We thought it was a 14:00 start and they thought it was a 13:30 start, so Kew were a little upset with us, plus the wonderful weather brought out millions of sun-seekers, which snarled London traffic, which definitely didn’t help those who usually plan to arrive with five minutes to spare.
Needless to say with the weather set hot and sunny and four players still MIA, the Skipper had a fifty-fifty chance of winning the toss, he called and once the coin landed, their skipper had absolutely no difficulty in deciding we should field (albeit with only seven players) first. Oh they did offer us a fielder for little while, bless their cotton socks.
Their umpire, who I thought was an official umpire and not a player/umpire, dressed in his civvies, had a minor conniption fit because Danny, running slightly less late than others, took to the field in his shorts. Danny then went to change his shorts for whites and was due to take the field but the umpire refused to let him on, until the end of the over, even though a player can take to the field at any time as long as the umpire is made aware (which he was) and the player doesn’t hold up play (which he wasn’t). In this case the ill-dressed umpire of disrepute, held up the game explaining that it was a local law (which were not discussed at the toss) allowing fielders to only take to the field of play in between overs and thereby forcing Danny to retreat from the field of play again.
After this is was fairly plain sailing. Kew started brightly, quickly scoring 36 in the first four overs, but with a plan set and bowling a tighter line we began to take wickets and Kew’s scoring opportunities were restricted, allowing them to reach 187-9 in their allotted 40 overs.
Surprise find of the game was Jim Hunt’s bowling, which he hasn’t done since he was 16 and he’s bloody 47 now (his words, not mine). He snared two wickets and it should have been more if he and a few other players didn’t shell the ball at opportune times.
After tea, we had 40 overs to chase 188 for the win, we made the task a little more exciting by being being 22 for 3 after not many overs. Danny and Prateek then settled things somewhat and at 95 for 3 after 19 overs, things were looking more favourable. But then again this is cricket and before anyone could fully grasp what was happening, Scotties found themselves at 100 for 6. Not all was lost as Danny was still at the crease, without a bead of sweat or a worry…
The seventh wicket fell at 121 and Billy and Danny then put on an eighth wicket partnership of 52 which saw us to 173 for 8. Danny now bored and wanting to take his daughters on the helter-skelter at the fair across the road, decided enough was enough and quickly dispatched the ball to the boundary a few more times while farming the strike saw us home on an unbeaten 117 from 114 balls.
Kew, graciously, bought us a jug of beer for win and Danny’s century. Danny didn’t drink a drop as he was on the helter-skelter, the cricket forgotten and his and his daughters’ joy unbridled.
The scorecard can be found here