And so for the 3rd time in a month, we head off down the A2 for a trip to Detling this week. I have drawn the short straw this week and have volunteered to be Walkie’s taxi for the day, so am thoroughly exhausted by the time I get to Detling’s picturesque (if somewhat hilly) ground. We are advised to park with our boots open to protect our cars’ rear windscreens as we literally can only park six inches outside the boundary edge against a fence, although with a couple of our cars having scrapes and marks over them, I doubt it would make any difference. Skip however has come prepared and puts a blanket over his windscreen. We are all here and are waiting for the opposition to trundle in. Gavin’s recruitment drive has resulted in us fielding three new recruits, welcoming Dylan Christie, his son Alex, and also young Tom Restall. Detling win the toss and elected to bat in a 35-overs game.
Walkie and I are handed the new ball and make a relatively tidy start, until I bowl one over of absolute dross that gets pummelled for 15. The first breakthrough comes when (helpfully) one of the openers retires hurt, but this provides little relief as it brings in a more destructive batsmen who decides to take on the bowling and dispatches the ball to all parts. Young Tom and Alex C’s bowling is full of energy but sadly a bit too short, although Tom is unlucky when I shell a catch on the square leg boundary (no surprises there!). Eventually the first proper breakthrough is made when Muttley bowls their number three for 42 (4x4s, 3x6s). Will Jessup then claims a wicket before Muttley claims another one a few overs later before Will eventually gets the captain of Detling for 77 (14x4s). By this stage, the damage has been done and, despite a run out with one ball remaining, Detling close on 192-5 off 35 overs.
After tea, it falls to me and Sash to open the batting in order get this chase under way. Sash launched a couple of big hits and, after a chat about calling when hitting the ball, he then pummels one back at my head which I have to evade and end up flat on the deck, only for me to glance up and find Sash looking at me from about three feet away. As I get up, the ball is on its way back to the keeper and I am run out by about 10 yards. I skulk off back to the dressing room and contemplate a murder. Dylan joins Sash in the middle and they look relatively untroubled until Sash then misses a slow straight one and is bowled for 18, leaving us at 35 -2 by this stage. Muttley comes and goes for two. Walkie is next in and hits a couple of lusty blows before being given out LBW for 13 (absolutely plumb by the way, and I was square leg umpire :)) He stands there, he protests, but to no avail! His bat goes flying, much to the amusement of the opposition. We are slowly crumbling away faster than a digestive biscuit under a rolling pin. Skip comes out to look at the pitch, decides to leave his first ball, and is bowled. Paul is promoted up the order for a bat and looks relatively untroubled, but at the other end the side crumbled against the slow dibbly dobblers of Detling. Paul finishes on 12 not out as Walkie gives Gav out before the bowler has even finished appealing and we are all out for 73. No one really did anything terrible during the game but we were just all off our game and got punished by a strong Detling team.
Ben Nevis Detling and slope off back to the pub/home to watch England smash Ukraine in the Euros. Walkie’s naff day is topped off when he misses a couple of goals when going to pick up a pizza, and then downs 4 Jaeger bombs after saying he would drink one for every goal England scored thinking they wouldn’t do anything. At this point, I decided to leave. Ah well – on to next week.