Statistics from the Cricket World Cup, which at the time of writing, is three games away from finishing, clearly show the team that bats first has a better chance of winning the game (two thirds of the time) and it’s an unwritten Scott’s rule that you bat first. That being said, with the Skipper late once again (you can blame Kyle Pack, having to be picked up at the train station, this time), Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC deciding to leave the square uncovered over a wet Saturday night and stand-in-skipper-for-the-toss, Jamo-Love, actually winning the toss, it was decided we’d field first. In Jamo’s defence, the nine other players
told ordered Jamo to bat first if he won the toss, after they’d all cast an appraising eye over the damp strip.
The Skipper was so horrified by the decision to field first, he decided that he’d only field for the first 16 overs, leaving Jamo-Love to step in as the Jadeja-esque substitute and do the remaining overs. It turned out to be 26 more overs, as it was a timed game and Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC were bloody well going to bat until tea or until all their wickets fell, whichever arrived sooner.
Tight lines, tactical bowling changes and good catching kept Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC to 174/7 dec after 42 overs. 42 overs – what do you think about that Sprat?
Tea was taken and we figured we’d get about 33 over back with the final 20 overs starting at 18:30. 5.3 per over – could we do it? Our first two wickets fell with only 19 on the board. As one of these wickets was the Skipper, and he was off to New York the next day, in love, and having to see his daughter before he flew out, he showered, packed his kit and left a couple of tyre marks as he peeled out the car park, leaving the rest of the team to face the consequences of not batting first. They would have to learn the hard way!
However a third wicket partnership of 72 saw us work our way back into the game. We weren’t far off our estimates as we were going to receive 35 overs in total as they’d bowled 15 by the time 18:30 arrived. The fourth and fifth wickets fell for 113 and 147 respectively, and Prateek was out for 78.
We were also moving along at the required rate, but things were beginning to look rather close. Was the Skipper correct – should we have batted first? Wickets were falling regularly and trips to the change room to pad up were becoming more frequent. But, with Kaps keeping his head and rotating the strike and Ayman hitting a quick-fire 15 from 9 balls, after Jamo-Love fell, restored calm to the camp, well almost. Ayman managed to get himself out with the scores tied; it was up to Mr Pack to see us home with a only single needed from the last three overs. Aidan and Billy, numbers 10 and 11, having loads of faith and composure in their compatriots out in the middle, were furiously looking for their kit and putting it on a fast as they could.
Kyle’s first ball, a dot, his second, a HUGE heave across the line. So big the wicketkeeper had to take evasive manoeuvres and proceeded, just like Kyle, to completely miss the ball, and so a bye was run and the match was won with 3.4 overs spare.
A. Successful. Run. Chase! Though, I can see why the Skipper prefers batting first as the tension cannot always be good for everyone’s heart and fingernails.
One last thing; be wary of an angry Prateek! He felt Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC were taking the proverbial, batting for as long as they did. Our umpire, while at square-leg, got to hear first hand at how incensed he was and left nothing to the imagination when describing their approach to the game. After Tea, he was heard to be saying “Hulk Smash” to himself while putting on purple pants and padding up. After the first wicket fell, he strode out to the middle, like an angry dad stomps into a child’s room to spank their naughty bottoms, and spank them he did! I not sure, but I also think Prateek agrees with the Skipper. Always bat first!
The detailed scorecard can be found here.