2 June 2008

A great day of cricket - part 2

So 26 for 4 it was and I was bizarrely nervous….not the 150 for 4 that I imagined. I left the first couple and then managed to at least hit one. No runs, but all the same I felt slightly better. Finally after what must have been 10 or 12 balls I managed to nudge a full toss out for a single – I’d managed to avoid the ignominy of a duck on debut.

But as soon as I relaxed a little I was soon in a familiar situation – looking up at the umpire hoping that he wouldn’t put his finger up after a loud opposition appeal. You’d think it would be easy to keep your legs out of the way, but no, LBW is still my trademark dismissal, no matter whether I take 1 or 2 as a guard or stand outside leg stump. So I’m quite used to the routine of listening to a big appeal, looking at the ground for a hesitant moment, and then up at the umpire expecting the finger of death. This time thankfully he hadn’t moved – I think I was helped by the fact he’d already given an LBW earlier in the innings.

While I was prodding around and still on 1, Matt at the other end was knocking the ball to all parts and batting superbly. We survived an over of mysterious leg-spin from Michael Simpkins himself (he has an interesting action!) and managed to start to get the scoreboard going so it was a bit of a surprise when Matt got himself out, but in strode Andy, the Steyning 1st XI captain at what must have been about 70-5.

As we tried to accelerate the scoring I started to enjoy it, but that didn’t help in terms of runs off my bat. Andy seemed to be hitting fours effortlessly while I tried to hit the ball out of the ground and missed or got hit on the pad (as usual). But eventually everything came together and I hit a straight six – a bit of a puny effort where the umpire had to ask of it was 4 or 6 - and a couple more over cow or, as I like to call it, wide long-on. When I got to 50 the wicket-keeper wasn’t shy about repeating his “ringer” comment! 61 not out on debut and 178 for 5 declared for Steyning, and a 50 for Andy as well, so all was good.

However, I’d stupidly mentioned that I was maybe slightly more of a bowler than a batsman. It’s tricky to know how to advertise yourself when you are playing your first game for a team as an all rounder. You have a three choices really – a genuine all-rounder, more of a batsman or more of a bowler. Or, I suppose, the self-deprecating “I’m a genuine all-rounder – equally crap at batting, bowling and fielding”. I’d gone for the bowling option on the basis that at the highest standards that I’ve played/play, I tend to bat 7-10 and bowl, and also thinking to myself that as a bowler you get more bites of the cherry.

So having scored 61 not out my new team mates were expecting great things with the ball, which slightly concerned me as we munched on tea. Tea, incidentally, was excellent – a key criteria for cricket club selection.


Peter Lamb said...

Is there a part 3 to come, describing your exploits with the ball, or should a discreet veil be drawn over that part of the game?

Ed said...

to come when I get time as I annoyingly have a full time job to do, but a discreet veil SHOULD be drawn over that part of the game as far as I am personally concerned!