Monday, 29 July 2013

Watching your Opponent Lose

If truth is to be told, not many of us were confident that we would, for the second Sunday in succession, win a match by scoring 286 runs.  But doubters like your correspondent were put to the sword as Whitchurch overtook Welford Park's 286 for 6 off 40 overs with more than two overs to spare.

The first innings had been more than a little harrowing, with bowler after bowler being sent aerially into the cow fields time and again.  One unfortunate opening over went 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 6 - 4 (byes, streaking down the legside), after which said bowler was told to "take a rest" ("gladly!").  The oppo, sitting in the pavilion, thought that this was unduly harsh - "you always give a bowler a second over on a Sunday".  Well, maybe that's a vote in favour of Jim's no-prisoners captaincy that we didn't this afternoon.

If I'm honest, there was some fine hitting of a cricket ball going on, and perched atop a domed hill where the ball ran easily down the slope, this was clearly a place to capitalise on some buffet bowling.

Whitchurch started quickly enough, with Paul Vaughan scoring quickly, ably supported by Lyn knocking it around.  Tony came in at four, and with 20 coming off one over from the left-arm-around guy (this was his first innings in 17 years...) we remained in the chase.  Yet wickets fell at regular intervals, which is what happens when the run rate is so high.

A small disaster occurred when Nick called Travis for a very tight run when the fielder at gully was already on it - third wicket.  Then Jim nicked from a morsel of loose plastic bat covering, and we were left with Andy "sore leg" Mutepha and Nick Hill.  And that was all that was needed, for about 15 overs they absolutely massacred the decent-enough bowling in the gloom and showers.  It was exceptional to watch, as Andy made 49* and Nick 140*.

The final victory is that our opponents could hardly talk to us afterwards, either at the ground or much later in the pub.  Which is where we came in, with Bobby Fischer's (remember him?) remark on crushing the other guy's ego.

Andy H

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