And so the Mighty Greys Summer Roadshow found itself in the familiar and beautiful Streat, on a hot sunny Sunday. Shorn of Terry, Delboy and E-O, David Kid Hadrill and Ricky unearthed a potential new Greysman, in Darrell, the first addition to the team not called Robert or Dave this season.
The ever present Stan won the toss and we had to bat first, against a team with rather too many young spritely fielders, and one too many annoying dogs.
Jerry and Biff started out well, until Jerry played his trademark steer through 4th slip straight to point, and was out for 10. The outfield was as dry as Mars, but with fewer rocks, and the pitch as flat as the Earth was sometime before Magellan came along and ruined everything by sailing round it, so shots got full value. Biff proved this admirably with seven 4s in an innings of 30, before getting caught at square leg. At this point I was in the zone, so can’t really remember that or anything else much except a trademark yes no calling mix up, (#forchristssakealex) and some comical fielding. Not sure I’ve been in the zone before, but it’s a strange place where your mind doesn’t keep drifting off and you don’t think about what shot your going to play before the ball is bowlef course, for quite a lot of the Greys innings, the ball was only really just reaching the bat, as Not only Stan, but a young Stan impersonator were bowling in tandem. On reflection, perhaps the slow over rate, that didn’t bother me in the slightest, was due to length of time the ball was in the air from bowlers hand to bat and not to do with the time it took the wicket keeper to reach the other end at the end of each over. First The Kid and then new boy Darrell took full advantage of these loopy offers, with respectively, 19 and an impressive 32 on debut for the Greys (maybe many more to come). Runs continued with Alan and Double D getting handy scores of 19 and 15no, a lusty blow from Richard to finish the innings and me caught by the wicketless Stan (think he always suckers one of out) for 60. 202 for 6. Seemed like enough at the time, but we could have scored more.
Overlord and the Enforcer opened as usual, and the now usual happened that Dave didn’t get a wicket, but should have, and Robbie did, (and should have). Two in fact. These were of both the openers, who promptly left the crease, and then the ground. That’s team spirit for you. Didn’t want a drink with them anyway. At this point two of the youngsters arrived and proceeded to set about reaching our total, which the previous two hadn’t and we suddenly knew we were in a game. One of them was particularly good, and climbed into Ricky’s bowling with relish. So much so that Ricky had to retire to lick his wounds (he’s not a dog, after all). Richard P came on to replace him and made a quick break through, but the quick scoring continued with the remaining batsman, Baxter, who was joined by another young batsman, a left
hander, which must Skip must dread, knowing as he does that a number of fielders will get hopelessly confused with this and he will have to remember everyone’s positions for them. Ok maybe that’s just Ricky and me. All that and having to put up with constantly bad throws (sorry Skip) returning the ball to the bowler. Ibu came on and bowled well, eventually getting the wicket he deserved as the left hander hoiked one hard to me at square leg for PSM.
The free scoring Baxter was eventually bowled by Ricky, generously and cleverely brought back at the other end by Biff, and the game was back in the balance. Bell senior was joined by Bell junior, and between them they kept up with the required rate, junior blocking and senior scoring and taking the strike. In the end we couldn’t prize them out despite Dave and Rob coming back on and Biff having a go. The fact that they had 46 overs to our 43 was entirely unimportant, as I reminded Stan on several occasions.
And so it was on to the Greyhound, for beers and roast potatoes, and watching Dave calm down. He really better get some wickets soon or someone is going to do a Robbie. Catches win matches, and dropped catches are really beginning to Piss Dave Off, as the old adage goes. Luckily Biff was displaying a Zen like calm to counter this, never better demonstrated than when he managed a quick lie down before stopping a well struck ball on the boundary.
Thence to the Constant where the usual ensued, although with rather fewer Greysmen than we’ve come to expect recently. Must do better, lads. Like this match report. Next time I’ll do one in the style of James Joyce.