Stone CC vs Tonbridge Foresters CC

Sweaty and hot. Rushing around to the orders of our Skipper and grateful for his help and direction. Thus was how the tea was prepared on the morning of the match by her ladyship. (Much more of that later)

As the season progresses I get more and more in awe of how great we are. Before play we have 14 at the ground. LR of S, Semtex and Walkie Talkie all turn up to help out, play if required (even for the oppo) and generally be supportive of the team. Brilliant.

Before we start we have a tasteful and low key toast for the 25th anniversary of the birth of our Vice. The second favourite son of Mick and Captain for the day was surprised by us all with a half decent bottle of Champagne, a shed load of rum and beer to follow. He was reluctant at first but folded to the smallest amount of peer pressure and began to top up on the previous night. Opening over could be interesting. (For a change) 

So, onto the game. The Foresters are 15 minutes late, probably hoping we would not be there, and we start a timed game. Vice wins the toss and bowls. Good bowling from Vice and Mr Pimms keeps the run rate very low and wickets fall. 27/3 from the 11 overs shared by the openers. Mr Pimms finishing with 2/8 from 7
(not good enough for performance of the day) and Vice 1/18 from 5. 2 bowled and 1 LBW being the best way to go rather than rely on our, of late, ropy catching. Robbo Cop (who finished with a swollen knee and stank out the pavilion with Voltarol) comes on and whilst down on speed was very tidy and bowled 6 overs for 15. Double 0 Dino at the other end took a bit of tap, albeit from slogs mostly, and bowled 4 overs for 22. Wickets not falling means they could take a chance or two and they did. Their Skipper, who loves a field change (more of that later too) was dropped on 4 by Hangover Stevens and got to 33 before a lifter from Scrappy got him to glove one behind. Another good spell from the favourite son. 1/21 from 5 overs. Slogging continued and catches were now being taken. Hangover clings on to a good one square of the wicket, and catches another one, but I can’t remember how so it must have been easy. Oaten and Scrappy take 2 more and despite what could have been a runaway score at one stage we kept them to 162/7 thanks  largely to 4 overs at the end from Dory that only went for 12. Hangover and Quaker suffered a bit with 2/31 and 1/33 respectively. Fielding was OK but there are some of us who could do better. I won’t mention names as they probably wont remember anyway. The rain ended thier innins 1 over early and we managed to get in 41.1 overs. Proper way to play.

TEA. What a treat. 2 cakes, including a crafted cricket pitch of a cake for our Vice. Home made everything, biscuits (chocolate chip and shortbread) brownies, sausage rolls and lovely sandwiches. Cheese and salad (ish) beef, chicken. Beer. Tea. Juice. To cap it all the rain finished and we could start more or less on time.

It was like batting on a different pitch after the sort lived storm.  Pussy and Saddam struggled through as Foresters only bowled the spinners. Pace off the ball was the best plan. Pussy looked calm until playing back instead of forward was bowled for 9. Saddam looked both good and ragged and having given 1st slip 2 goes as getting him out gave him another that was gratefully snatched up. Out for 6 and we are about 20 for 2. Vice and Robbo Cop follow soon afterwards for 7 and 5. Vice particularly cross as a lovely hoist over mid off plugs in the ground about a foot from the boundary and they run one! It is early days in the innings but the signs are not good. Pitch is a bit of a minefield and we are struggling to hit any boundaries due to the very slow outfield. Stumpy give it his best but even his best timed shots are only going for 2s. Dory is also playing the long bat but just can’t connect and falls for 3. Dino falls soon after for 2 and the shutters are coming down. Stumpy is next for a top score of 21. 10 overs or so to go but thoughts if victory are distant. It is down to Scrappy and Hangover to see us through. They rotate the strike and whilst not chanceless, they hold together well to hold out for the draw. A fair result. Maybe if the Foresters had bowled more than 36 overs it could have been different. The constant field changing, on almost every ball, slows up play. I’ll leave it there.

Thanks to Semtex, Walkie Talkie and LR of S for all the extra help, scoring, umpiring and clearing up.

PUB.

An almost full turn out including her ladyship. She walks in to a round of applause and is congratulated on performance of the day for the tea.

SB for the birthday boy for wimping out at the drinks break and not taking advantage of the rum offered by the waiters.

There are more pub stories but to enjoy it you need to be there. All I can say is that I did not start a “bromance” with Mick. Her ladyship did not play any drinking games with the Garratts and Saddam involving gin, tequila and lager. There was no money lost by Vice to Saddam for foolish bets and no one, I mean no one, revealed any kind of new nick name for anyone.

All Stars next week.