Under the only dark and damp clouds of April we managed a game against Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians Cricket Club for the first time in at least two seasons.
It was the Scotties least favourite format, a timed game, but hey you can’t have everything your way. The Skipper won the toss (100% for the season, so far) and put the home team in the field. The opening pair of Jim and Jim (Slatts and Hunt) started off briskly, giving us a platform to build from. We lost Slatts after a brisk 27, with Jim Hunt playing the anchor role, others began to play around him. Kaps started brightly but then suffered a back seizure which forced him off the field. After that wickets fell regularly until Kaps returned to farm the strike and elongate the tail and make sure we set a decent total. Skipper declared with the 217/9 after 41 overs. Kudos with the bat go to Kaps with 58 not out, Aidan falling on 44 and the two Jims (Hunt and Slatts) scoring 32 and 27 respectively.
We took to the field at 17:17 according to the pedantic, eccentric and thoroughly mad umpire to attempt to take 10 wickets and secure a win. The skipper marshalled the bowlers at his disposal and some tight lines and aggressive bowling saw the home team retract into their shells and no amount of friendly sledging by our Wicket Keeper, Grant, could cajole them out of their shell and attempt to chase down the 217.
Mr Naude, not content with scoring runs also started with a great spell of bowling with figures of eight overs, three maidens, 19 runs for 1 wicket. It shall also be stated that he should keep his “Shane Warne” ball in the locker, as it has no place on the field. The two new boys, Alastair Smail and Dan Clark both performed exceptionally with figures of 5-1-19-1 and 3-1-9-0 respectively. Dan also worked well with young Aziz and a diving Slatts to engineer a great run out. Alastair has an aire of Phil Tuffnell about him, with “Com’on Tuffers” and “Great ball Tuffers” being heard in the outfield. Dan’s geriatric looking run-up belies his line and length and his subtle adjustments of pace also unsettled the batmen more than once. Doc and Brett also chipped in with a wicket each looking like they hadn’t been away (considering how many nets sessions they attended it wasn’t surprising).
Unfortunately with the opposition batting for the draw and not playing many shots they only lost five wickets in the 35 overs they faced for 144 run.
So with it going down as a draw in the book, Scotties took the scant consolation that we had a winning draw on the account of a superior run rate. On dark days like this Sunday, we’ll take that as win!
Our official scorer also scored her first game after completing official ECB Scoring training in the off season. Not only did the book balance at the end of the innings, we could also tell you how balls each batsman faced and we could actually read what the book said. Thank you Laurie and we hope you enjoyed yourself as much as we did safe in the knowledge that the book wouldn’t be trust in our lap at some point during the game – what a relief!