Nice weather for ducks

I played three games of cricket over the weekend, in a fashion.  The first was Burning cold, the second was soggy and sloggy, and the third was a glorious failure.

Another glorious June day, perfect for cricket

I've already described Saturday's events, and need not reiterate them.  Sunday was supposed to be a friendly against a touring team from Leicester, but the rain had other ideas.  A trio of ducks took up residence in a puddle on the edge of the square.

We had other ideas, too, though, and decided to play a 10-a-side plastic slog-a-thon, with each team batting 18 overs on a tiny pitch.  Beer and barbecued burgers provided sustenance, and even though the game was a bit daft, it was better than nothing.  And once it was over, we all retreated to the club for some more beer.

As a consequence of this, and the place of my birth, I ended up volunteering to play for the Leicester team - the Braunstone Cricketers - on Monday, at Bishopthorpe, as they were a man short.  I was more than happy to get an extra game, not least as it probably counted as a spying mission.

I was also happy as the sun was shining, and I'd done quite well at Bishopthorpe last season.

So I turned up, and was asked to open the bowling, and did alright (as long as you ignore the waist-high full toss that got launched out of the ground and into a nearby house, breaking a couple of roof tiles).  I didn't take any wickets, but I did get a catch, as the home team posted 160-odd.

I thought that might be my work done for the day, but our reply was disastrous.  A wicket fell first ball, then another shortly after, and we were 0-2.  Simon, the captain, asked me to go and put some pads on, and before I'd made it back from the changing room, both he and the number 5 batsmen had also been dismissed.

I thought I was next, and hurried to find some batting gloves, but luckily another batsman was ready.  Less luckily, he ran himself almost immediately, so now I really did have to take the field.  Our total at that point?  3 for 5.

One of many ducks

I decided to bat as sensibly as possible, to get forward, play straight, and hope the rather popping wicket didn't get me out.  I did this, and survived a few deliveries, and had a chat with Scott at the other end about what we should do.  And then he fell to a brilliant return catch, and it didn't much matter.  We were six-down.

I managed to see off both the opening bowlers, and even scored a few runs, but then one of the replacements bowled two more of our batsmen in quick succession.  We were now Next-to-nothing for 8.

I couldn't seem to time the ball to the short boundaries, but I actually felt quite comfortable as I reached double figures.  And thus I lulled myself into distraction, and played a false shot to a full ball, and was bowled for 13.  The last wicket soon followed, and it was an ignominious defeat, by a margin I couldn't even bring myself to calculate.

But the Braunstone Cricketers were a great bunch of lads, and Bishopthorpe is always a nice place to play, and it had been sunny, and it had gotten me out of the house.  So I really couldn't complain.  I very much look forward to doing it all again next year.
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