Cricket returned to my life today, as we headed out to Upton to take on our old friends from that club. It's a lovely little ground, which seems to have shrunk since I last played there with one of the boundaries only about 40 metres out.
Being a generally young side, apart from my old ankle crippled self, we were a bit light in batting, so agreed to let Upton have first use of a very hard, but as it turned out, low bouncing wicket with a quick outfield. Seeing as we were going to have our first cricket tea in three years, this was a good tactical decision from the captain in my view, as it allows you to eat more at tea-time without having to run about afterwards.
Having turned down the chance to open the bowling due to being no good anymore, I went to field at mid-off while the opening bats of Upton spanked the ball around with ease, including a very impressive young player who timed the ball as sweet as any nut.
Much searching in hedges for the ball took place during this period. But not by me. Upton have a pro ball hunter in their ranks so we let him doing it, which meant we only lost one ball instead of the 8 or 9 we normally lose here.
Upton rattled up abut 100 in the first ten overs, at which point our captain decided to scare them by bringing me on to bowl. Having netted well over the winter, I was under the impression that I had got a little of my old pace back - fat chance. I felt lumbering and slow, with no bounce. At least I was quite straight for a change, bowling no wides for once, and I did slow up the scoring somewhat, although I was still getting belted for four once an over.
I even got the opening bat caught at mid on. But that was the only wicket I took. At least I didn't have to bowl to Upton's gun batter though, who seemed to have a bat so heavy that mis-hits went for six.
All through this I fielded with great energy, even though somehow the ball only came to me once despite me fielding at mid on most of the time. Good work by the captain to do that. My ankle was hurting after bowling seven overs, so I was pretty grateful.
Upton racked up 238-5 in the end, and knowing I wouldn't be needed to bat for a while and hopefully (from the teams point of view) not at all, so I went off exploring.
Over the hedge at one end of the ground was an orchard full of trees still in blossom, and also some grazing and rather shy sheep. There was also a set of bee hives, that were very busy and buzzy. Unfortunately one bee took exception to me and chased me off, getting tangled up in my hair. I didn't get stung though, unlike one of the Upton lads.
Probably the bee that I had pissed off.
While I annoyed insects, our young opening bats were playing brilliantly, putting on over 120 in very quick time with the sheep in the next field being peppered by sixes. We even looked like we had a chance of winning, but when these two lads got out, the rest of our batting could only muster about another 60 runs between them, mainly due to the Upton fast bowler being brought on. Normally this chap takes two balls to get me out, this time I survived three, although the last one was a near thing.
I actually managed to score ten not out, which is 7 more runs than I scored in the whole of last season. This included a boundary, and also a run out of my batting partner when I turned him down for a second run. To be fair, it was never two.
That's my opinion, and I'm standing by it!
So, we lost by about 60 runs in the end, but it was tremendously fun day we all enjoyed. Hopefully it's the first of many such Sundays this year.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.04.22
Great report, as ever, Si. Welcome back, mate.ReplyDelete
Hooray! back to cricket reports. Good Luck for the seasonReplyDelete
Looks like a lovely day to play cricket. Glad you didn't get stung!ReplyDelete
Hope the tea was good. The blossom explains why there are few bees on the dandelions.ReplyDelete
Thank you all, now I'm preparing for a soggy prospect tomorrowReplyDelete