Saturday league conditions on a Sunday?!

Coming from all parts and congregating in Wembley, proved more difficult for some and believe it or not the Skipper was early, as were the opposition, who, all of Asian decent, were more interested in warming up and practicing slips catches than getting involved in England’s football team thrashing of Panama.

With regular service restored the Skipper lost the toss and Captain Scott were inserted into the field. Starting only 35 minutes later than scheduled. The opposition started confidently, losing their first wickets for 51 in the 11th over.

While mentioning overs, it’s worth noting, while this is a Sunday friendly game, the over rate, after the first eight overs, was mentioned to the Skipper by one of the umpires. This definitely endeared the opposition to Sean, who gracefully accepted the rebuke (though never quite running from mid-off to mid-off between overs), continued with his game plan.

After the first wicket fell, the others fell regularly and we had them all out for a questionable 172, by questionable, I mean we’re not sure how they got from 130-odd with three overs to go to 172 all out, without anyone quite going at 9s or 10s an over. The scorebook was sparse to say the least, with the bare minimum having been filled out.

I have to quickly mention the great catch Dan Cooke took out on the boundary, which resulted in him completing the catch with a little celebratory jig, which all happened to be in vain, as Ant had overstepped and a no-ball had been signalled. It was a great catch, alas it was not meant to be and Dan has to continue to persevere to achieve his first Captain Scott catch.

The innings was complete, two balls short of a full innings, by 16:25. 35 overs bowled in 2 hours and 20 minutes – let the record reflect 15 overs an hour is not a bad over rate.

Tea was taken and Scotty’s two openers took the field and the game resumed shortly after 5:00pm. This was after the scorebook had been interrogated and it was “calculated” that we required 173 to win.

The Skipper and myself also took to the field, but under the guise of umpires to cover for Xanthe who was in Barcelona (with god-knows how may ex boyfriends – much to Dan’s chargrin) on a photography and art class trip, while Ant did his best to replicate our wonderful scorer’s work, who was living it large at the Hickstead Show jumping in Sussex. When I say replicate, I simply mean record what’s going on in the outfield while hoping it all balances as the end.

It takes persons of strong character and iron will to umpire a game like this. The appealing for LBWs when the ball was merely in the pad’s vicinity or the incredulity that a wide be called when the ball passed the batsman, though in a different post code, was amusing. Let’s not even mention the outcome of a close run out chance. You’d swear this was the final game of a league season and a win was required to clinch the silverware.

Still smarting from being denied the run out chance, it was too much to bear for the keeper and the skipper when one of the bowlers was called for a wide. From my vantage point at square leg, it was very amusing to watch their skipper, all 4’7″ of him, run up to Sean, from fielding in the covers, indignant that a wide be called as the wicketkeeper hadn’t moved while taking the ball (it didn’t matter that the keeper was standing a foot outside off stump and had taken the ball on his right hip and then brought his hands back in from of him) . It looked like a Rumpelstiltskin-lookalike having a mini fit because his circus bear wouldn’t do as instructed and climb upon his little bicycle. This all before we’d reached 30 runs.

Ayman fell with the score on 29, David Watson and Langley put on a 67 run partnership before Chris edged one to the keeper. Rishi and David both fell at 115 and when Prateek fell with the score on 125/5, Sean strode to the crease, with a steely glint in his eye, to set the record straight and add another mark in the win column. Accused of a slow over rate, of not giving a run out and being being further abused by a tall dwarf for calling a wide. Enough was enough!

Sean and Jock added 42 runs, before Jock fell with six runs still required. Jamo-Love then ably assisted his older sibling in seeing the win home. The pièce de résistance, with us only requiring a single to win from six balls, was the skipper deciding he should bowl the final over. He then proceeded to bowl the first ball for a wide, assisting Captain Scott in reaching their target of 173 after three hours and 25 minutes in the middle. 10 overs an hour, no wonder over rate is so closely monitored.

It turns out the cricketing gods do have a wry sense of humour after all.

The detailed scorecard can be found here.

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