Today was a home game against Gedling and Sherwood 3s, a team we only played half a match against last time thanks to the rain. Today, although other teams had suffered thanks to the rains of previous days, we had a lovely wicket at Collingham Dale Field and a dry outfield.
What we didn't have was any sun most of the time, we sat under grey clouds and a strong breeze. Sweaters re-appeared on a few bodies for the first time since May. Determined to field, bowl and bat better than last weekend, I warmed up strongly, powerfully, got really loose, fired up, ready to charge in...
...only for the Wordsworth of Newark skipper to lose the toss and find us inserted into bat by a team who knew our strength was in bowling and wanted to negate it.
This meant I got to go on my nature walk earlier than expected, as our openers strode out to bat and I knew I wouldn't be required for a while. There seems to have been a sort of second spring, with speedwell and poppies and corncockle emerging in a little margin that borders the tennis court, and various species of white butterfly were being attracted to flowering nettles in the hedgerow though not to my camera. Buzzards keeing, but not seen, swallows swooping low over the ground, twittering like mad.
The trees in the orchard are now starting to get heavy with apples, even the baby trees. Oh summer where the hell have you gone?
As I walked, wickets fell rather too regularly however, and it required determined batting by previously unheralded lower order players to get us any kind of score at all...although I wasn't one of them. I got 1 not out. Went in very late and couldn't get going. I'm not good enough to be able to score freely straightaway. At least I'm good at running between the wickets though, although the running out of my partner off the last ball wouldn't make you think so.
After a good start, my batting has really depressed me this season. Grrrrr arrrghhh. Least I fielded ok.
Anyway, 120 never felt like it was enough, but at least it gave us a chance. We castled one of their openers early, but it brought in a rather powerfully built chap, who it rapidly transpired was a batsman of a far higher standard than we're used to, but who doesn't get to play a lot and so likes to make the most of it. He was a nice chap, but a merciless one.
He warmed up by having a little go at our opening bowlers as they came to the end of their spells, but he was more up for putting me over the ropes. I don't have the pace of our quickest bowler, and good bats can hit decent deliveries of mine as he did.
I bowled well. I ran in really hard, bowled as quick as I could and only bowled two bad deliveries. But he was too good. Luckily someone else wasn't, and I had them caught at backward point. He'd already been a bit naughty for not walking earlier on and upsetting the skipper...
Alas, we could only take three wickets. Not one of our better days, but this team was too good in the end.
All text copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.07.17