Friday, 5 September 2014

HHCC vs Roxbourne

I awoke on Monday morning with a cricket-ball-shaped bruise on my shoulder and an ear covered in blood: the former evidence of my failure to evade a fiercely struck Capper on-drive while standing at the non-striker’s end; the latter the result of a collision with a tree of fearsome thorniness on the course of my night-lit stumble home from The Plough. But, oh!, such injuries were nowt compared to the terrible damage wrought upon my already battered bowling figures in the course of one final, fateful over. In need of the three wickets that would have secured a great victory, instead each delivery was crunched to the boundary with increasing inevitability. Was it 24 off the over? Or just the 20? I declined, understandably, to check.

Earlier, despite losing the toss, things had started well against a 10-man Roxbourne team. The oppo’s tight bowling and excellent ground fielding allied to a pitch that, while flat, was also a little slow, meant that scoring was tricky – or at least we made it look so. We built a solid enough opening stand, however, until I got bowled for 35. Capper continued on for an important 79 that held the innings together, and as the opposition’s fielding crumbled (hundreds of catches were dropped) a middle order of Jez, Luke and Nick gradually upped the run rate in the closing overs.

Fiddy strikes!
It was great, in particular, to see Nick back on the cricket field after a lengthy injury break and one huge six proved that class is indeed permanent. Even more impressive was an audacious upper-cut off their opening bowler which sailed away for a one-bounce four. On the back of Nick’s hitting, we closed on a solid 200(ish) and repaired to the pavilion for tea, which, in what is surely a first for village cricket, included, yes, CANAPES. True story. Smoked salmon mini-blinis. Take that John Paul Getty.

Perhaps unused to such luxury, neither of our opening bowlers – Ben and Sohail – were quite on-song. With Luke and I also struggling for consistency, Charlie was unable ever really to force the game. Spencer bowled extremely well for three wickets (including a beauty first ball) and Sohail bowled an excellent second spell to pick up another three, but with the pitch starting to slumber and Roxbourne losing interest in the chase, the match began to peter out. Until that final over – from which I feel I shall never recover.

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