There are some things in life I’ve always aspired to: buying my first (legal) pint; owning my first motorcycle; that first fumble up a girl’s jumper, and there are parallels in the world of cricket, taking a Michelle; hitting my first six; and taking a full length diving catch at slip…
Today we were at Burpham, an idyll hidden in the Downs north of Arundel, with sweeping views over the surrounding countryside and even glimpses of the castle. The weather was perfect too, the sun cracking the flags as Skip won the toss, again, and decided to bat again.
Burpham were a new side to us and an unknown commodity, but looked to have a good mix of youthful vigour, and older wiser heads.
The youthful vigour was the first thing that became evident as first Jerry was caught behind for a duck off the fine bowling of Tedberry, and then a push by Del into the covers was impressively stopped by the diving fielder who threw from the deck to the keeper leaving Skip short of his ground and back in the pavilion. TMG’s were 14 for 2, and it didn’t get much better, Del fell for 11 after not getting hold of a drive and lofting it into the covers. Four more quick wickets left us at 32 for 7, and staring a severe arse whipping in the face. Fortunately for us a certain Mr Day lurks down the order and he and Io steadied the ship, getting us over 50 before Io also succumbed, by this time Dave had realised he was running out of time and partners and had begun to smash the Burpham bowlers to the boundary, however, neither Rob nor Ibu stuck around long and Dave was left stranded on 43, out of a total of 85.
After a fine tea it was time for the Burpham older heads to show what they could do, Dave and Rob bowled straight and gave few loose balls, but with such a small target to aim for the old heads knew they could bide their time, Reader was bowled by Dave for 3, but Mintram was joined by no. 3 Wright and they continued to bat in a measured and I would say mature way, seeing off Dave and Rob who had between them bowled 13 overs and only gone for 22 runs. Ibu and Io both had a go as well, but neither prospered. It was left to Del, steaming in down the hill looking like an albino Malcolm Marshall, to unnerve and then remove Wright, bowling with good pace Del found the edge which shot to first slip where it was well pouched by Rob, this, however, was merely the warm up act, 2 balls later the Burpham no 4 McCumskey flashed at one wide outside off-stump, hoping to finish the match, however, he had not allowed for the Angel of Death at first slip, Rob dived full length to take the ball at somewhere near gully, another aspiration ticked off, and a PSM to boot.
Unfortunately it was too little too late, and the game was already beyond us, the winning runs came disappointingly from byes in Del’s next over, but hey ho, it was an enjoyable game played in a great spirit, in a beautiful setting and next year we will give them a proper match.