jimbo wrote:The last Rhodesian holding up well from one end mind. Gritty innings from mad mark
"The Last Rhodesian" - that makes an awesome movie title
The script writes itself.
We just need an ending to the third act. I'm thinking this...
Australia invite Zimbabwe for a 1 Test series; on the back of incredible domestic form Vermeulen makes the tour. Smashes a double century in the tour match, but on the eve of the Test match Maruma gets the nod.
It's thirty minutes before play is to commence on day 1, it's a packed MCG Boxing Day crowd. Disappointed at missing out on selection, Vermeulen announces his retirement from all forms of cricket again. Maruma sees him in the dressing room... "this is your moment man; you've played in Australian conditions before... this is your moment", and withdraws from the team. Vermeulen gets a last minute call up.
Australia bat first. Dominate. Declare at 700. Zimbabwe then get dismissed for a respectable but still low total of 280 with Vermeulen contributing a gritty 30 off 100 batting at number six. There's a touch of rain, worried about the draw Australia only add another 100 to their score leaving Zimbabwe chasing 520 in just 4 sessions. Wickets tumble at the end of day 4. Zimbabwe are 4/50 and a nightwatchman comes out to join Taylor (unbeaten on 45) with one over left before stumps. The nightwatchman gets out first ball.
Vermeulen walks out to the crease to huge applause. The commentators are celebrating one of crickets most interesting and varied careers, while Richie Benaud name drops the movie when he says "The Last Rhodesian walks out to the middle".
5 balls to face before stumps. Each one is a nasty bouncer reminiscent of 2003-04; but Vermeulen survives until stumps ready to fight for an unlikely draw the next day.
The movie picks up the next day with an inspirational speech from Taylor. Boundary after boundary are scored. Tea approaches and both players have brought up their double centuries. In the final session the Australians contain the batsmen and the run rate dries up. Taylor goes for some big shots ala NZ at Bulawayo 2011 and gets the run rate ticking again, but with 3 overs to spare gets cruelly run out by Vermeulen. The crowd goes silent as the game is on a knifes edge. 25 runs are needed, but the recalled Brad Hogg takes a hattrick. There's one wicket in hand, and Vermeulen managed to retain the strike after the last ball was skied.
Determined not to let the number eleven face any deliveries, Vermeulen farms the strike. 18 required from the last over. The first two balls are edged for 4, while the third is a French cut which goes for 4. 6 from 3 required. Dot ball. 6 from 2. Yorker, Vermeulen defends. Taylor's inspirational words float through his head... Vermeulen decides that winning is the only option. The final ball gets bowled in slow motion, and flies over the rope for 6. Zimbabwe win by 1 wicket.
Vermeulen played by Kevin Bacon.
Taylor played by George Clooney.
Maruma played by Morgan Freeman.
Hogg played by Harrison Ford.
Benaud as himself.