Sunday saw us heading off to the beautiful village green surroundings of Cropwell, a ground that is part of a nature reserve, seems to be much beloved of the local swallows, and is surrounded by areas of wildflowers. We were also due to have an actual tea, which had caused a lot of pre-match anticipation as we don't get them very often in the post covid world.
A terrible pity, in the view of most of us.
The wicket was immaculate, and try, but turned out to be rather slow. As was my fielding having already played on Saturday of which more anon.
Cropwell are a mixed ability side, with a couple of decent players, and a lot of social players, which is absolutely fine for a Sunday side. We too were mixed, with a couple of very good players, with the standard dropping down to myself, and a couple of guys who came with one of our better players, one of whom was French and had never played the game before. But they were nice chaps, and unlike myself had the ability to move.
We batted first in a thirty over game, and made an excellent start with our first team opener - as ever watched by his dog - and the player who had brought his friends with him, getting us to about 90 before drinks, and the enforced retirement of our opener on 50, a fine knock indeed.
Our batting after that was a bit less fluent, but we still got to 148, helped by my hopeless flailing 2 before I deliberately got out to let one of the new players have a bat. And to get off the ground as I had lost my white trousers somehow and was thus reduced to playing in orange shorts.
After descending on the tea like a pack of polite hyenas, we took to the field to bowl, and the same guy who had flayed us for 50 last year did exactly the same thing as the drizzle set in for the afternoon and the swooping swallows took themselves out of the rain.
At halfway drinks they were on about 90 as well, and we knew we had a game on our hands, complicated by the fact that being a mixed ability side we kept having to "turn the bowling up and down", a commonplace event in friendly games. I came on and bowled like a drain for two overs, probably fatally for our prospects, before sorting myself out and bowling two ok-ish overs. Even unleashed my new quicker arm ball. Which I don't spin, not that it makes a difference.
A tense finish ensued in the rain. Wickets fell, a soapy wet ball caused full tosses. Last over came up with Cropwell 7 down and four runs needed, which they did indeed get.
Sad to lose, but it was a fun game, and we got free chips afterwards, so bad moods were soothed somewhat.
Apart from mine about by bowling.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.07.23