Golf trousers? That's just not cricket! - by Andy McIntosh
Sunday the 22nd of June was one of the hottest days of the year so far!
While many were in a beer garden, having a BBQ or recovering from the serious sunburn that occurred on Saturday, Hunslet Nelson’s Sunday team rocked up at Pudsey St Lawrence hoping to build on their impressive performance in their last game. Nelson’s side had a rather more experienced look to it than Joe has been used to this year with Dave Evans, Will Stiff and Jean Strydom providing Joe with some support, useful suggestions and helpful tips, and a cloud of confidence was hanging over the heads of the lads.
Nelson batted first and Jean and Joe Plater walked out to bat, both batsmen played fluently and saw off the new ball. Jean played his usual flamboyant innings and with Joe continuing to play solidly at the other end, the scoreboard ticked over nicely. That was all about to change though as Pudsey introduced their second change bowler Josh Smith, who quickly removed Joe and Nelson number 3 Jack Hebden. Chinners and Jean built a solid partnership before Jean retired on 56 and Chinners was caught off the bowling of Harry Allman for 22. The Nelson Batsmen continued to get starts but with the exception of Jean, no one managed to build on the innings, with Dave Evans getting 19, Will Stiff 11, Joe Schofield 21 not out, Sam Haigh 12 and Luke Ferriday 11 Nelson finished with 190-9 with Josh Smith the pick of the bowlers for Pudsey with 4-28 from his 6 overs. Nelson put up a much improved batting performance than they have previously this season, although I’m sure Joe would have been hoping that someone could have gone on and propelled Nelson’s score into the 230 plus region.
After tea, Nelson would have been confident of defending 190 and buoyed by some experienced names, a captain’s speech that can only be described as reminiscent of king Leonidas in the movie 300 and Dave Evans’ white golfing trousers Nelson took the field. Nelson had a new look opening bowling partnership with the ever economical Tom Brooke-Mawson away Jack Hebden took the new ball with captain Joe Schofield. Pudsey’s batsmen played an innings rather similar to Hunslet with their top order batsmen all making starts, but failing to push on. With Jack and last week’s star Luke Ferriday taking 2 wickets apiece and Chinners taking 1 Nelson pegged back Pudsey at 110 for 5. With 81 still required and only 15 overs remaining, Joe will have been confident the lads could pull off another win. However the fall of the 5th wicket brought Pudsey captain Josh Smith to the middle with Russell Gaunt. Joe and the lads tried everything to break the partnership, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, Josh finished 51 not out and Russell 49 not out as they knocked off Nelson’s target with 1.1 overs to spare.
All in all though, Nelson can be proud of the performance they put in against a strong opposition. The younger lads will continue to learn and with the help of senior players Nelson’s Sunday team looks to have a good balance to the side. Although I’m sure questions will continue to be asked as always, how could the team improve, what was going through Dave Evans head when he decided to play cricket in white golfing trousers, and I think the biggest question of all will be, has Will Stiff finally found the league for him with the lack of the ‘leg side wide’ ruling.
Nelson’s next game is away at East Ardsley on the 6th of July. Joe and the lads will be looking to build on some promising performances and hopefully the Nelson faithful will be out in full voice to support Nelson’s next generation of players.