Thankfully the weather held off long enough for the two leading teams in this competition to battle it out for the Movie Stars Twenty20 Cup Final. Clooney and his team managed to fend off the power hitting of the Ving Rhames XI in the semis whilst Damon and his troop swiftly dispatched of funny men, the Jimmy Carr XI. Both teams walked out to a packed ground with veteran umpires Steven Spielberg and quirky umpire M. Night Shymalan. Damon won the toss and with a wicket you could see your face in, decided to bat first.
George Clooney XI: G. Clooney (c), A. Banderas, R. Crowe, B. Pitt, R. Pattinson, J. Depp, A. Kutcher (wk), H. Grant, P. Brosnan, C. Farrell, D. Craig.
Matt Damon XI: M. Damon (c), B. Affleck, D. Day-Lewis, R. Downey Jr, J. Foxx, W. Smith, T. Cruise (wk), B. Kingsley, E. Norton, D. Washington, M. Clarke-Duncan.
Opening the bowling for Clooney was feisty Colin Farrell and Daniel “Bullet Ball” Craig. Craig with the point to prove after his figures of 0-97 in the semi-final. With Damon and Affleck’s excellent opening partnership history in this competition, one might say they were a little too confident with the captain Damon nicking off to Clooney keeper Kutcher for a golden duck off the bowling of Daniel Craig.
With an out-of-form Day-Lewis striding to the crease (possibly affected by his loss of the captaincy and changing of the team name), Affleck knew he had to take matters into his own hands and went after Farrell early with 3 successive sixes. Day-Lewis didn’t offer much support the other end and took some time to get off the mark. Frustration finally getting the better of him, he was stumped on 10 by Kutcher off a hostile Craig.
Next in was Downey Jr. who, surprisingly, averaging 65.53 in the competition so far, had his off stump removed by Craig for just 1 run for his third wicket. Words were exchanged by both batsman and bowler as Downey Jr. walked off as these two had a long-awaited score to settle, Craig winning this schoolboy battle.
Jamie Foxx looked threatening the moment he stepped out to bat and went after Brosnan like a fat girl after cake. Foxx looked world-class, once again proving why he made it to number 4 Wisden’s Top 5 Movie Star Cricketer’s of the Year. Sadly his innings came to a premature end after being run out by the lightning-fast left arm of Banderas at cover.
Affleck eventually holed-out to Brosnan in the deep for 75 off Wisden’s number 2, Johnny Depp. Depp was swinging the ball both ways, it was inevitable. Affleck got a standing ovation as he walked back to the pavilion having fought through the pain of being cracked on the elbow by Craig earlier in the innings.
The Matt Damon XI needed their tail to wag as star man and veteran Will Smith was caught by Pitt (looking into the setting sun no less) off the bowling of an exhausted Farrell.
Experienced Tom Cruise and Ben Kingsley proved an excellent partnership yet again, Cruise hitting a sure-fire 22 in just 6 balls whilst Kingsley dug in, clearly having learnt from his time out in India. Cruise was eventually out lbw by Grant who didn’t seem to be getting much spin but varied his pace more.
Norton was stumped soon after by Kutcher for 10 off Depp, allowing Daniel Craig to clean up the tail with 2 quick wickets, giving him his fifth five-fer in his international Twenty20 career. Kingsley was once again left stranded on 28.
Having only given away 11 extras in the innings, the Matt Damon XI were all out for 200 after their 20 overs. A good batting track such as that was always going to lead to high total. Russell Crowe, who was on the mic in the field for the George Clooney XI admitted it was a good total but said the team strongly believed that they could chase it down, providing they didn’t lose too many early wickets. He also admitted to Banderas being nervous about facing speedy giant Michael Clarke-Duncan as Banderas was recently nicknamed Clarke-Duncan’s “bunny” in the press this week, having being out to him 15 times in all competitions this season. He also said that the team are happy to chase and bat under lights given their recent success in doing so.
