Old Colfeians CC 4th XI vs. Stone CC, 21 August 2021

With the leadership deciding to spend their Saturday’s on the razz elsewhere, it fell to Scrappy to lead the team down to Eltham to take on Old Colfeians on a murky and drizzly August afternoon. A 35-over affair was agreed in light of the weather and, toss lost, we were asked to bat first on a half-decent-looking deck, with the oppo looking to avenge their hefty defeat(s) at our place back in May. Despite Stumpy rocking up late and providing a junior ball, we started on time, in light drizzle.

Gracie joined me at the top of the order in a brand new opening partnership in a bid, as Scrappy put it, to “not lose too many early wickets”. We were doing fine for the first four overs and drizzle, leaving the good stuff and blocking well. However, just as I was getting going against their quicker opening bowler, I leathered one in the air wide of point and, for the third week in a row, the fielder held on to a brilliant leaping catch to get rid of me for just 4 and a lot of swearing. It’s becoming annoying. Chungy replaced me and lasted a whole two balls before he was trudging off, clean bowled by one that kept low, with the pitch rapidly becoming slower and slower. Gracie faced a full three overs of slow left arm before he and Scrappy teamed up to run Gracie out for two – at least it wasn’t as bad as the Teston Tragedy of last week… Skip for the Day wouldn’t last much longer either as he was bowled for 7, before Walkie gave me no option but to send him on his way LBW for a big fat zilch. He was already halfway to the bar as the finger of doom went up, and Stone were 16/5.  Stumpy miraculously hit a boundary (our only four of the innings) as he and Dicky dug in for a decent number of overs and drizzle [their stand of 18 from 9.2 overs was the longest and second highest-scoring of the day -ed.] While runs were hard to come by, luckily the bar was not as the clutch of batsmen already in the viewing gallery made good use of the facilities and drizzle. Dicky perished for seven, then Stumpy holed out to mid on for a top score of 17. King Louie failed to trouble the scorers, before Paul (7 – joint best strike rate of the innings with Scrappy), Ed and Will (both 1*) hung around for a while to frustrate Old Colfeians as we managed to use up the full 35 overs – with extras providing our second best score – posting an intimidating 59-9 and drizzle.

As most of us had partaken in tea and beer during our drizzle-fest of an innings, a quick turnaround was in order to get the game done before any more rain turned up to ruin the day/save us. We began the rescue attempt in drizzle with our premier 2021 opening attack of Walkie and King Louie, the latter grabbing the first wicket with a wicked inswinging yorker before launching a couple of intimidatory beamers at their top order. Walkie was doing a brilliant job on their no.2, tying him up in all sorts of trouble and drizzle and was very unlucky not to pick up two early wickets as chances went down in the field. Buckets Boyling showed those nameless fielders how to catch a bit later on to cheer Walkie up and leave him with figures of 7-2-16-1. OC’s number three came in and Gracie announced that he was obviously a walking wicket and would soon be back in the hutch. This prophecy turned out to be entirely wrong as he settled quickly, smashed a few fours and top scored with 26*. Chungy castled their number four late on, with Kid Jessup grabbing himself a wicket maiden just before the end came inside 18 overs. The drizzle turned into actual proper rain immediately as the game finished, but so did the beers and post-game chat which made life much better despite a heavy defeat.

Had we held on to the early chances, it might have turned out differently, but never mind chaps. While watching Old Colfeians 1st XI (“f**k league cricket” was the general consensus), we moved on to post-game awards. Stumpy took home Big Pat for his monster knock of 17, while Walkie’s two-ball duck and indiscretions with the scorebook (after Paul went in to bat) secured him yet another (“this club hates me”) Shitbag award. And then the sun came out…

– Billy