We Batted Well, They Batted Better...Much Better!
We lost the toss and elected to bat...
The rain held off for another drama packed game at Broadbottom. Despite the sneaky attempts of the opposition to head Gnomads off at the pass with some god-awful temporary traffic lights just down from the George and Dragon inn, we made it to the ground in fine spirits and great anticipation of securing our first win of the season under the mecurial stewardship of Two Bricks. Unfortunately, he'd been playing with grown-up tools the day before and had sawn the back of his hand open, promoting myself (One Brick) to acting captain. I therefore prepared to take charge of the team he had assembled pre-sawing. In no particular order:
One Brick (c)
Plus several players making their Gnomadic debuts:
Andrew Stables, of Hayfield Turds fame,
'Big' Will Bowers, of being quite tall fame, and
'Aussie' Phil, who is Australian.
The more mathematically adept of you will have spotted that makes 12 players. BJ graciously nominated himself 12th man ('Just off to listen to the Archers in the car...') and I, making my personal debut as captain, donned the baggy pink and green and met with Broadtbottoms captain in anticipation of upholding the highest standards of Gnomadic tradition. I duly lost the toss and elected to bat.
Shep, with memories of a fine 25 against the Turds last time out, opened with Aussie Phil. Unfortunately some early promise from the man from down under failed to blossom and he was out for 7. In true captains tradition I went in at 3, but I fear strayed from true Gnomadic captains tradition by making contact with the ball, at one point clearing not only the boundary but the pavilion as well. This prompted discussion with the wicketkeeper about where his car was parked, and where I should be aiming next if I knew what was good for me. Not wishing to upset him further, I retired at 25. Seg (ret) took up the mantle with some lusty blows depsite obvious discomfort in a fine 23. Big Will then went in and got out for 1 while Shep continued, untroubled, to his 25. Some typical late bludgeoning from Lamby and some good-looking classical stokes from Andy Stables (must be a Gnickname there?) took our total to 125, leaving Broadbottom 126 to win at 6.3 an over, with BJ coming in at the change for the incapacitated Seg (ret). So the batting had done it's job, but could the bowling back it up?
The simplest, and perhaps kindest answer is 'no'. While I got used to the fact that setting a field was not as easy as it looked, our bowlers, despite giving their all, could not break through a very good Broadbottom batting side. We were not put to the sword, but we were dealt with with relative ease I fear, and the half chances that did present themselves went begging. Aussie Phil could have had a wicket had the edge not evaded Sluices gloves, while other catching chances in the outfield saw Shep nearly flatten Half Brick and the ball sail over my own head not once but twice. With 4 overs left and the score at 122, I introduced myself to the attack. 5 balls and 3 singles later, Sluice apparently realised the game was up, and graciously let 4 byes through to make sure we could get to the pizza and chips without the trouble of starting another over. We entirely failed to take a wicket.
So there we are. A baptism of fire as far as captaincy was concerned, and while on another day 125 may well have been competitive, credit must go to Broadbottoms batsmen. Same time next year?