Division 4: Ovington II vs Goole Town, May 19th 2012, Knavesmire.
After missing the first four weeks of the season through a combination of rain, Lyme and shale, I finally played my first cricket match of the season yesterday. It was, well, eventful.
I'd been down to play for the 2nds and make the tea, then I was switched to the 1sts, then the inevitable rain came and the 1sts' game was called off, and I found myself playing for the 2nds again. Given that we were at home on the mire, I was surprised to hear the game was still on.
But it was, and our opponents came up from Goole. They won the toss and, with course conditions moist to tricky, unsurprisingly asked us to bat.
Messrs Whale and Svensson started steadily, and when the former fell to a miscued pull, A-dot Cole continued the platform-building. He was joined by Alistair Souch when Svensson was adjudged lbw, and then Pete Smith when Souchy fell, and though the run rate wasn't high at 30 overs, neither was the wicket count.
It was 70-something for 4 when I came to the crease, with about 7 overs left, and I decided to have a bit of a swing. Unfortunately, my kamikaze approach meant I ran Pete out first ball, and went on to be nearly stumped, nearly caught, and nearly run out in quick succession. I did hit a couple of boundaries though, as did Stefan at the other end, before I finally skied a catch to long on.
The merry tail-swinging continued, though, and although we failed to bat out our overs, we did rustle up 123 all out, which was a reasonable total on a slow surface. Goole's young bowling attack had also performed creditably.
After plenty of tea - hot beverages being a necessity on a chilly day - we set out to field. Skipper Prangnell surprised us by deciding to open with B. Busby, but, after a brief flurry of runs, Benjy backed up the decision with three wickets. At the other end, Souchy bowled well but only picked up a solitary dismissal.
With Goole four down for 30-something, debutant Graham Field entered the fray, and proved himself to be an extremely canny acquisition, swinging and seaming the ball off a good length, and causing their batsmen no end of trouble. And then I was brought on.
"Jesus Christ, that's absolutely terrible!" I exclaimed, as I slung my first ball into the ground somewhere near my own feet, and watched it loop hopelessly towards the batsman at tectonic pace. I was about to apologize to him for such an awful mockery of a delivery, but before I could, he took pity on me, and toe-ended the ball straight up into the air.
"Actually," I said, again out loud, "it might not be so bad after all," and after debating matters for a couple of minutes, shoved Benjy out of the way and accepted a return catch. "Ridiculous," I muttered, and returned the ball to Mizo, who was umpiring. (I then wondered if I could be no-balled for talking whilst the ball was in the air, but decided not to ask.)
Next over, and after a couple of fairly innocuous deliveries, I tried deception, and threw up an even more innocuous one. The batsman had a wild swing, missed, and the low full toss took out his leg stump. I now had 2-0 from two overs of tremendous mediocrity, and celebrated like Bob Willis in the 1981 Headingley Test.
My third wicket was at least genuine, as the next batsman was much too early on a cross-seam slower ball, but finishing with 4-2-11-3 was rather flattering. Graham deserved more than his single wicket, and Dom certainly deserved at least one scalp when he came on near the end, but by hook or by crook we dismissed Goole for 76, and a 47-run victory is not to be sniffed at.