Tuesday, 9 June 2009

HHCC vs Full Tossers

Another captaincy opportunity for yours truly, and another afternoon of deft decision-making and inspirational leadership. I won the toss and elected to field, despite only having a team of nine. How hard is a 2 o’clock start, people?

Apart from the absence of Atif (where has he been this season?) this was probably a full-strength Hyde Heath line-up, with enough skill, power and chutzpah to make any opponent quake. With a six-man bowling attack I always had plenty of options – something that came in handy as Kiwi Nick insisted on pitching consistently short and getting flogged through mid-wicket. He did manage to remove their opener though (sharply caught by Haddock off another long-hop) and produced some probing deliveries thereafter.

Me bowling to some old man

With Jez picking up wickets quite regularly at the other end, I turned to the gentle seam-up of HHCC newbie Ben Sonley. He proceeded to bowl ten accurate and incisive overs to pick up the excellent figures of 3 for 25. A hostile spell from Luke Brennan brought two wickets and I cleverly brought myself on to finish the innings off in style – or more accurately, three full tosses on the trot.

So we only had to chase 131 for my third victory out of three. But with the pitch playing a little unusually courtesy of some mid-afternoon rain and the light beginning to fade, it was no foregone conclusion. Their opening bowlers insisted on a short-pitched strategy and Capper and Haddock did well to grind their way to 37 without loss. At that point, with the Heath in a position of calm authority, the heavens opened.

With thunder and lightning encircling the ground the match was sadly abandoned and hands were shaken. Then we all crammed into The Plough to watch England beat a lacklustre Pakistan to ensure their progression to the next round of the 20/20 World Cup.

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