“You’ve been bowling too many maiden overs!” she said thoughtfully. It’s about time you brought a maiden over!” “How mother?” asked Joachim. “It’s time you took a wicket!” replied the wise woman. “What ball should I bowl?” “Maybe a bouncer, a doosra, try spin but one that will get her wicket!” said his mother a twinkle in her eye. “What if she bats, cross bat?” asked Joachim. “Then bowl a dead ball!” “But a dead ball may not bowl her over!” cried Joachim triumphantly.
“A dead ball will help bowl a maiden over!” replied his mother with deadpan face and Joachim winced behind such cricketing logic but decided to bat chest on, “A maiden over ma will not help me bowl a maiden over!” “With all the maiden overs you’ve bin’ bowling son,” laughed his mother, “There’ll be no maidens left for you to bowl over!” Joachim was sure he could hear Mandira Bedi chuckling to hear such from a seventy year old. He entered the dining room and as usual sat at the table, waiting for his meal to be served, but found no sign of his sister, “We’ve decided to stop batting for you!” said his sister appearing at the door. “We’re watching cricket!”
“So who’s going to cook for me?” asked Joachim. “The night watchman!” “A locum cook, a replacement?” “A rookie batsman!” “Who?” “You!” said his mother, “You may occupy the crease! And when you bowl, pitch well!” “Pitch well?” asked Joachim faintly. “Into the frying pan and not all over the kitchen! Don’t damage the crease!” Joachim heard the sound of the TV in the next room and very furtively crept to see what was happening, “Howzat!” shouted his sister, turning round. “Out!” shouted the mother also spying him. “I declare!” shouted a desperate Joachim. “Follow on!” cried his sister pointing to the kitchen. “You can’t do this to me!” shouted a hysterical Joachim, “This is my house, my TV!” “He’s sledging!” complained his mother to the third umpire as she led him back to the kitchen, “You want meals to be served, food to be cooked? You’ll have to bring your own maiden over..!”