As Hurricane Cecil blew in over west london, it was a huge weekend for the 2nd XI, who had gone 4 from 4 in the previous weeks. Spirits were high and the atmosphere in the ranks was electric.
There were numerous issues that hampered the start of the day, with people travelling direct and leaving the dregs of the team back at the club. Fortunately, taxi driver Glasper turned up at the club to take the stragglers to the game. Dreaming of his coffee and breakfast, he arrived early only to find that those from South African/Portuguese heritage, have not been brought up with time in mind. Juan Pablo Knobscobar was testing Glaspers patience and hunger, as he was casually coaching, with seemingly zero appreciation for Glaspers weekly routine… something Glasper kindly informed him of on the way to Richmond.
Once arriving at the ground, Glasper was perplexed with the sheer speed of Pablo and Tattershall as they sped to the changing room and down on deck before he’d locked the car. Alarm bells were ringing and then it all became clear as he was subsequently handed the small matter of the match report, for being last on deck – something he later unsuccessfully argued against in the fines meeting. Anyway, to the game.
To this day, we are still awaiting the truth to come from what happened at the toss, with Fairbairn swearing he one the toss and decided to bowl. Things started well with a wicket a piece from Glasper and the local kiwi resident, Growler. Growls struggled for rhythm early on after being generously allowed to run gracefully into Hurricane Cecil from comrade Glasper. Glasper the other end was fighting that horrible tail wind, helping him impersonate a not to be named Pakistani bowler in the Lords test of 2010, which cost him a wicket when he clean bowled their top order batsman from 9 yards.
At drinks, things seemed to be going well. The spinners were in the game, with Oscar “Lesser brother” Dewhurst performing well at one end and “Non spinning” Farazio being present at the other to restrict Richmond to 92-3. Richmond batsman Max Read however started to play a fine innings and began increasing the run rate and pushing the field hard. One man in the field worth mentioning, was Anand “self-proclaimed Jonty Rhodes” Ashok, who was like a cat in the field, snaffling a world class (regulation for most) catch at cover, with hardly enough time to dive out of the way.
At the end of the innings, Richmond had amassed 217, with the general feeling that they had gotten 20 more than they should have, but with big boundaries, we were still in the game with good rotation of strike. The 6 wickets were shared (Glasper, Rowley 2 ea, Juan and Oscar 1 ea).
At tea, there was some high class conversation, in which Ahsan said he’d do unthinkable things to a local umpire for less than £10 – maybe one to ask him. Teas were forgettable with a real lacking of variety and small portion sizes on display.
The second half didn’t start too well, with a wicket that offered a bit with the new ball. Fairs and better brother Dewhurst went cheaply to leave us 2 down in the first 5 overs, but “lesser brother” Tattershall looked in fine touch (37), hitting a huge pull shot and running extremely well. Jonty Ashok was providing good company at the crease to start to build a partnership, but we continued to lose wickets at bad times. With Richmonds solid selection of bowlers, it was difficult to start and with the rate pushing up, it needed some more partnerships. With a middle order that scored 16, 25, 31, 24 and 19, you can see the issue that we had in chasing the target. With the rate up at 7’s it was time to try and put more pressure on to Richmond, but it always seemed a stretch with most the fielders cutting off the boundary option.
Eventually we succumbed in penultimate over, 35 short - scoring 182. After the game though, sprits were still high and I think the troops took on board what needs to be improved moving forward. We go again next week, with the hope that Juan Pablo will avoid ruining Glaspers morning, but I don’t believe he holds much hope!
Asta La Vista Baby!