Stone CC vs Hunton Wanderers

Here we are. New season and after a shake up of the pavilion it feels that we have a new start. The giant yellow cock in the middle of the home dressing room providing an inspiration to all of us. If you want to know what I am talking about, come and play a game.
It all begins on Wednesday with a squad selection meeting of the power 3. 15 have stepped up and given us a great problem to deal with. I confer with Vice and TD and, after asking for volunteers and making some choices we have a prime 11 to take the field and start the season with a storming victory.
East Sutton bottled it early on and Hunton Wanderers foolishly think they can take us on. Well done to Saddam for getting a replacement so quickly.
Match Day. Rain threatens all day but does nothing. (Sounds like the staff threatening to walk out if I don’t give them more time off.) We lost two players to various personal issues on Friday but such is the strength of our club, 2 that were rested, stepped up. Thanks to Walkie and Slates. We even had enough to give them Dino. (More of that treacherous swine later).
We win the toss and invite them to bat. The strip is bright green and pudding shaped and anything near 100 could be a winning score. The council kindly cut the grass but left it all there. There would be no value for shots today. Walkie and Judge Judy (Cameron Miller’s provisional new nick name as it is better than “camo” and is related to the fact he likes an appeal. Also on the list are “Windy” “Mick” and “Twin”) Everything goes well. Walkie puts in 2 good spells and finishes with 2/15 from 8. Judy was wicketless but managed to drop a dolly on to the stumps and run the man out instead. They lurched slowly to about 25/2 and were assisted by our rusty fielding. (5 drops all day and 2 off no balls). Time to bring out the big guns. Bowler of the year had to show how it was done. Ryan, who likes to embrace all new things in cricket and so, to promote the 100 ball competition, starts with a 12 ball over. It was varied and entertaining to say the least but, as all self promoting champions do, he pulled it round and finished with 4/27. Hunton continue to lurch and can hardly clear the square due to the grass and good bowling. Pussy making use of conditions gets 2/11 and never wants to bowl again. Vice came on towards the end and showed decent pace but was unlucky to end with 0/21 from 7 good overs. Stumpy put in a good stint ‘keeping in tricky conditions, and both Robocop and Semtex fielded well to try and stop our standards dropping below the embarrassing levels our “catching” was trying to take us. All out for 96 and we had no idea if that was good or bad but we fancied out chances.
Tea. Provided by Lord and Lady Rossington (well, his Lordship buttered bread and delivered it). Thanks to Lady Rossington for donating the tea fee back to the club. Well received by all and if you are good they may do the next one too. Not for free though, Mansions cost money!
Saddam and Skip open and look solid enough. Slow but steady (Stumpy would have been proud). 9 overs and 19/0. All in hand. Saddam falls (again) for 4. Skip soon after for 10. Both out to loose shots and were not to be the only ones guilty of this.Slates for 3 (worst shot of the day) and Semtex for Stone’s first duck. Caught by Judas (Sorry, Dino). Hunton don’t have great bowlers but they used the conditions very well. We helped. Vice played the only way he knows how and for a short time he looked like he would carry us home. He didn’t and was out for 11. 5 down and still with hope but we just could not wrest this slide. Scrappy pumps his first ball for 4 off  Dino but perishes soon after to the same man. Earning his 40 pieces of silver he also snapped up our top batsman Stumpy caught behind for 4.  Robo is run out in comical fashion for Stone’s second duck of the season. Pussy doesn’t hang around and is caught and bowled for 1. Our opening bowlers are now at the crease. 15 overs still to go and “only” 50 odd required. They hung around but didn’t score many and with 9 overs left Walkie was caught for 6. The Judge 0 not out and still yet to score a run for Stone! 58 all out and a defeat by 38 runs.
A bad loss in difficult conditions but a game we will feel we handed to our visitors. Just about being better than shopping (or having your people shop for you) at the supermarket of your choice but it was a close call.
Pub. Some of the oppo came to visit, which is good for the landlord but come on, do we like them that much? A good turn out by us.
The new award for player of the day is the “Ainsley Harriot Hot performance of the day and this time went to Ryan for his 4/27. There were no other candidates,
SBotD had many candidates but the “Benedict Arnold” that is Double 0 Dino was overwhelmingly voted in as our season’s first winner. It was annoying enough that he might get next week’s as well!
The proposed boundary count trophy is easy enough to start with and we have joint leaders. Ryan 4s 1 Skip 4s 1 and everyone else on stuff all!