Whilst I have the honour of writing the match report this week, you have the even greater pleasure of reading the match report. Those of you who reminisce about playing the game in the right spirit may wish to look away now (this is the moderated version).
It looked bleak from the moment we arrived at the ground. The weather was dismal and the game of tennis that Dave and I sat watching waiting for others to arrive even more so. Game finished when one of the old dears decided that her back had given out (I do not think Serena Williams has too much to worry about). The rest of the squad turn up and there is not a lot of optimism about getting a full game in (everyone’s weather apps, news channel, announcement on the wireless saying 30% chance of rain at 3pm and 90% chance of rain at 4pm – the apps were right as it rained on the hour ever hour for an hour), but unlike the professionals, we played on.
When the opposition finally arrived (thought we would be playing six for a while) Dave went out to the slightly damp pitch (the thing which was only slightly less green than the outfield), threw the coin high in the air and their skipper won the toss and put us into bat. Dave and Dave to open the batting and started well against some good line and length bowling until the skip for the day leaves a little too much space between bat and pad, bowled through the gate for 10. That brought vol-au-vent to the crease and so it began. Although I did not see it there was some sort of collision between Darren and one of the bowlers (little bit of chirping from the fielders). Some good running and timing saw the score board moving along nicely when incident number 2. Overthrows resulted in the batsmen calling for a quick overthrow. The impartial umpire (yours truly) commented definitely a single there (once they were already half way down the track), and was promptly approach by one of their fielders to be told “Not supposed to be advising, impartial umpiring?” (now it really was game on). Darren proceeds to dispatch the bowling to all parts but, having brought up a well deserved 50, then proceeded to swing at everything and was swiftly on his way back. Umpire spent the remainder of his time in the middle making comments loud enough for the opposition about his impartiality. Bateley made a solid 35 before pulling one straight to a fielder who dived to make the catch look better than it was (can you guess who the fielder was). Not a lot of runs from the middle order this week but some good tail end runs from Dicky (18) and Tom (9) took us to 162 at the close.
Another top tea, this time prepared by our Team Director and Doodle monitor (many thanks Matty G). It must have been good because the young guns started on it before the game started.
Out come the opening batsmen and no surprise to see Mr ‘impartial umpire’ walking out. Tom and Dino to open the bowling and this was the start of one of the best spells of bowling I have seen in a long time. Tom coming down the hill, hair bouncing in the wind, proceeded to take apart the East Sutton team. He finished with 8 overs, 2 maidens, 6 wickets for 13 runs and there were a lot more balls that had the batsmen playing and missing. I continued to bowl loopy little non-turning off-spin (and the occasional leg break) eventually finishing with 1 for 32 (but still had not got out the opener). I also took the opportunity to remind the umpire when he proceeded to coach the young lad to play the ball down that he was not supposed to be helping (‘impartial umpire’). Unfortunately having removed 7 of them in quick time we were unable to take the last two wickets to earn a deserved win. Everyone else that came on bowled well but without luck (Walkling, 4 overs 0 – 17; Oaten, 6 overs 0 – 17; McGrath, 3 overs 0 – 2; Pusey, 3 overs 0 – 12 and Darts, 3 overs 0 – 4). Darren slipped and accidentally knocked one over the boundary resulting in the opener losing strike at the end of an over and the umpire asking whether he had done it deliberately (a number of times). A couple of shots which just cleared fielders and one dropped chance but otherwise pretty good in the field.
No great surprises with the awards. Tom won player of the day for his bowling and Darren narrowly beat me (moody Matt) to poo-bag for his mis-field and not going down the pub (and not getting a jug in – we will keep a tally for presentation night).
Lets hope we get some better weather for the next game.