Sunday afternoon and the final game of Tour. The so called 4th XI stepping out on to the rainy outfield with all the pressure. 3 wins out of 3 and only a 4th would be acceptable. The oppo were similar to Friday’s day/night game. A few changes but we knew what was coming and knew we had a job on our hands. Some late changes to the side due to over drinking and not wanting to play in the rain meant Niraj and AJ stepped up for the ultimate double header, two games in one day.
Plough were to bat first with Britto and Barras to open, about as strong a partnership you could wish for. Unfortunately, Britto with captaincy on his mind, completed his pair for the weekend and got us off to the worst possible start. Ducks were thrown but only half-heartedly, as it was not clear whether the catch was legitimate or not. In the end Plough got themselves up to a respectable total with Barras and Duray the main run scorers. Despite the rain it was excellent to see Barras back in some form after his brief innings on the Saturday and Duray looked his classic self, bullying bowlers on his way to a well needed 50. Barras back in nick to the extent that he hit the biggest 6 (not best though, Tom Lockhart, you classy bloke) of the Tour, clearing the grandstand and hitting it out the park in every way possible. The rest of the top order didn’t provide too much resistance with Conor barely troubling the scorers and the ducks being required for my departure. Support was on hand though for the big hitters through Paddy and Chris Feeney. The former stroking the ball round nicely and the later eventually running himself out by deciding to lie down a few feet short of the crease rather than running his bat in. Who said we couldn’t wear spikes?
Unusually for me there is no tea rating in this report, as there was none. My only negative feedback for Tour being the break in a 15 over game is the perfect time for more food. Maybe we could squeeze in another meal next time?
Onto the second innings and our total was there for the taking but we definitely had the bowlers to defend it. In some sort of order that I can’t remember now, Spence, AJ, myself and Aman all pushed for a breakthrough. Some bowled bouncers (not me, I’m too slow), some turned it (not me, still too slow) and some bowled wides (I joined in with this one). With this strategy the game ticked on nicely with wickets shared around, but still our hosts were in with a shout. Up stepped my MOTM, Adam Barraclough. Not content with just being back in the runs, he continued his excellent performance in the field from Saturday. A run out (maybe 2) and 4 wickets later Baz had ripped through them putting the game beyond all doubt. Easily my favourite Australian who has a weird backwards step in their run up in the club. This left just the mere formalities of closing the game out. With 1 wicket remaining Niraj and Conor were thrown the ball but to no avail. Finally, the ball was thrown to Patrick Gledhill, who with arrogance and swagger rolled into bowl and took the final wicket off his first delivery. I remember the ball being caught at square leg. This suggests only one thing, that Paddy bounced him out and was just too quick. One ball, one wicket, cue wild celebrations. The Plough had 4 from 4. Special mentions in the field go to Conor, who displayed an amazing ability to throw his body about 6 foot in the air and still not get that close to the ball. Still a cracking effort from him and an exemplary display of Ploughmans enthusiasm for the game.
Celebrations continued after dinner long into the night. Lockhart dancing to Skepta and describing his 6 from the earlier game, a personal highlight. All in all, a belter of a tour, four wins out of four is no mean feat. Especially considering it was really 5 out of 5, as we absolutely destroyed Swansea Uni and their drinking record. Got to be better than that if you want to beat the Plough. Thanks go to Tom Lonnen for organising everything so well, The Plough for being the Plough and the state of the Portuguese economy resulting in beer only costing a euro. Onto next year.