by Simon Vicos

The run of big games continued and after last weeks loss to Beddington it was vital we didn’t lose this one and let Midwives get further away at the top.

We won the toss and Richard decided to open the bowling with Glenn and the Real Slim Shady. Shady got through first clean bowling his man with 12 scored. Only a couple of overs later Glenn let his slower ball go, the batsmen was through the shot before the ball even got there and the sound of flying bails made it 19 for 2 and we were in control. Couch then announced his arrival with Andy Williams “can’t take my eyes off of you” at a million decibels just in time to see it become 25-3 courtesy of a catch in the slips after some circus juggling from Walshy.

This brought James to the wicket who we were told was the mainstay of their batting, if we could get him, we would get them out cheaply. He showed his intent from ball one and quickly got into the groove scoring particularly well on the leg side. It looked as though he was going to run out of partners though as we kept the pressure on and with the score at 66 for 5 things were going really well. However, Midwives aren’t top for no reason and they fought back well,  the 6th wicket pairing put on 99  and began to take the game away from us. We had chances but they weren’t taken. Damo produced a moment of high comedy with the chance of a run out but he blundered into the stumps, sending them crashing instead before attempting to gather the ball !!!. He did redeem himself a little and managed to break the stand having tempted his man to hole out Toby Green style, ironically straight to Toby Green !!!. Mark Surridge induced the seventh wicket by way of a tidy catch from Walshy but we could not dislodge James who went on to make a deserved 110 (with only a couple of chances) and Midwives declared on 224-7 after 45 overs.  We had bowled our overs very slowly (presumably time taken fetching the ball) and at 4.45 went out to post a response.

 Gibbers and the Human Dog started sensibly enough before Gibbers departed, quickly to be followed by Regan who never got going. Glenn went out to repair the damage but soon lost Toby who had looked comfortable enough but nicked one to the keeper. 22-3 and we were in big trouble, Toby Aldred joined Glenn and set about a salvage mission. Glenn played a few exquisite shots off his toes to relieve the pressure and Toby was content to pick up the odd single as we decided to hold what we had and not give the game away. To be fair if they had taken their opening bowlers off earlier and bought the spinners on to toss a few up then maybe we would have gone for it a bit more, but maybe they also had the thought in the back of their minds that they must not lose. By the time the spinners were introduced Glenn and Toby had settled themselves in, they proceeded to bat out for the remaining hour and a half to much chat from the ever enclosing field around them. To be fair they did cut loose a bit at the end and both hit huge straight sixes much to the frustration of the Midwives side. Glenn passed the 50 mark yet again on his way to 69 not out, an innings when he played well within himself, Toby finished unbeaten on 39, nice to see him apply himself and reap the rewards. Both of them batted with application and no lack of judgement and never looked in any danger. This also kept Morlers away from the crease who spent an hour and a half with his pads on having babies at the thought of having to go out and avoid another duck !. So 123-3 at the close and a solitary point taken.

We always play every game to win and to be fair we controlled two thirds of this one, however their 6th and 7th wicket pairings left us with too much to do, and we had no option but to take the losing draw. Old Midwhitgiftians showed what a good side they are, but we also gave them plenty to think about and had we got Mr James early on out then we would probably have been on the way home at 6pm, 13 points better off.

Highlight of the day was undoubtedly the discovery of a Barbecue so immense that in Morlers words “You could cook a whole Yak on that”, you could indeed. Maybe now we have got a scorebox we can move onto Phase 2 of the development plan and employ a bricklayer to construct a Barbecue so large that we need to make the fire brigade aware just before we light it !!.

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