

The third ball
Is more controlled
But the batsman
Taps it carefully
Past gully
For two

The fourth ball
Swerves from right
To left
Bounces two yards
And is hooked
Over mid wicket
For another six

The penultimate ball
Is a full toss
And is blocked
Carefully and
Kicked back
To the bowler
Without troubling the scorer

Only a six
From the final ball
Of the match
Will secure victory
The umpire holds
Out his arm to
Restrain the bowler
Until the batsman

Spiked leather boots
Thunder down the
Green runway
And the red offering
Is hurled from the
Bowler's sweaty grip
Directly at the batsman's head
Who prudently ducks
"No Ball"
Calls the umpire
As the ball crosses the rope
Behind the keeper

Now the scores are tied
And the batsman
Only needs one run
From the last ball
As the bowler begins
His sprint
He holds up his arm
And wanders up the pitch
To prod some
Imaginary divots
And bump gloves
With his partner

Then grins
And returns to face
The furious bowler
Who throws caution
To the wind
And tries a googly
Which succeeds in
Breaking back to
Remove the bail
From the off stump

Unfortunately he
Had stepped over
The popping crease
And thus
It was a no ball
Gifting the win
To the batsman's

The two batsmen
Return to the pavilion
Golden in the setting sun
Their task complete
And glory won
The pads unlatched
The box discarded
They turn to clap
The saddened losers
"Good show old man"
"It was just bad luck"

No comments:

Post a Comment