An ex-C hairman writes (again)...
NB: The management of Cricket Tragics in no way endorses the denigration of our Editor in Chief's bowling/writing ability (that's his job) nor do we condone the excessive use of exclamation marks in the following report.
This was going to be the first Sunday of the season playing without our leg-spinning all-rounder and usual correspondent Tom. It would be mighty tricky indeed for the mighty Heath to remain unbeaten without their talisman. There was a few suggestions where he could be, ranging from the Hay Literary Festival to “twelfth man” at Lord’s vs. Sri Lanka (probably helping out with Kevin Petersen’s lack of confidence against spinners – a few overs batting against his bowling does seem to cheer people up). The truth, apparently, was a trip to Venice, in the cricket season!!, and possibly for romantic reasons!!! Where is his commitment?
In reality, the mighty Heath appeared remarkably strong in the absence of “our man”. Ali was back to bowl, Bradders returned after missing last week for a family party, Austin had sorted out his child care (by buying a kitten – novel!), Nick from half term and “Senior Pro” Barnsley on day-release.
The Opposition were an unknown quantity, always a worry in case they had 4 nasty fast bowlers. Mishearing the name of the team I thought they were from a pub and, therefore a team of heavy drinkers however a very pleasant and amusing group, complete with strong female support, turned up, based, I believe round a journalistic background. Perhaps a good thing our correspondent stayed at home!
Charlie, back in charge, won the toss and inserted the visitors. Ali bowled very well and accurately, with little luck, while Brad, at the other end was a bit wayward but quick, nonetheless. Jeremy who, unusually, arrived at the ground almost in time for the start, took over and bowled with his usual reliability. 2 wickets for Jeremy and 3 for Ali was a fair return for both of them. After this the batting looked a bit thin and the spinners lined up to finish things off. Shrimpy taking 2 for 9 and Austin grabbing the last 2 wickets at the end of a tidy spell, aided by yet another good catch from Tim Barnsley. 113 all out, in 32 overs was not a high enough score on this pitch which was a belter thanks to Mike Thompson, the grounds-man. Possibly, a few overs from our man in the Gritti Palace Hotel on the Grand Canal might have produced more of a target but there you go!
During the tea interval, courtesy of Mrs Shrimpton and Mrs Haddock (2 choices of melon, chicken tikka wraps, salmon rolls, hot sausages, cheese and pickle sandwiches, 4 different cakes and no tuna in site – heaven and I’m sure I’ve missed something out) who was going to open was a strong topic of debate. Capper and Haddock were the lucky pair and gave a chanceless performance, unbeaten on 114, with Henry on 61 and Dom on 43. An excellent 10 wicket win against a team who were charm personified despite under- achieving on the field.
It’s always difficult when, like Nick Burgham Tim Barnsley and Spencer North, you’ve not bowled or batted and still are expected to pay the match fee. Tim’s catch was a high-light and so, apparently, was Spencer’s. He had to tell me about it in great detail as I was searching for saw-dust at the time. Yes, it drizzled all afternoon but don’t tell Tom.