The Plough Sunday XI gathered in Uxbridge on a beautiful, late summer’s day to take on RUISLIP VICTORIA CC in a game which, once again, saw us fall short in the batting department.
Steve won the toss and elected to bat on what appeared to be a very nice looking track. Of the top order, Niraj and Silva both looked good at the crease for a short while, but the former chopped on for nought, and the latter was beaten by an absolute jaffa when on 11; Nigel managed to burn the cable tie off Steve?s visor just in time for the skipper to go out to bat (ask Carson…) but the damage was done, the normally immaculate Britto plumage was ruffled, and he was soon back in the hutch too.
Lockhart also failed to trouble the scorers yet again, and of the top 5 it was only Lonnen (who opened) that got his head down to produce a decent knock of 38.
Despite the trauma of having had his brand new Ray Bans ‘cable-tied’, Noodle also hit a decent 25, together with Spence who batted well for his 30, 20 of which was scored in boundaries – surely the Plough?s only plausible response to Errol Flynn shouldn’t be a number 11..?
After the final wicket fell at 122, the Pluff repaired for a middling tea in which most of the major food groups were represented, but which sadly lacked the culinary x factor (6.5).
With sandwiches, tea, cakes and team fags on-board, the second act saw the Plough take to the field with the old ball (it was a 1 ball game at the request of Ruislip) and Spence’s opening spell didn’t therefore quite have his usual zip – but it was tidy nonetheless, and he was extremely unlucky with an LBW shout which would have been given 9 times out of 10.
At the other end, Ajit (1 for 15 from 4) took full advantage the old ball and scuffed crease to produce some lovely deliveries, trapping one of their openers LB after he?d made just a couple, and for a brief moment a comeback seemed on the cards.
Ridgway, Silva and Lonnen all bowled straight enough, the latter off a new style 5 pace run-in, and Uncle bowled tidily as usual (9 runs off 3), but the breakthroughs refused to come. The Padre lobbed down a few overs at the death, and his first ball was absolutely perfect, but unfortunately it soon became apparent that his performance had peaked a little early!
Spence threw down the stumps for a genuinely brilliant turn and throw run out in the last few overs of the game, but in the end Ruislip picked off the runs with just a couple down.
Batting wise, the oppo’ looked pretty well set, breezily playing through the line with the confidence that comes from having a home track that you know will play consistently. On a serious note, this sort of pitch does allow you a bit more freedom if you can get yourself set as a batter, so it’s a crying shame that only one or two actually did. Oh, what might have been!
Britto skippered as adroitly as you’d expect, keeping the bowling changes ticking along and filling holes in the field as and when they appeared, but it was always going to be a difficult shout. In mitigation, it should be said that the oppo’ had a pretty solid line-up, most of whom also play for their Middlesex league outfit.
So, all told, a slight anti-climax after Saturday’s happy carnival of cricket and mateship, but there were some plucky individual efforts, the game was played in a good spirit, and was followed by a nice pint with the oppo? at the Red Lion after the game. And the weather was glorious.
And if that weather can hold, then are still a couple more weekends of cricket on offer before we head into autumnal gloom, so let?s make the most of it. Plough on, my friends!