Our annual interclub game was very much a game of two halves. The Captain’s XI batted and then, after tea, the Chairman’s team did. So far, so normal. But in a similar vein, the game was half dry and half wet (though the rain was to beat us in the end.) and the game was half a cricket match and half a birthday celebration. (It was Graeme Dalaney’s 60th and he had brought along three old pals from days of yore to bolster the Chariman’s XI.) And, as in usual in a MSCC match, the standard of play was half brilliant and half farce.
The game started with some momentum, with Nick and Darren making an opening stand worthy of the spectator’s attention, once the opening bowlers had been seen off.
In a genuine comedic interlude, Stevyn Jackson took responsibility for warming up the crowd’s sense of humour with some pirouetting moves whilst trying to spot where Mark FL had hit the ball off Simon Lee's bowling. It had in fact gone directly up and despite hanging in the air for several seconds, Stevyn only located it when it thudded back to ground. Mark also made sure he didn't get out to son, Jacob FL for the second year in a row.
Jack Morris' bowling gave his opposition some serious questions to ask themselves. Mainly, “How am I going to explain getting out to a 10-year-old to anyone who still has a shred of respect for my batting abilities?” Jack however bowled very well and could count himself amongst the better bowlers on the day.
Tea was a fantastic affair with everything from cake, to scones, to jelly babies. Who knew that the teas could get even better than normal under the pretext of a birthday knees-up?
While all this was going on, Willie Wordsworth was to be seen drinking a yard of ale for his one-ball innings, his first of 2015 (editor - yard or innings?), before going out to open the bowling, taking a wicket in his first over. (‘Alcohol – the sportsman’s friend’)
The Captains XI had set what seemed like an achievable target, but the chairman’s XI made it look much harder than it should have been with a flurry of early wickets falling. That is, until Graeme’s friend (‘ringer #1’) started to play some headmasterly strokes and sneaked in an impressive 50 runs before the close of play.
In the end though, it was all too little, too late. The heavens finally opened properly with 5 overs to go and the match had to be abandoned. It was fairly obvious that, had the rains abated, the Chairman’s team were unlikely to reach the total they had been set – but in any event a draw was declared.
From there, the order of the day was a BBQ in the rain and much merry banter as we tried to establish what had been the truly worst moment of cricket during the day and at whose feet the fault for that lay.