On Sunday, it was time for our return visit by our friends from Cropwell. For once, through no fault of my own, I was late for the game, and batting first we were already 88 for 1, with our opening bat just cracking a four to bring up his 50 and his enforced retirement as I arrived.
We carried on batting rather serenely at about five runs an over, until with about 8 overs to go our other bat, now on over 200 runs in three games, also reached 50 and had to retire.
This led to a passage of cricket that was, shall we say, a challenging watch. As ever, the problems of scoring runs against slow lob bowling on a slow wicket on our deck became very apparently, and there wasn't a lot of quality on view, with some ferocious swinging of the bat resulting in minimal ball movement.
Hey, it's Sunday, it doesn't matter! All good. We still had 152 for 4 on the board.
However, we know Cropwell. Every time we have played them, their opening bat has always come in and slammed 50 very quickly before retiring for a beer, and ensuring Cropwell got the runs they needed. This time, however, our young opening bowler got him quite early on, and it was in fact his partner who started slamming the ball around, hitting one bowler over the pavilion twice.
Their run rate was climbing rapidly. The skipper, desperate not to lose again, decided to deploy some first team bowling, including the division's leading wicket taker. This is generally regarded as being a bit "Un-Sunday-Like" and the Cropwell captain, himself a good bat as well, thought we were being a bit naughty, especially as the quick bowler seemed to be about twenty miles per hour for the Cropwell bats to even see.
I did apologise, as they took four wickets between them in eight overs and killed the game stone dead, as Cropwell's remaining batters were clearly not up to much. Thankfully, friendlier bowlers were brought on for the the last 12 overs as we chipped away at the remaining wickets.
I bowled some gentle filth myself, claiming another wicket with my speared in quicker ball, even if it was a full toss.
There was time for a bit of peak village at the end, where our umpire allowed my last over, the final one of the game, to go on for about ten balls so the playing wife of one of the Cropwell players could score a run.
She got one, from a ball I bowled at her left handed. Yes, it got to that level. We won by about 50 runs.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.08.23