Cricket versus CSU
The cricket team I play for, OWCC, travelled to CSU to play a re-scheduled cricket match, after the scheduled game had been washed out due to severe thunderstorms two weeks prior. This was especially special as Jenifer and her family traveled to watch the game; we were making it into a long weekend camping trip.
The pitch can be described as a goat track, and that’s being friendly. I was told cement was the foundation, I sure hope so. Some kind of hessian was pulled over the top and tacked down, and duct tape was holding it together in many places. The hessian also ensured the ball would be seaming around, that is bouncing and taking off in different directions… I predicted to the family a low scoring affair…
CSU won the toss and elected to bat first. I didn’t find out until later that this was the wisest choice, as the team batting second is likely to have to deal with the 3pm scattered showers, which always occur in these parts at this time of year…
I opened the bowling with Kervyn, but was unable to take a wicket. I was quite economical as usual, but sent down a couple too many wides for my liking. Although, as I was to find out a while later, umpiring was short of sub-standard and he called a few close ones as wides. It could have gone either way. I was finally replaced when Aravind of CSU hit me for a 2 and a 3 in succession.
CSU made steady progress, until Ashok our stand-in captain came in to bowl. He took two wickets in his first over and things started to swing our way. Aravind continued to worry us with good shots, while Ashok took another critical wicket at the other end. The wicket was especially good for me, as a few minutes earlier that batsman had been runnout from a terrific throw by myself. I picked up the ball one handed at mid-on, and threw down the stumps at the keepers end. He was a foot out. The umpire was found sleeping and out of position at square leg. Because of this rescheduled match, we were unable to obtain neutral umpires for the match. So CSU had to umpire CSU batting, and OWCC had to umpire OWCC batting. This was a CSU umpire who chose not to give out a fellow CSU batsman. I was livid… When Ashok got that man out a little while later I ran towards him pointing to where his team was sitting as if to say, “Yeah mate, that’s where you’re headed”.
We interchanged our bowlers, nothing really succeeding, although we were keeping the pressure on and keeping their scoring rate down. A few more batsman fell, when Aravind, who was on 37 at the time, decided to try and up the scoring rate. He advanced to Andy, our spin bowler, and attempted to clip him over midwicket. I was at mid on and went sprinting off to my right, and at the last moment when the ball was out of reach dived full length and plucked the ball centimeters from the ground. The team went into raptures and we had the prized wicket.
In short, CSU ended up making 9-124 (9 out, 124 runs) in their allotted time.
We won the match quite comfortably in the end, 5-125, with myself only contributing only 7 runs unfortunately. I was playing straight, middling the ball, had just hit a slower full toss over covers for four, when I tried to launch another ball down the ground. I managed to only hit it wide of mid-on where he took a good low catch.
I set about taking pictures of my team mates from there, wishing I was still out there batting…