Sunday morning emerged with 11 cricketers, waking from their slumber to shed the weight of several Saturday evening beverages of all description. By the time 12pm came, the memories of mistakes and spiralling thoughts of embarrassment and inappropriate comments no longer mattered, as the cricket cave men composed themselves and journeyed to the Dulwich Sports Ground. The lush green lawn sat ready for the kiss of red leather and the clatter of stumps, after being prepared by a morning of the beating sun. The weekend had already provided a bounty of success from the Plough greats new and old, and this day was no different.
The Ploughmen strode onto the pitch, ball in hand and ready to take names of the batting opposition. The aforementioned thrills of the previous day were carried through to the second delivery of the day, where Plough debutant Matt Hopper, took his first scalp on only his second delivery. His second come only two balls later which sealed the fate for the day’s competition. A superb opening five from the debutant seeing off 3 of the opposition’s finest batters. From the other end, Gurtaj Singh played a vital role for the opening bowling partnership, which made the view from the covers a pleasure to watch. A hugely welcome addition to the club for both bowlers.
The first and second bowling change brought things into usual proceedings for Chris Silvs and AJ Prasad smashing out a hostile 7 each and both dealing their fair share of dispair for a scrapping middle order. Thoughts were beginning to turn to plan B when Oli Lonsdale managed to break a dangerous middle order partnership with two in two, and a hopeful return to form for the year’s beginning. The innings never got away from the Plough men, who were strong in the field and the catches stuck, especially in the slips with two sharp catches from another debutant Fred Gumpert and a demonstration of how to wear the gloves from Ben Hamilton. The innings cut short through the brilliance of AJ Prasad, spinning his way to a mid game break.
Water was the lunch of choice for several wavering Plough’s, then the Fred Gumpert took to the field, partnered with Ben Hamilton. A strong start from the pair took the innings to a positive 28 without loss, where Hamilton was taken for a promising 10. A flurry from F Gumpert continued the positivity, looking good for his 22 runs returned to the sideline after a successful appeal for LBW. The score of 10 was then matched by Iskander Eaton, who looked balanced and composed for his debut contribution. On marched skipper Adam Barraclough and shortly after debutant Ravi Nathan, whose bats looked doubly wide as the ball was delivered to the boundary comprehensively, much to the dismay of the opposition. An entertaining middle over partnership gave life to the team, even after departing for 31 and 22 respectively. This left 40 runs to win from the final 12, which was calmly seen home with contributions from Max Gumpert, O Lonsdale, C Silvs and finished off by a dominating AJ Prasad cover drive.
A successful day to carry forward a third Plough win for the weekend, and a useful way to bed in several debutant ploughmen. A first taste of cricket in 2020 was definitely the best thing on the menu.