Finally, after months of enforced lockdown and Saturdays spent staring at Netflix/the wife/girlfriend/Tinder/dubious internet websites (delete as applicable), club cricket was allowed its glorious return this week.
The “new normal” meant showing up in kit, bringing your own tea (boo) and sanitise every six overs. Stone won the toss and elected to field in a “very friendly” 40-over game against Snodland, against whom I was reliably informed someone had hit 150 against a few years ago…
Walkie and Dory opened the bowling for Stone without success, followed by young Will and myself also failing to remove the openers (I’ll count bowling a maiden as a successful debut…). James Jessup finally registered our first wicket with Snodland on 90 and quickly removed their no.3 for a duck, followed by a Dicky P full bunger which Semtex snaffled at mid on. Wickets fell steadily thereafter, Vice ending with decent figures of 2-22 (even if he did rock up a smidge late), alas the run total piled up just as quickly with Snodland ending their 40 overs on 282/9.
Many bags for life rustled as we sat down for tea while the batting order was sorted. Surprising lack of alcohol amongst the grub.
Dory and Candyman volunteered to open and both were back in the shed almost immediately, followed shortly by Dicky P after some decidedly dodgy umpiring… he doesn’t know why he was given, nor did I at the other end, their wicket keeper decided it was LBW and caught behind and my offer of £10 to the nameless umpire to reverse his decision fell on deaf ears, and Dicky’s gloves disappeared into the hedge. My batting debut lasted four balls before I slapped one to cover point, meaning the top order scores magnificently read as 0, 0, 0, 0. Welcome back cricket… I’d heard tales of the “Stone Wobble” but 6/4 (all extras) after four overs is taking the piss.
Vice and my fellow debutant Dan (Gracie) came in at 5 and 6 and added some respectability to the top order shambles, Vice launching a couple of huge sixes over the bowlers head, one of which nearly cleared the pavilion, before chipping one to mid-on for 38 in a partnership worth 68. Gracie top scored with a fine 47 (ten fours), smacking everything through the on side which prompted their captain to stick seven fielders between midwicket and mid-on as “he only has one shot”. Next ball went through the huge gap in the covers for four, which the Skipper found hilarious. Gracie eventually fell to a straight one, which brought in Walkie who failed to join Duck Club as he edged behind the slowest ball in history for a solitary run.
James Jessup was then bowled by the second slowest ball in history, leaving his younger brother Will to join the Skipper. Both offered decent resistance before Will popped one in the air to short leg. Semtex strode out at 11 and hit a marvellous cover drive for four before having his stumps re-arranged next ball, ending the run chase after 32 overs with Stone 146 all out.
The Stone top scorers were:
Stone 146 all out
Snodland win by 136 runs.
The SBOTD went to an absent Dory for various crimes, while Gracie deservedly took home Big Pat for the week.