Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

 Julius Caesar, if you are to believe Shakespeare, once said:  “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads to wherever Gribbler is playing cricket.  Having missed more games through inclement weather last season than your average Bangladeshi village side in rainy season, I had been hoping last week’s beautiful blue skies had heralded a new dawn.  Fat chance.    Turning up at Brewery Road, plenty of chuntering was going on about our prospects. Only Dave fancied our chances of getting a game in, and he was pretty reluctant to put his money where his mouth was when offered the chance of a wager with the skipper.

 Arriving at Ottershaw the sun finally broke through the clouds.  Our resident weatherman looked smug.  I however just stared uncomprehendingly at the sky like someone who’d spent the last tweny years in an Austrian cellar.  This surprise may account for my attempt to throw Connie’s ball using Erica’s chucking-contraption, with the result that it went backwards.  The dog looked at me with well-merited disgust.

 Play started relatively promptly, with the skipper losing the toss and being inserted.  Usman and Dave led off,  Dave in particular looking very strong whenever Ottershaw’s opening pair strayed onto his pads.  Uzi provided able support until, having played football in the morning, he got confused and volleyed one into his stumps with his back foot.  Joined at the wicket by John Kettley, Dave continued to look good at the crease until our resident meteorologist whacked one into the rainless sky and departed.  Albert, a man in need of a score was next in and was able to profit from Dave’s spadework, playing beautifully for his fifty, shortly followed by Dave, an innings of great maturity and no little quality.

 With the fall of Albert, Gribbler was brought to the crease.  Now, if you’ve been following up to this point you’ll probably be able to work out what happened next.  Rain, first light, then heavy, started falling the moment I took guard.  And to think the Bar Chairman has invited me to his barbecue next week – the idiot.

 Anyway, the rain grew steadily heavier and to cut a (very) long story short, the game was abandoned without another ball being bowled.  That did however, give Kettley plenty of opportunity to pillage the tea, and for Charlie to do his Mrs Doyle impression.

 Anyway, I won’t be around this Sunday.  The UN World Food Programme is paying for me to go and play cricket in South-East Asia.  Expect the world rice shortage to be alleviated forthwith. 

Special mentions this week to Dave and Albert, between them doubling the team tally of fifties for the season.  Two contrasting innings providing what would have been a testing target.  Just a shame they won’t count for the averages...

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