T20 Friendly Avebury CC vs Allington CC - To be continued...
By MATTHEW STEPHEN
The squad may be fed up of nets so after playing Avebury CC who have a similar approach to the game, a T20 mid week match would be a bit of fun.
Now it might be that the squad are fed up of nets already, or hearing Sam and Ankles giving out their pearls of wisdom on a Wednesday night, but after playing Avebury CC who have a similar approach to the game, we all agreed that a T20 mid week match would be a bit of fun.
So in our first year as a club, we managed to get 11 players to travel to Avebury after work on a sunny Wednesday evening. Luckily we actually had 12 players as Paul came to support but ended up fielding for the first over whilst waiting for Wayne to honour us with his presence. Valid excuse so no fine there.
For some reason we had two captains, with Dave and Blisters sharing the role. Dave arrived on time and took responsibility for the toss. Blisters arrived shortly after in his Michael Portillo pink trousers and immediately chastised Dave for losing the toss. Avebury elected to bat.
New boy George was given the ball and opened well, with some consistent bowling. Sam took the downhill end.
Without the score book I can’t give much detail but pretty much everyone had a bowl, Dave, Jack, Ankles, Greg, Wayne, Blisters and even Rob had an over. Greg took two from his two overs, with Dave, Wayne & Ankles taking the others, two catches by the returning Smithers behind the stumps following 5 weeks off with family commitments.
Notable performances in the field come from Smithy on the boundary, throwing in to stop a second run and hitting the stumps, Ceri being found where ever he was positioned and stopping the ball with every part of his body and Ankles making sex noises when he thought he might get a wicket from a catch in the field.
Avebury batted well reaching 121 for 5 (I think) off the 20 overs.
With the sun setting, we need a quick turn around (no tea at T20 games) and Jack and Rob took to the field. Avebury started well and Jack struggled in the opening over, eventually nicking a 4. With 6 an over needed we need to start well. Rob faced the second over and didn’t fair very well and was caught from a thick edge.
Wayne joined Jack and looked confident with some fine shots and no box contact but was eventually caught (I think). Blisters came in and again looked good but went for a boundary and was caught. Jack continued to play his shots and kept the run rate going close to the required 6 an over. Smithers came in and supported Jack in the middle with a couple of boundaries, but more importantly running well to let Jack keep the strike. Eventually Jack had to retire on 52 (I think) bringing three bowls Greg in. Smithers and Greg did their best to keep the run rate going with Smithers deciding to dance down the wicket as to hit big with 5 overs and 5 wickets remaining. This didn’t work and was bowled. Ceri replaced Smithers and had the legacy of 30 years of never scoring a run to overcome, which he eventually did, raising a massive cheer and some surprise from the Avebury team.
Greg was eventually caught following a wild swing, bringing Josh aka Dave in. The run rate had dipped slightly so we needed the big swings and muscles of Dave to hit some boundaries. Dave started slowly with a couple of singles to keep the strike away from Ceri and then it all went Pete Tong. With a big swipe, Dave sent the ball to Long Off, who juggled it but held on to take the catch, but in the meantime Dave decided to make a meal of it and apparently popped his knee cap out trying to run or something. He went down like a sack of the preverbal. His last words were “Did I get a 6”. “No”.
Play came to a stop, when it was clear that Dave couldn’t move and was in a lot of pain. With the light fading and an ambulance on the way, the decision was made to abandon the game and declare a draw with Allington needing 29 to win off three overs. It was a friendly after all.
The game was played in a great atmosphere and Avebury were fantastic hosts and played with the best sporting ethos (not stumping when the batsman decided to go for a wander after a ball, for example).
We have agreed to make it an annual event and look forward to the match in 2020. Dave went off to hospital to get his knee looked at and obviously on a serious note we all wish him well for his recovery and return to the field for the rugby season. We suspect his cricket season is over.