M. Damon c. Kutcher b. Craig 0
B. Affleck c. Brosnan b. Depp 75
D. Day-Lewis st. Kutcher b. Craig 10
R. Downey Jr. b Craig 1
J. Foxx Run Out (Banderas) 38
W. Smith c. Pitt b. Farrell 0
T. Cruise lbw b. Grant 22
B. Kingsley Not Out 28
E. Norton st. Kutcher b. Depp 10
D. Washington b. Craig 5
M. Clarke-Duncan b. Craig 0
Extras (b1, lb4, w4, nb2) 11
Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Craig 4 1 35 5
Farrell 4 0 38 1
Brosnan 2 0 50 0
Depp 4 0 25 2
Grant 4 0 22 1
Pattinson 2 0 30 0
After an outstanding batting display by Matt’s Damon’s team, the crowd were firing on all cylinders. Clooney and Banderas walked to the crease to rapturous applause as 3 out of the 8 stands were avid Twilight fans waiting for their hero Robert Pattinson to get his chance. Sadly for Clooney, their prayers were answered a little too early as Washington did to Clooney what Craig did to Damon in the first innings. Clooney marched off for the second golden duck of the match.
Banderas hit Washington’s next ball for a boundary past third man Day-Lewis, leaving Russell Crowe to Clarke-Duncan’s first ball. He managed to get it away for a single leaving a nervous Banderas as the rabbit in the headlights of human tank Clarke-Duncan. All it took was one ball for the Clarke-Duncan vs. Banderas prophecy to be fulfilled and Banderas was on his way back to the pavilion. The next two batsmen at the crease, Crowe and Pitt didn’t last long as Washington and man-mountain Clarke-Duncan took another wicket each leaving the Clooney’s team in trouble on 13-4.
The 3 Twilight-adoring stands erupt as R-Pattz walks to the crease. He and Depp were facing an uphill climb from here. Much to the dismay of Damon and his bowlers, both Pattinson and Depp meant business right from the off, taking both Kingsley and Smith to the cleaners. Pattinson was unlucky to edge it to Kingsley off the bowling of Washington for a quick fire 18. This did however bring an excitable Kutcher to the crease who explained to Sir Ian Botham before the match he was anxious to get runs on his birthday and was promised a pint of beer for every run he scored in the match. Johnny Depp took the back seat as Kutcher took the match into his own hands and tried to stop the George Clooney XI scorecard from looking like a phone number.
In an unfortunate mix-up between Kutcher and Depp however, the partnership ended with depp being run out by an increasingly frustrated Matt Damon. Kutcher knew then that he had to bat until the end as he quickly lost his new partners Grant, Brosnan and Farrell in quick succession. Grant was run out by Day-Lewis and Norton claimed the wickets of the other two.
Daniel Craig was to be Edward Norton’s hat-trick ball, but it wasn’t to be. The cricketer, usually referred to as the walking wicket with his previous 3 innings scores reading 0,0 and 7, had decided that now was the time he needed to step up for his team. It came down to the final over which Norton was entrusted to bowl. Kutcher was not out on 92, 2 balls into the 20th over. Leaving Daniel Craig with the unlikely task of hitting the remaining 17 of the last 4 balls. Craig however, held his nerve, hitting 3 consecutive sixes over cow corner.
The George Clooney XI won the match by 1 wicket with 1 ball to spare and go home with the Cup of the Movie Stars Twenty20 Final. Craig and Kutcher were joined on the field by their team sprinting from the pavilion to congratulate them. Man of the match went to Daniel Craig for his outstanding 5-35 and his vital part he played at the end of the run-chase in a match that looked lost from the start.
G. Clooney b. Washington 0
A. Banderas b. Clarke-Duncan 4
R. Crowe c. Cruise b. Washington 1
B. Pitt st. Cruise b Clarke-Duncan 8
R. Pattinson c. Kingsley b. Washington 18
J. Depp Run Out (Damon) 55
A. Kutcher Not Out 92
H. Grant Run Out (Day-Lewis) 0
P. Brosnan b. Norton 0
C. Farrell b. Norton 0
D. Craig Not Out 18
Extras (w4, nb2) 6
Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Washington 4 0 40 3
Clarke-Duncan 4 0 38 2
Norton 3.5 1 35 2
Kingsley 4 0 48 0
Smith 4 0 41 0
Congratulations George Clooney XI and unlucky to my Twitter follower who challenged my team and put up a pretty good fight!
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