A rather bitter taste, as it turned out, as we were battered out of sight by a talented and professional Pakistani side. But at least it was a fraction warmer than yesterday, I even had to take my sweater off when I was bowling.
It was still a bit cold for our New Zealand player, making his debut, who decided to bat in a hoodie. But I digress.
Yep, they were talented as anything. And after us from the word go. I opened the bowling and managed to get away with it for a few overs, causing problems and getting their opening bat, who I bowled a fairly awful slower ball too, which he swiped hugely at only for the ball to roll down the back of his bat and off his legs onto the stumps.
The keeper even apologised. Still, it goes in the scorebook as "Bowled Simon" and no-one will ever know how it happened. I was ashamed, but still stood there with my arms spread like Andrew Flintoff.
After that, it was fairly non stop ball whacking, as their number 3 bat got a modest 178. I was spared most of this as I hid in a quiet spot on the field after I finished my opening spell, but after getting another wicket caught and bowled (I celebrated by merely running a lap of the ground screaming), I had him caught on the boundary. This time I lay on the ground screaming. I might have waved my legs in the air a bit.
God I love bowling. I love taking wickets.
They got 280 odd, but our very young team plus old crocks such as myself never stopped trying.
We realised we had no chance of winning the match, and just batted our own game, pretty well at first. I couldn't go nature hunting straightaway, as I had to stand on the field and count 6 pebbles out over and over again. Square leg umpring, gah.
You never saw Dickie Bird wearing a padded plaid shirt on TV though.
WHen I did get to go and search, I went and had a close look at some of the horse chestnut trees around the ground, which are now in full "candle", the tall stalks of blossom that appear in spring. They make the conker trees look like huge leafy candelabara.
The flowers are oddly plasticky looking.
Herons and cormorants flew over the ground, and swallows were about too. Sadly, no swifts on view for me yet.
I went into bat at 9 eventually against bowling far too good for me, and got 0 after getting far too early on the ball and spooning up an easy catch. I want to do well at batting, but as El Presidente says, maybe I should settle for good bowling and fielding. We nearly batted the whole 40 overs though, which was good.