Tim lost the toss and Baston therefore had to bat, our erstwhile captain changing his mind and, reluctantly, asked me to pad up.
At this juncture it should be mentioned that the pitch “did a bit” but was not dangerous – well done Tim, Neil & Guy and thank you for selflessly donating your time so that we can all enjoy a game of cricket. The outfield, however, is still a disgrace not our fault but it really is adversely affecting the game.
Our innings started in typically bizarre fashion with our opener assaying a rather agricultural hoik at a full pitched ball going down leg, the net result of which was moi doing a 180 degree pirouette ending up on my derričre staring at a bemused wicketkeeper - needless to say the ball was in no danger of being hit! More remarkably I then proceeded to get off the mark, in the first over (honestly), by driving their opening bowler back over his head for a boundary. Normal service was then restored as I put that shot back in the bag and didn’t get it out again for another 40 overs.
Cricket really is an unfair game. I played an ugly slash at a ball too full to cut presenting slip with the easiest chance he has ever had in 40 years of playing, he obviously dropped it. Jon who was in prime form, however, middled a searing back foot drive which extra cover swooped on with all the enthusiasm and athleticism of Barnsey going for his first pint of the day. Jon had to depart.
Baston’s innings then followed a depressingly familiar story.
Neil, done by a good ball.
Liam, out pulling
Guy, gloved behind a ball that bounced a tad on him.
Phil, a real hero of village cricket – he broke his arm so badly that it hurts him to even hold a bat, yet every week he turns up and gives his all – Phil you are a saddo, but you are our saddo we salute you.
Tim got in, scored a few and then missed a straight one from a 12-year-old leg spinner.
I was run out by Staziak, the last time I ever respond to a call from him!
We slumped to 108 all out.
I spent the tea break, quietly contemplating the innings on the swings in the park. This was not out of choice, rather the fact i forgot we have tea in the Barn now and not in the pub. Thinking everyone had gone, selflessly, I stayed by the Barn not wanting any undesirables from St. Johns Close entering the changing facilities. I ran the furthest i had done all day, 22 yards, to only find a scene of destruction. Limbs everywhere. At the centre of this, one man, with cakes on his laps and a smile on his face, Felix.
We returned to the Shrine playing area which saw Liam open the bowling in typical aggressive fashion. His pace was easily played against as the ball was in no danger of hitting the stumps, although i was worried at first slip for my ankles. Staziak got his quicker ball to zip through and cause Ginger a few problems, although his stock leg side delivery was also causing Ginger problems. Something needed to be done. One man threw his cap down and stood forward. Mr T. 'Deadly' Dyer. With a swagger, a hop, and skip, his first few pace deliveries caused the batsmen problems. The decision whether to hit the ball for 4 or 6 caused doubt and a single kept on being their final decision. Cunningham came on for a spell which really brought the game back. Their batsman didn't have a clue what he was bowling, then again, neither did he. The wind, blew a leg side delivery back on course and the appeal went up for LBW. 1 down. Dyer duly joined the party and the pair took returned combined figures of 24-lots of maidens-60-6. Well done.
Their batsmen decided that blocking and nudging the ball would be the best bet and had no problems in accumulating the remaining runs. Felix took a well bowled consolation wicket but it was all in vain and Baston had another loss.
The final word must be said of Jonno's catch and deep square leg. Not only did he manage to cover the 5 yards required but he also managed to run in, when not needed, to make it look, if he dropped it, a really difficult catch. As it turned out, he held on to it as if it were his love for Gemma that he used to date. Good catch Jon.
Again, another game we should have won, unfortunately, it never happened though. Off to the pub we went, where we actually can perform well on a Saturday, to drink large amounts of Adnams and sing merrily till the early hours...or 11 on the dot as the new blooming owners make it!