Alarm bell rung at 09:30, as standard I snoozed till 10am. Feeling ready and confident to play cricket in Dulwich after a solid 11-hour sleep. Waking to videos of the league cricket side celebrating late into the night, including a bare and better Lonsdale, only wetted my appetite for the day ahead.
Ready for a ‘pregame jog’ I got distracted by the kitchen and ate a steak instead. Peppercorn sauce. 7/10. Strange for me, as a full English is normally my go to before cricket but on this occasion, I couldn’t turn down a 10:15 steak. My jog ended there.
Weather was very typical English conditions, quite muggy and overcast. Perfect for playing cricket in London, I left the house, en route to Tour Director, Mr Tom Lonnen’s residence to pick up Mollie and the kids for a day at the cricket. Between us two adults and two emails we had somehow managed to completely balls up the start time and arriving an hour later than expected due to poor email management from the both of us.
After watching Angry Dad time every red robot (traffic light) to perfection we arrived, Mollie led the West London massive onto Hollies (sigh), we were relieved to find out we were batting, and the openers were still in. Niraj ‘the slider’ Tailor and Paulie ‘G&T’ Hynes looked solid. Keeping the scoreboard ticking over and the openers at bay with both playing some glorious strokes including a ‘Pontingesque’ pull stroke for 6 from ‘Nikki’ Niraj himself.
With the pitch popping and ducking it was always going to have to be hard work for the batsman. One kept low, while another popped and we were 2 down in quick succession. This brought Student and Britto to the crease. Britto seems to make every pitch look like a road these days as he led from the front, an inspirational knock from the Skipper as he battled his way right until the end for deserved 58. A hard-fought innings taking a few to the body as well as a naughty reverse sweep for 4. Not much help from the other end for Britto as everyone, including yours truly seemed to work their way out of single figures before finding a way to get out.
Student, myself, Tim and Lonnen all fell in front of Britto before ‘Daddy Bush’ Bolshaw strolled out with an average of 0.33 in the last 3 games with the bat. There was a silent expectation that this was his day. He had time, he had a short leg side boundary and boy did he make best use of that. One of the most effective, destructive and dirty 38s you will ever see. Some big sixes and some magnificent straight drives. He really is playing some awesome cricket this season. Britto departed in the last over trying to guide another through gully for four before taking a glove to slip. A massively important innings, that gave us something to bowl at. Grayzer and Bolsh, finished off proceedings and tea was served with 155 runs on the board. We knew we could have got a few more but confident that with a pitch as busy as this one, we were on top and the pressure was all on them.
Play was resumed just after 4pm and we were rearing to go. Grayzer and Ruru Morgan took the new ball. Grayzer bowled with exception control without reward, bowing 5 overs for 17 runs including 5 overthrows which would have been out if they hit. Mr Morgan in his first game and ball for the season, looked strong and ready but his arm decided to hold on to the ball a tad too long and he ended up luring the openers into a false sense of security with a double bouncer. He worked his way into rhythm and bowled like he had been netting all season. Wicket to wicket, head down, taking 2 wickets in his 7 overs. Great to play with him again and we all wish him well as he prepares for the new challenge of fatherhood.
Jonesy bowled well in his three overs restricting the runs and forcing two C+B opportunities, unlucky to see both pop out. The later required First Aid treatment as he bleed his way to the clubhouse. Definite fine.
Lonnen, Bush and yours truly finished off the rest of the overs. Bolsh was pick of the bowlers with his awesome flight and guile, working his way to 7-0-15-2. A great weekend for the Bush. Him and Britto’s performances deserved two wins this weekend.
The game was a tight contest and their number 4 bat batted as well as anyone on the day. Earning himself a match winning 50. He was dropped multiple times throughout the day and in the end this cost us the game. Plough were on top for 60 of Sundays 70 overs but cricket is played until the last ball and on this occasion, we didn’t score enough runs and didn’t field well enough to win that game of cricket.
It was a tough L to swallow as we sulked our way back to the clubhouse for debrief and beer. It tasted like losing beer. Thanks to Jonesy for getting a jug in either a fine for bleeding on the pitch or general top Minor Mayhem. You choose.
Big thanks to Lonnen and Aruran for driving me to and from the game. It is much appreciated.
The Plough march on. We #PloughOn. That game is behind us and Saturday, sees the league side take on number 2 in the league. Its going to be a tough game and we must be ready and focused.
Chin up Plough. We #PloughOn