Wick 1s beat Trinity 1s
May 11th, 2019
Rain is a bitch. It makes my toes wet. It makes my hands cold. And it makes my nipples chafe (and I’ve got some nipples). It also can lead to some interesting games of cricket. My favourite was the game v Merrow a couple years back when Riley brought us off because the game – delayed by rain – just had to finish as the light faded away. Chasing (not chafing) a revised target of half what we conceded, we were one run behind yet 9 down. Lost. Only to see the result on Monday morning that their scorer had it wrong and we were actually one run ahead and we had won. As per dis. Merrow town centre must have been carnage that night as it all kicked off.
Back to 2019. Congratulations to Harry for deciding to play cricket this year. An able replacement for the ever-aloof Caldwell if ever there wasn’t. However, one finger down (the important one), he won a toss second only in vitality to my vitality life insurance. The pitch was a bit green and the outfield was very green, but it was May 11th in the Surrey Hills.
A youthful looking Wick XI decided to risk life and limb by playing skid footfall as a warmup. It certainly brought us together – literally on occasion. And that positivity carried through to the opening exchanges which whilst punctured by Trinity’s overseas saffa teeing off as is his want, did lead to successes in difficult conditions. Browning went for a few, butdid twice as well as last year’s openers’ managed so no disgrace. In contrast Sam Jones took a more direct approach to bowling-figure-management and having bowled a single over had the wisdom to scramble around the boundary like a hare and seek to turn an easy three into a slightly easier three and pulled his hamstring.
Caleb Bate, replacing Jones, induced an edge from the saffaoff a rank one that Jones, perched on a stool at first slip, allowed to hit him in the chest and fumble to the ground. Was this the moment? No. maybe 10 runs later he leathered one straight to Browning at long-off who appeared to bottle it, only to be confronted by a ball that actually carried – and he then grabbed it like Gazza grabbed Dennis Wise’ nuts in the eighties. Big hand. Big grab. Cue shrills of delight and little skips as we all descended on Nick like a girls hockey team may celebrate a short corner drill working out.
Blanchard joined the party – an inspired choice by the young Anakin. Genuine loop and guile from the middle-earther consistently proving too much for a procession of middle-aged middle-order Trinity batsmen out in the middle. Germain got a snaffle with the gloves, and can claim two assists to Jones (perched at goolie) and myself wedged at slip. Caleb also got an easy grab at mid-on.
Mik had a go. As a leggie he needs a big warm wrist to do his thing….behave… In tough conditions he stuck at his game and got reward with some wickets towards the end.
But then debutant Harry Fitzgerald came to the party. Starting his wick career with a double wicket maiden is not-oft done. One jabbing back and the other a searing yorker. Harry (Anakin) advised that Harry bowled like a drunken ostrich on roller-skates. He’s not wrong – but there is certainly an element of Steve Harmison about him. Having forgotten the name of the ventriloquist and his puppet which is an emu(later revealed to be Emu…and Rod Hull), Anakin and I settled on Orvill as the nickname of choice. Well bowled sir.
149ao did contain 20 wides and far too many full tosses, but the rules go out the window on days like these. The word is dank. Good enough bowling and excellent fielding all round.
This is where the rain comes in. We’d come off once earlier, and during our reply we came off twice more. Our eventual target became 138 off 41 using D/L method. That’s Duckworth/Lewis, not Delboy/Linter. But whatever it was, it was to score at about 3s for about 2 hours.
Blanchard and Davis opened up. Blanchard buoyed by his 4-wickets on his birthday allowed himself to miss a yorker and then smashed the deck in disgust on A length. Not ideal as the rain fell. Robbie and new man Woody were similarly lazy when doggedness was needed. 29-3.
Davies – taking blows (…behave…) on the head and wrist (...OH GROW UP…) was joined by Caleb who together doubled the score at about 3s. When set Davies also got yorked, leaving Garmain to join in the fun. Having seen off the testing seam attack, both bruisers set about the non-turning slower stuff and moved the score along quickly to well beyond the ton. With 20 left Germain fell, but the skipper joined Caleb who fell right at the last to an excellent 66. Harry then won it leaving a few wides – a fitting end to a game that lacked any real pazzaz, but somehow remained interesting and engaging throughout. Harry did also manage to get in a leave to the left arm spinner to bowled a straight one that didn’t turn (like all the other ones) only to see the umpire decide that the middle stump didn’t count and the ball would have missed leg and off, so was Not Out.
In all seriousness, this was a potential banana-skin avoided. Difficult conditions were met with enthusiasm and commitment, some strong decisions, faultless fielding (Jones aside) and some intelligent batting. Certainly bigger tests ahead but an important first win.
A final mention to Coaches Ali and Lynch who braved the journey, and to Delboy and Claire who took the bus up the road. Del provide wisdom and experience to a side often unaware of who he was (Wick Legend). In the noisy bar after:
Delboy, bottle in right hand, left hand in teapot mode: ‘Hello son, what your name?’
Delboy: Caleb? What does that mean?
20 points, Job Done.
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