Waking up on a dark, damp and bleak Saturday morning, the thought of playing cricket was almost unthinkable. It would be a miracle if the DSG was in a fit state for play they said!! Well, John wasn’t going to let a few spots of rain spoil our day, the sadist was determined to make us toil in the Arctic conditions. Looking at the strip, it looked more like a mid-July wicket, it was dry, save for a patch of ‘pudding’ just short of a length (more about that later!)
The toss was won by The Plough and Freddie had no hesitation in sticking them in! Having panel umpires filled us with confidence and we were all relieved that the word ‘cheat’ would be avoided. Bolsh and Spence opened the bowling and immediately found movement both in the air and off the pitch. Bolsh started the season just as he finished the last, taking two quick wickets with Spence adding a third. We had ’em three down in no time and were on a roll. On came the better Lonsdale and Grayzer and all hell broke loose. Grayzer immediately found prodigious movement and in the blink of an eye he had two in two and found himself on a hat-trick. The entire Ploughmans fielding contingent found themselves crabbing ever closer to the batsman willing this to be Grazers defining moment. He stood at the top of his mark, chest puffed out, team mates willing him on. He ran up, got into his delivery stride, flung the ball down towards the unsuspecting batsman – WIDE, was the call from the umpire. The sense of anti-climax was unbearable. Not to be outdone, Grayzer gathered his thoughts, re-set the guidance system and next ball had his man with another vicious swinging delivery. Three wickets in four balls really did change the course of the match. Sutton Challengers’ final three batsman showed some real fight and took it to us, scoring another hundred odd runs to post a respectable 178 all out.
Our turn to bat and out strode Barraz and the evergreen Britto. Sutton possessed a very skilful and nippy opening bowler who soon had us four down in next to no time, seemingly hitting that ‘patch’ of moisture at will, causing the ball to seam. Britto, through some gutsy batting and application held the innings together and the lower-middle order batted around him to get us within striking distance. With 70 still required Bolsh and Britto took it upon themselves to see us home and both batted aggressively to get us over the line. Special mention to Steven Britto who played an unbelievable knock of 87*. A really enjoyable end to an excellent first league outing of the season.