After a carefully negotiated coin toss it was decided between the two captains that we would bowl first. With everyone ready and out of the changing rooms and everyone in positions the game began.
After a short dispute between Skip and Vice over who should field in slip, Jordan Walkling got the game underway with his first over going for 2 runs. Goodfellow ran in for the second over hitting the batsman’s middle wicket early on which caused a short stoppage and a few jokes and laughs. Unfortunately, he didn’t get what he deserved by bowling a very good spell of 5 overs 1 maiden for 28 runs. Walkling finished his spell bowling 4 overs without any wickets for 4 runs. Including one maiden.
Dino came steaming in for the first bowling change throwing down his trademark quicker balls, eventually earning himself a wicket due to an inspired field change from the Skipper which saw myself catch the ball at short midwicket in his second over. Dino finished his spell with 8 overs 2 wickets and for 26 runs. As did Scrappy who bowled well but was unlucky for a few bad balls per over which saw their captain score runs but ending with 8 overs 44 runs and 3 wickets. Not too bad for the bowler of the year. Jordan Garrett came on to bowl to try and out pace the batsman whilst Dartsy came on at the other end to bowl slowly and take pace off the ball but that didn’t work in his 3 overs as they went for 15 runs. Now after a team meeting between Skip, Vice and Blainy it was time for Stone’s secret weapon, ladies and gentlemen … Tom “Rick Astley” Rogers. Coming on and taking a wicket with my second ball and then bowling a girl with my fifth ball. The vice finished with 6 overs 2 maidens 8 runs and 2 wickets. Into my second over I took their final wicket with my second ball, finishing with 1.2 overs 3 wickets for 2 runs. With every ball being bowled perfectly as Stumpy highlighted one too many times.
This finished off the innings with a total of 139 all out. As a team we bowled and fielded very well but switched off a few times in the field (Jordan Walkling) which cost us extra runs. There was one tough drop catch by Stumpy, but a drop is a drop and he picked up dolly of the day.
On to tea.
The tables were filled with sandwiches, cakes, crisps and more cakes. But was still not the best tea of the season as Skip pointed out. During tea came the decision of the batting line up, with a hard decision for Ross as this game was winnable. So, with Ross opening the batting with Blainy we saw Matty G bat 3, Vice bat 4, Dartsy bat 5, Stumpy in at 6, Scrappy in at 7 Dino 8, Walkie Talkie 9, Tom 10 and our trusted scorer Semtex taking up the tail.
As the openers took the field there seemed to be a mix up as Blainy was unaware he was to face the first ball and subsequently was bowled first ball of the innings. This was not a very good way to start the run chase. Goodfellow came in and showed bright sparks to move the ball and fell lucky a few times using his edge to save him on many occasions. But was out unfortunately for a score of 6. Vice was quick to come to the middle and asserted dominance on the field by hitting a sweet drive for 4 on just his second delivery. Jordan had to walk away with his bat scoring a quickfire 15 runs. Ross followed soon after for 20 with stone standing at 53-5, after Dartsy got out by LBW for another time in his career because frankly he’s not that good. Bateley was in next to steady up stone’s ship with Ryan joining him, both putting on a great 38 run partnership to take us to 91-6 as scrappy was bowled. Scoring 19 runs. Surely this was stones game to win. Chasing 49 runs off 10 overs. Dino joined stumpy at the crease but wasn’t there for long as he caught for 1, while walkie talkie who was in next was in a hurry to get back to the pub and was out after facing 7 balls for 4 after he tried to clip one over midwicket but caught an edge with the keeper claiming an easy catch. I joined Dave in the middle while we were 96-8 with 7 overs remaining.
Now before we commence into the final overs I would like to add that I did try and win the game and hit the ball off the square but unfortunately it just didn’t work for my partner.
Our next overs went as follows 2, 6, 5, 7, 3 and 9. This bringing us to the end of our innings. After spending 94 minutes in the middle facing 73 balls, stumpy scored just 32 runs and I finished on 11 not out (not trying to bat for my average because I technically I don’t have one). That was it. The game had ended, we lost a winnable game and let it slip through our fingernails. But onto the awards, SB went to Dartsy as when taking the drinks out he let his trousers fall in front of everyone such an embarrassment to the team, the club, your family and I hope to yourself. Well deserved. And the coveted Ainsley ‘spicy hot’ picture went to me. For my bowling and batting. And because Paul had the casting vote and I’m his favourite.