Apologies for the tardiness in writing up last week's match – it's been a bit of a hectic week or so. Anyway, I'll try and remember what I can – my memory rarely stretches to anything more than a week ago, and for reasons that will become clear I wasn't quite at my sharpest that day.
According to the fixture list we were due to play away at Cublington, but all did not quite go to plan. On the way to the ground, Charlie got a call from Shrimpie – apparently another team were already encamped in the away dressing room. Oh dear, some kind of mix-up had clearly occurred. Apparently we never confirmed the fixture and Cublington had arranged for a team to fill in for us at the last minute. Oops.
Assuming cricket to have been cancelled for the day, we all adjourned to The Plough and prepared to settle in for the afternoon – to be honest this was a rather welcome turn of events, as the evening before has been rather, um, lengthy. Unfortunately – for me at least – Charlie manageed to contact Chesham's Rising Stars, who agreed to play a 30-over game. By this stage I'd had a good five pints I think, including one before even getting out of bed, but we won't get into that.
Anyway, to put it succinctly, Rising Stars gave us a bit of a pasting. My first ball – surpsingly, given that I could hardly see – was a fairly well-pitched leg-break. Excellent, I thought. The batsman deposited it into the trees over long on. Bugger. It didn't improve much as my 3 overs went for 50-odd and they racked up a pretty hefty total (I really can't remember what now).
We never really got going, and despite a characteristically pugnacious 40-odd from Nick, and a bit of a lower order recovery, we fell rather short. Oh well, at least the match won't count for the end of season averages. Thank the Lord.
Coincidentally, the match took place in the midst of the Pakistan spot-fixing crisis, and whilst I was umpiring in the middle, their left-arm quick started to bowl no-balls. I called him, and prepared myself for a diplomatic disaster. Fortunately everyone thought it was hilarious.
One other amusing note – that President John Capper was keen to point out several times – was that the match took place during Ramadan. Imagine the result if the oppo has actually eaten anything that day. It doesn't really bear thinking about.