On a glorious July afternoon we arrived at the ground in high spirits after last week’s win. The track kindly prepared by Robert Bairstow that morning looked like a dream to bat on and the lads threatened to string me up if we didn’t win the toss. Chris Spittlehouse was confident he would have the skill to flick the coin on the right side for us so it was decided he would do the toss.
After a bit of warming up with catching practice we waited for our opposition, and we waited, waited some more and then started to think the afternoon may end up being spent in the Moon’s beer garden. 2pm arrived and still no opposition and I started to wonder if I had made the almighty mistake of the game actually being at their ground. After numerous calls to their captain with no answer I called his home number and spoke to his wife who kindly let me know all that she had done that morning and finally that Sherwood Casuals were on their way but had some transport difficulties. At approximately 2.25pm the opposition arrived with 8 players, Spits strolled out to do the toss and returned triumphant! Fisko were batting, I breathed a sigh of relief and the lads put their torture tool back in their bags.
Dave Newby and Dan Jones opened up for us and the oppo still only had 8 men, something that Newby used to his advantage scoring 43 runs off the first 4 overs before falling to a sharp caught behind catch after the ball just moved away off the seam. Dan Jones still at the other end on 2* wondering why every ball to him was on his middle stump!! Max came in and picked up where Newby left off although not quite with the same strike rate and helped himself to 60 runs before being caught by another good catch from their young keeper with a tickle on his leg side. Dan Jones was finally caught on 26 at gully but again had shown the potential of a very good opener by keeping his patience and building an innings even when the other batsman the other end were scoring boundaries for fun. Mr Spittlehouse came to the crease and after a few nurdling shots started to take Sherwoods bowlers apart including 1 huge six followed directly after by another huge six straight into the garden at the car park end, he eventually fell to a ball that almost bounced twice before hitting his middle stump (Captain Calamity strike 1). The innings then belonged to our two Joe’s both reasonably new to the club and who had never met before today. These two struck a partnership instantly and started to knock the ball all over the park with some exquisite shots. Joe Warriner finishing on 49* sacrificing his own 50 chance to give Joe Cope a chance at a maiden Fisko ton, needing 3 off the last ball, Joe gave it everything he could but could only manage a single and finished 98*. This gave Fisko 330 runs on the board for the loss of only 4 wickets and resulted in one happy stand in captain.
This perhaps was not so much of a blessing in disguise as I had thought, maybe due to the heat on the day and the fact that everyone had played in the same heat the day before or maybe due to the fact that we had so many runs on the board, for some reason the Fisko that I am used to in the Sunday 1st team had just not turned up to bowl or field in the way that I know we can. Dropped catches, poor bowling from usually reliable sources and mis-fields at regular occurrences meant that Sherwood Casuals were swatting bowlers around the park and had we not got so many runs on the board due to fact they only had 8 men, this game could have got a lot closer than we had anticipated at 1.30pm. Good tight bowling performances from Andy Polkey, Max Danby, Tom Massey and Dan Jones at the end meant that in the last 20 overs we restricted their runs and they finished on 179-6 from the 40 overs.
Another win on the board but the team perhaps left the field with the mentality that although we had won we had not done our club proud in the field and had perhaps somewhat embarrassed ourselves at times and this includes myself who had the worst keeping performance of my life and this may have set the tone to the rest of the lads and for this I apologise. As a team we can do much better fielding and will need to next week when we are at Clumber Park in front of a usually large crowd. Well done lads for winning the game, take the positives and don’t dwell on the negatives and with a batting line up like this one we can make this 3 wins from 3 in Jimmy’s absence.