| Two O'clock,
Putney Heath in August
Through the rhododendron weather
Ian drives, and Justin hooks.
Glad the willow, sad the leather;
Justin cuts and Ian looks.
Cover rubs his wounded hand;
The slips (of course) are fast asleep.
Mid-off wonders where to stand:
Saving one, or in the deep?
Not since Hutton, not since Gover -
Ian glances, Justin nicks
Have we seen such wit and power -
Justin sweeps and Ian flicks.
"Sod the loop, forget the flight,"
The skipper cries, "just bowl it flat!
For pity's sake, just keep it tight,
Avoid the middle of the bat."
Justin's fifty, Ian's hundred -
Poor Roehampton call for drinks,
Spirit sapped, morale all sundered.
Justin smiles, and Ian winks.
Putney Heath has never seen
Such dashing numbers one and two
But what on earth
what must have been
The tree-oh-four from Waterloo
Not even Euclid could devise
So many cunning ways to score
So many ways to hypnotise
So many ways to stroke a four.
| The dark designs of kin and
Dismay Roehampton when they see -
Holy shit! Another Smith
Is padded up at number three!
Bowler sigh, and pray for stumps.
Fielders dart, and run, and fall,
And dive, and chase, and pick the lumps
Of Putney woodland from the ball.
One last glance and one list drive:
A final four, an ambled three.
Ah, what it is to be alive,
An opener, and a Gaiety.
The declaration's on the board:
No men out for two six four!
Swallows and squirrels all applaud
This quite unprecedented score.
Harold commandeers the bar
(Ian's lager, Justin's wine)
Recollects his finest hour:
Caught midwicket, thirty nine.
The summer evening gathers in
Pints of shandy, pints of bitter.
Ian laughs and buys a gin
For deep long off, who dropped a sitter.
Aircraft roar above Roehampton
Bound for Cyprus and Japan
Mundane destinations stamped on
Passports for the businessman.
Ian Smith and Justin Falkus!
Grab the jugs and start to pour
Go on Justin, Ian, talk us
Through your partnership once more.