All eyes were on the weather forecast as The Mighty Greys (TMGs) made their way out to Upper Beeding. The Met. Office promising downpours of biblical proportions at some point in the afternoon. Nervous TMG eyes flicked up to the dark stormy heavens as we pulled into the car park.
The imminent tempest was the first topic of conversation between the respective Skippers and a 30 over game was agreed. Greys won the toss. Biffo carefully and meticulously assessed the pitch, the conditions and the weather forecast… and decided without a hint of hesitation to bat first. Strong and stable.
Openers Biffo and Brasher the Thrasher weathered the opening salvo seeing off some difficult bounce making playing off the back foot on the offside tricky. Brasher picked up where he’d left off against Cutter’s Choice playing some majestic drives off the front foot. But alas, just as he seemed to have got his feet under the table, Jerry’s attempted tickle down through gully turned into a scoop behind as the ball sprang high off the wicket, and he was gone for 18. In came Wiggo, the Yorkshire terrier, oozing confidence and steadying the ship. Strong and stable.
Frustratingly Biff, TMG’s other trusty opener, fell for 15 playing on to his wicket after patiently getting himself in. Alex was next in, alas too briefly and was bowled for 0. Next to the crease was Ashton, who has been in imperious form so far this season, carried on in a similar vein, playing well off the back foot. Just as the Ashton-Wiggo partnership seemed to be getting a foothold in the game, Wiggo was caught for 8.
In strode Duncan “the Duck” Edwards with the score at 50 for 4, looking to stabilise the innings… and arrest a horrible run of golden ducks heading into this game. The crowd went into raptures as Edwards confidently managed to get a “bit of bat on it” to see off his first ball. Er… strong and stable or weak and wobbly?
Ashton and Edwards went on to forge a steady partnership of 66 despite Duncan consistently giving his shots a bit of air. His airborne assault became his undoing when he was caught at mid-on for 21.
With the score at 114 for 5 but only 8 overs remaining due to the truncated 30 over format, the remaining Greysmen were sent out to bat with the Skippers orders ringing in their ears – “smack the shit out of it and score some effing runs”.
The bat was duly thrown about by the Shadow (SHAdow, SHADOOOOOW), Dykes, Redfern, and Newland and the Mighty Greys rattled the scoreboard up to 151 by the end of the innings. Gallagher smashing a few 4s and doing his stats no harm by finishing 9 not out.
As the teams walked off the ground for tea the sky took on an ominous dark grey hue. Was this an omen? Was this grey cloud a sign that the Mighty Greys were about to put Upper Beeding to the sword?
No. It just rained for a bit.
Beeding’s innings was delayed by a mere 20 minutes despite Ben’s insistence that it was going to rain for a good hour. The sun came out and it was game on.
First ball up and a ripsnorter from opening bowler, Gallagher, found the edge but sadly was beyond the reach of the keeper or slips. This pattern continued as some masterful bowling from both Gallagher and Newland continued to find the edge but ball unfortunately failing to find its way into the warm bosom-y embrace of the keeper’s gloves or slip fielders’ palms. Finally, Newland made the breakthrough beating the Upper Beeding’s No. 2’s bat and hitting the stumps, before he bowled an excellent bowl to bend back their No. 3’s middle stump for only 10 runs. A sterling opening spell with Gallagher bowling 27/0 off 6 overs and Newland turning in just 7/2 off 6 overs.
First change and Biff brought on Zack and Terry to work some magic. Although they, and also Redfern and Ashton, bowled well and contained Upper Beeding, they were unable to make inroads into a stubborn batting partnership. As the overs ticked by, and the sun started to dip, Biff “Body” Line brought himself on to bowl and shifted the field to try to force a wicket. He was quickly rewarded bowling their No. 4 for 47 followed by the next man in for 0. As Upper Beeding’s opener tried valiantly to “tonk it about a bit” chasing 152 for the win they fell short as they finished their innings with 144 for 4 off 30 overs.
A good exciting game with The Might Greys emerging victorious!
Post-match celebrations were got underway with a massive sausage fest at the Rising Sun with generous hosts Upper Beeding providing first class fayre.