This Sunday the happy Hill were back at home against Wimbledon United. The day looked like it was going to be a good one when all the tasks like boundary markers and bins were done at least half an hour before the start. Things started to turn as soon as we got closer to the toss….
Phil was on a night shift and overslept so had to get a cab from an famous car sharing app while Symo quickly realised he had forgotten his whites. Promising that it would only take 5 minutes to drive home and get them off he went in his VW Eos. The captain tried to get a timed game going but the opposition turned their nose up at that suggestion so instead suggested a 35 over game.
He lost the toss and the oppo decided to have a bat. With Symo missing we had to go without a fine leg and things didn’t start too well. Second ball the opening bat went for a wild wahoo that went up in the air in between mid-off and cover. Similar to what happened in our first home game, no one was quite sure who it belonged to so it fell into no man’s land with Jeavons the bowler seething. That opening bat decided to just try their arm from that point on to get a sharp 30 odd.
Symo finally turned up in full whites and went into that mid-off position with the team all a bit down from that start. He soon turned it around though. The other opening bat didn’t expect the cannon arm underneath those wizard sleeves and was given out run out by the umpire. It was almost slow motion but everyone was delighted except for Jeavons who thought he had him LBW the over before.
The good fielding didn’t last long though. Unfortunate drops from Symo and KP gave them lives to try and cash in. Luckily Jeavons and Barry picked up a wicket each to make sure their hard work was rewarded.
First changes were Worrell and Elliot. Worrell took a while to get going with his first over going for 22. Likely to be stiff from a whole day of golf but pulled it back to pick up a wicket of someone who liked to talk just a bit too much. El managed to get the wicket of their captain who managed to score quite quickly before offering to come off knowing his batting may be needed later on…..
From that point on it was a bit of a mixed bag from the rest of the bowlers. Lawny had a bit of a tough day at the office struggling to find his usual perfect length between too short and too full. Rob S bowled some tidy overs to pick up his best figures for the club in his third spell bowling (Another jug from you please Rob!). In a panic the captain put himself to try and roll back the clock. Too scared to bowl his new action of just catapulting the ball he went back to the old guff and quickly took himself off
Phil came on for the last few overs as he was preparing to carry on in his role of opening the batting and picking up two good wickets. KP also had 2 overs at the end. He would have come on a lot earlier but kindly volunteered to go up the order as he knew (or at least presumed) we had enough bowlers.
At the end of their innings they finished on 229-9 at the end of their 35. We could have been better with our bowling and fielding but this is Park Hill cricket club. No one means to make mistakes and I’m sure we will make many more but as long as everyone tries their best and has fun that’s all the skipper can ask for.
A shout out to Damo behind the stumps who had to deal with a lot of uneven bounce and was bad bowling. Also Symo for picking up a catch and a run out which would normally be a heroic effort for us but he dropped one so doesn’t deserve too much credit.
Fielder of the day was Rob S just for his lovely slides, maybe he can teach us how to do them one day. Runner-up was Phil who almost had a run out but instead of hitting the wooden stumps, he hit Ian’s stump which sent him down for a breather. Luckily it only “grazed” it according to Ian but we think it at least took his mind off the grumpiness from bowling. Also shout out to Elliot boundary riding on the short boundary with full commentary. Every time the ball was bowled short a comment came out and he made some…interesting noises when he stopped it.
After a terrible tea (For the captain anyway, his sandwich and crisps went stale in the sun) we started out batting effort. Regular (they’ve done it once together) opening partners Phil and Damo went out with confidence to score some runs. Damo was watching while Phil used his power to get 3 boundaries early on in his innings.
As per usual though, Phil finds a way to make us laugh. Chris, A Lonely Hearts club member alongside the captain and Phil came to watch Phil bat about 5 overs into the game. Phil’s balance got the better of him a few balls later when the weight of his head made him raise his leg and he was stumped by a keeper standing back. He looked good until that point when he fell once again for a score in the teens.
Symo was in at 3 which has been a bit of a poison chalice on a Saturday and Sunday this season but he soon dispelled the myth by putting on a brilliant partnership with Damo to really push the score on.
Damo started slowly but then really pushed the rate with some lovely leg side shots. The aggression we have seen from behind stumps finally started to come out in his batting and sadly was denied his 50 by a pea-roller that hit him on the pad. Barry had no choice but to raise his finger. He did save Damo slightly earlier though when he gave an early call of no ball to one that cleaned up the stumps. Congrats from what Play-cricket tells us is your highest score!
The partnership was 80 off 17 overs which gave us a real shout in the game. We had to up the run the rate a bit so El went in with the license to attack. Symo carried on batting with giving no chances away. There were some lovely drives for 4 and hit and run singles we have come accustomed to seeing from the Cornish express. El on the other hand was really swinging to that short leg-side boundary without really connecting to any of them. Still hit two boundaries but mostly dealt in twos to the poor guy who was taking a battering as the sweeper on the landmine of an outfield.
Eventually El went for 23 getting caught on the boundary but he did what the team needed to try and win the game. In at 5 was wildcard KP to see if his off-side guard, since used by pretty much every international batsman has adopted, could help us up the rate once more. What we didn’t count on was the bowler having a decent slower ball which just took KP by surprise and he was out for a duck.
Once again the captain wants to thank KP for volunteering to give up some overs so everyone could get a game which is very much in the Park Hill spirit.
Then it all went wrong….Needing 50 off for 4 overs the captain went in to bat with Symo. Knowing how nervous he gets, the first ball was just tapped for one and ran to get off strike. Both batsmen knew the game was probably up so got into a competition to see which one of them could hit a 6 to the small boundary.
Symo did it with ease with a few balls to spare but the skipper being the wiener of the Ransom brothers couldn’t hit it off the square. Yes he had a strike rate of almost a run a ball but not exactly MS Dhoni levels of match winning. Both men were there at the end with the Hill finishing up on 190-4 off their 35 overs.
Normally that would be a winning total on a Sunday in any format and I’m proud of the effort every batsman put it in. With a score like they got it’s very easy to go in with a defeatist attitude but didn’t see that once which is always a positive. Symo battled wonderfully for his 74* and the team hope he can take that forward into future games along with Damo. It’s always a shame when not everyone gets a bat but hopefully those who didn’t are happy for their teammates and know full well it isn’t a regular occurrence for us.
Next week is our inter-club game. I hope all of you can make it even if it just to pop your head in and offer your support. Chip and Stu have put a lot of effort to organise this for us on what is sure to be a lovely day!
Till next week, #UpTheHill