The butler has washed the whites and cleaned the boots. Her ladyship (God Bless Her) is preparing for outstanding teas for later in the season. The grass is cut and boundaries are marked. The opposition are ready and here we are for the first match of the new season. New regime. Same team. Let’s make Stone great again.
What a great day had by all of us and not just because we won. Yes, you are reading that correctly, we won. A fantastic team performance on a glorious ground. Weather was perfect and out hosts Teston were excellent.
Rousing speech from the skipper ( I write the reports so I will always look good) reminded us all that any day on a cricket pitch with your mates is better than a shopping trip to Waitrose. (Asda, Lidl, Aldi, M&S, Sainsbury’s – insert the supermarket of your choice).
We turn up with 12! Thanks to George “Guppy” Amos who was our 12th man. All kitted out and ready to play for either team. Outstanding attitude and a find example to all of us. Next we win the toss (it’s all going well so far) and invite the opposition to bat.
Timed game ensued.
Everyone had their bit to do in the field but special mention to Stumpy who, on a very difficult pitch to keep on, was excellent. 1 catch. (easy) 1 stumping (easier) and one fended off ball that fell to Dartsy at 1st slip for another catch. (flashy). Paul “Semtex” Keenan on his debut showed great willing and skill in the field despite being responsible for the “dolly of the day” error. If only he had listened to Stumpy who bellowed “catch it” from about 10 yards.
Our bowlers all did well and gave very little away. Jordan “bin man” Garratt had more success in the pub eating a handful of crackers and drinking a pint of Morretti for no money at all than he did at bowling, but, his contribution to all aspects of the day was outstanding. Slaaaaaaaater looked like he had been bowling for days with great line and length and gave away very little. He balanced that with letting 2 balls slip past him for 4 each and dropping a tricky catch. Dino seemed to have them all at sea with no luck, apart from the stumping but again, the control was crucial. Young Jordan “Mouthy” Oaten another debutante showed us that he should always field close to the wicket. He bowled well later in the innings and took his first wicket. Matt “Saddam” Blain finally gets to show his true worth as a bowler bowling at the top order and got their best batsman out with a little away swinger. (not the usual swinging he does with the car keys but that is another story). Bowler of the day, and indeed performance of the day goes to Tom Rogers. (His nickname must be rubbish if I can’t remember it). He applied pressure, eventually, with good length and line and took 5/25 much to the joy of all of us as well as Tom whose pineapple style haircut has us all wondering if we looked that stupid when we were young. Still, 1 caught behind and 4 bowled you can look how you want to. Brilliant.
Their last pair hung around a bit to use up valuable drinking time but we bowled them out for 135. Well done bowlers.
Tea. Lovely pavilion.
We bat. It turns out this total was not as low as we thought as the ball was not coming on to the bat and made scoring tricky. Still the openers, Golden Hair and Richard “Pussy” Pusey put on 62 in 20 overs to set a platform. Straight after drinks Pussy realised he did not have on his “go faster shoes” on and was run out by his partner. (can’t remember who that was) for a determined 22. Next out was the skipper for a battling 43 who seemed to vary from scratching around like an old lady to hitting the occasional 4. A minor collapse (shock) with Semtex falling for a duck and Dartsy for 4 soon after the first 2. Order was restored by Stumpy and Saddam with Bin Man smashing us into a winning position before he departed.
Saddam and Slaaaaaaaaaaaaaater saw us home by 3 wickets with with just about 2 overs to spare.
We socialise with the oppo afterwards as they have a bar in the pavilion and then retire to the Malt Shovel. If you want to know how that went be at the next one.
My thanks to all 11 of you who were there for my first game as skipper. It is great fun to be in this team and if we play with the same joy and commitment we will win many more together.
Next game the Vice is your skipper. He will be brilliant but he will need your help.