By Skipper Alex Smickersgill
2nd XI Home v South Milford
11th May 2019
Is there a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than wrestling a humongous sheet of tarpaulin in the midst of a downpour? These were the major fun and frolics to be had at the Crossgates Oval this Saturday.
Through what Lemony Snicket might term “a series of unfortunate events “, we found ourselves short a man for the first time in about 3 seasons. After winning the toss, skipper Alex made the slightly dubious decision to insert the oppo. The logic, if that’s what it was, that track, outfield and everything else was very damp. A tidy opening spell by Sam and Zaheer produced a wicket for not too many. But certain worrying signs were already emerging; the ball was becoming like a bar of soap and hard for the bowlers to grip and, this was one of the less mobile fielding sides Crossgates had put out. Indeed as the afternoon progressed and South Milford wracked up a mighty score there was plenty of time to scrutinise the running style of all the players and I offer the following observations:
Rob Friend – he doesn’t do running.
John Mac – the original cartoon figure. His legs pump away with all the energy of Wile E. Coyote just before he realises he has run off the edge of the cliff and is about to plunge into the Grand Canyon.
Paul Harker – strains the sinews like a competitor in a “tough mudder” race whilst making slightly slower progress than a competitor in a “tough mudder” race.
Tahir Abbas – scuttles about like a head waiter trying to serve several angry customers whilst not wanting to suggest he is running, so as to conceal from irate patrons that other people are also fuming about the wait.
Simon Shepherd – approaches the ball like a hungry Maribou Stork chasing a particularly lively lungfish at a watering hole in the dry season.
Jojo and Sam – gambol about like a couple of colts released into a field after a long winter in the barn.
Abdullah – ran himself into the ground for the cause of the team
Zaheer – see description for Tahir.
Skipper – as befits an old timer, stumbles forward like an OAP who has just had his Zimmer frame yanked away from him.
Simon, Rob and Adil were honourable exceptions but catches were shelled and in the last 20 overs the fielding became a little ragged. Jojo got 5 overs under his belt and came back well in trying circumstances. Paul picked up a wicket as did Zaheer and so did Rob in a tidy spell that was a real bonus. Nevertheless South Milford made 242-3, which was probably more than a defendable total in the conditions.
So to Crossgates’ innings. 7 overs were faced with 3 ritual dances with the aforesaid tarpaulin before common sense prevailed and the game was abandoned. We lost an unfortunate wicket to a run out but otherwise looked comfortable without threatening to overhaul South Milford’s monumental score.
So 3 games in to a new division we remain unbeaten. Brighter days lie ahead. Up the Gates!!
Man of the match: Abdullah Mohammed
Fielding Point: Simon Shepherd