A return to the scene of our great failure of last season, and we were hoping lightning wouldn’t strike twice. Lightning of another sort, however, did seem likely with rain predicted for later in the day, so Colin won the toss and got us bowling first, partly with a view to capturing some early wickets before the rain, and so getting some points, and partly so if we had to play later our bowlers wouldn’t have to struggle with the wet ball. As it was we took to the field in swirling winds. One end was into the wind like last year and it proved a real struggle to run into the wind for Grant, Chaz and Will throughout the innings.
We captured a couple of early wickets thanks to some over enthusiastic running from the Chesterton openers, and then a simple caught and bowled from Ryan. In the meantime Lee Price was getting some lustrous blows in and took his scored to 42 from not many deliveries before trying one too many from Chaz and being bowled. There was a strike of luck with the next LBW as there was quite a strong hint of an inside edge from Lewis, but it made up for some other decisions of our own in recent weeks. When our nemesis from last year’s fixture Trevor Price was then caught behind for 25 after a couple of big hits, we really felt in the driving seat as we had them 110-6 (a bit like last year).
Unfortunately last year’s template took over again as some ragged fielding and bowling took place. Grant was on bottom form, diving over one ball and tipping another for some overthrows past OT for 4. The conditions were tough but we really let our standards slip and it was with great frustration that they snared 78 runs from the last 6 overs to post 245-6. Chaz had bowled a really good spell into the wind, making the best of conditions to capture 3 wickets with his induckers and seamers.
Amidst the last three overs there was time for Barry and Grant to have a little tiff. It began mostly when the ball was hit in the air between Ryan and Grant and Grant went for it despite Barry screaming Ryan’s name. Unfortunately he dropped it. In a rage Barry sent him to fine leg and Mongo, who had run approximately 3km (in his estimations) had to move to cover. To complete the fail, Barry failed to cling on to an admittedly tough caught and bowled chance, a moment compounded by Grant shouting “Ryan” and trying to put him off. All in all the last 6 overs were a complete embarrassment for us.
Fortunately Barry in angry mood means good batting, usually. So the decision was taken to open with him, and Ryan. They went off like an express train at 6 an over, well on top of the rate required, and it was a great disappointment when Ryan was unlucky to play on for 26. The rest of the batting was a procession of something underwhelming, as people came and went for scores between 6 and 8. Barry was undeterred at the other end though, swishing and blockbusting his way to an excellent total. He brought up his 100 in truly hilarious fashion, aiming a slap over mid-on but edging it to third man at the same time as launching his bat straight to where the ball was meant to go. The news of his hundred was met in equally panicked fashion, as he tried to kiss the badge but struggled to remove his helmet and struggled even more to kiss the badge which was hidden under his jumper.
Around this time the weather turned even less clement, and drizzle soon turned to actual rain, forcing us to go off. We needed 36 at this point, but overs were no longer a problem as the run rate had dropped below 4 an over. The real problem was wickets. And with Barry and Grant in after their earlier argument, who knew what would happen?! We eventually got back out after some musings about safety, but in truth once the rain had stopped it was hard to justify not carrying on – something the umpires agreed on. Chesterton put some sawdust out in the name of not-breaking-ankles, which led Barry to decry their time wasting (!!!). It was pointed out to him that it was hard to grip the ball, whereupon he gave the worst chat of the year, retorting “my gloves are wet!”.
Luckily Barry’s bat is quicker than his wit, and when he bashed a six over the playground into a nearby garden, leading to a search an arboriculturalist would have probably enjoyed but no one else, we were favourites again. It was with great satisfaction that he and Chaz saw us through to the win. Baz finishing unbeaten off a stellar 143 not out off 94 balls. In absolute fairness to Chesterton, too, it was good of them to carry on playing when it might have been an easy option to cancel for rain (which would have been a shame with the match poised as it was).
So we put last year’s demons to rest and somehow came away with 28 points. Additionally Will Harvey was able to tell everyone about his proposed superhero skill – the ability to make anyone orgasm at the touch of a finger. It was pointed out that this might be a problem when partaking of high fives after getting a wicket, although some (no names!) thought that perhaps that would be a good thing. It was perhaps better than Ian’s suggestion of being able to draw perfectly straight lines without the aid of a ruler, however. We finished the evening back at the club with beer and pizza.
Champagne Moment was Barry’s six to win the game. An awesome stop by Chaz was also nominated.
Pig’s Ear was Barry’s village method of bring up his 100.
Man of the match was Barry, strangely enough. Chaz bowled well and deserved his nomination too.