Hugo van Belle reports on the Mexico City Mariachis' recent excursion to the Sarasota Sixes

The Mexico City Mariachis under the guidance of Paul Longshaw recently took part in the Sarasota Sixes tournament. For the first time in recent memory Paul did not solely comprise the Mexican team!

Hugo van Belle and Nick Deakin flew up with Paul from Mexico. Jonathan Froome was flown in from Edinburgh again. Steve Carr drove up from Miami, Simon Fox from Atlanta and finally Colonel Malcolm Watson joined us as after dinner speaker on the Saturday having previously been tied up on a special mission for Her Majesty. In his own words: `Nice work if you can get it!'

Laurence Parry, the officialdom of Sarasota cricket, determined that the Mariachis should once again be in the Fun Shield division with Wainfleet from Lincolnshire, Toronto Leg Trappers, Esher and finally Surrey Vagrants.

Compassionately, Laurence never had us starting before 2pm every day, knowing full well that we would be giving the Old Cranleighans a `cheetah-like' run for their money when it came to the evening`s entertainment. The thing is that in Mexico City, unlike Surrey, nobody`s out by 10.30pm thus we were always playing catch-up!

As it happens one of our competitors was so awe-inspired by our stamina and strength in depth of our batting, sorry, BAR lineup that we were collectively awarded bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo for being head and shoulders above the rest for our entertainment value. However, whether individually or collectively, Henry and the Old Cranleighans must surely be top of the pack for sheer originality factor. Henry seemed to attempting a rework of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" that would be better entitled "Bikes, Dikes and Golf carts".

I digress, back to the cricket.

Mexico didn`t do too badly all things considered. We beat Wainfleet on the first day bowling them out for 36 and reaching that target for the loss of one wicket.

Later in the day we played Toronto Legtrappers who again we put in to bat. They managed to make a total of 55 or so which we couldn`t come close to.

The following day we batted first against Esher and made 74 , one of the highest totals of the tournament for no wicket. We bowled them out for a modest 50.

Finally we played the Surrey Vagrants for a place in the final. Again we batted first and made 61 for no wicket. Alas, it proved not to be enough and they made the score with four balls to spare.

Although we didn`t win we were the only team to come away with two trophies adding the `Runs per wicket' medal to our entertainment kings trophy. We had a runs per wicket avg. of 109, some 50 odd higher than the runner up. Just goes to show that a bottle of tequila and a chorus of `If you`re happy and you know it' a day contribute to very fine averages indeed!

All in all, great fun, wonderfully organised by Laurence and his team and certainly to be part a permanent fixture on the calendar for years to come.