By Skipper Alex Smickersgill
2nd XI Away v South Milford
5th July 2019
‘You will never win anything with kids ‘ opined Alan Hansen; a man who managed to convert the juggling of three words, namely ‘pace, power and movement’ into a highly lucrative gig by passing the manipulation of that triumvirate off as analysis. Hansen was so wrong on many levels. There are many things to be won, including the respect of your opponents and your team mates.
Crossgates rocked up at South Milford with a team reduced to only four regulars this season. In our hour of need we were helped out by two young lads, Alfie Edwards and Finn Fisher, playing their first game of cricket. Against one of the top sides in the division, it is necessary in such circumstances to recalibrate what constitutes success.
Winning the toss was vital; we could not bowl first with only one bowler, Paul, who had bowled regularly this season.
An opening stand of forty was brought about by some lusty blows from Adil whilst at the other end the skipper scratched about, displaying an outstanding ability to find the fielders. Deprived of a lot of strike Adil eventually skied one, trying to up the ante. He was replaced by Paul, who has not had a lot of opportunity this year, and as happens when lacking time in the middle, you do not get the breaks. Paul middled a poor ball only to see it pick out mid on. Next man, Gun, saw his mighty weapon jam in his holster, as he was undone by an excellent yorker. Then Tim Wills bedded himself in for the night. There is something about Tim’s setup at the crease that suggests he is not going to play like Chris Gayle and he provided obdurate resistance.
When the skipper’s tortuous knock was brought to an end, there followed a bit of a procession. Yet within the comings and goings were some significant moments. Rick made his top score and looked as comfortable as we have seen him at the crease. And so to the aforementioned kids. Alfie’s first ball in open age cricket was a beamer that hit him on the back. To his great credit he was solidly behind the next ball. Finn played correctly and made his first runs for Crossgates. George played sensibly and finished with a red inker. Finally Jojo (or Biff as he will be known hereafter) smote two lovely straight drives. A total of 99 in 34 overs was highly respectable in the circumstances.
With a lack of recognised bowling the sensible decision was taken to give everyone a couple of overs. After a steady opening from Paul and Rob, George ‘the Demon’ picked up his first Crossgates wicket with a ball that drifted away to hit the top of off. This was soon followed by Finn catching a high class bat plumb-in-front for a fantastic first wicket on debut. Everyone else bowled steadily but it is worth recording that the skipper’s over only went for one and there is no hint of Autumn yet.
Overall a game where new faces and old showed character in the face of adversity. The new boys and other youngsters brought energy and dynamism to the field. Up the Gates!
Men of the match: George and Finn
Fielding point: Alfie