The sky was blue, but unfortunately, PCC was left blue and beleaguered in an epiphany under conditions that could be described as cricket’s version of ‘Hells Kitchen’ over at Morden Cricket Ground (MCG).
The outing to the MCG proved to be an unrelenting groundhog day predicated on half chances in the field, LBWs which went against us in both halves and an asymptotic run chase which ran off the smell of an oily rag and held together with gaffer tape.
Deja vu, the average punter might say, as an all too familiar Sunday shellacking beckoned with edges flying through our slips cordon, skied shots not finding our fielders, 3 stumps difficult to penetrate like the opening of Windsor Castle and to cap off proceedings only 3 of our batsmen making it through to double digit figures
When we needed our recent centurions and half centurions to ply their trade against a lethal bowling attack filled with pace, swing and accuracy but was missing the bravado of one-of-a-kind conquistador in Max Gumpert.
Whilst winning is the quickest way to make a connection with a sport, it is such losses which fuel drive and purpose particularly in the Monday’s ‘post-mortem’ to the 35 overs a side game which required 70 overs of teamwork complemented by individual brilliance to stay the course and stay in the hunt for a win on the road against the formidable force of MCC.
Naturally, frustration and disappointment were the corollaries of the defeat however there was no shortage of conviviality as both camps enjoyed the roll out of the Covid-19 safe solid and liquid refreshments.
No doubt the fountain of £1-a-pop liquid convivial hosed down the loss when the sun was setting in the Surreyesque surroundings of SM4.
Noteworthy heroics and standout performances from the match are as follows:
– Captain courageous Carson with an enterprising and illustrious passage of 7 overs off spin bowling which yielded 5 for 26
– Charismatic Cassin with an entrepreneurial innings of 47 runs which brought back vivid memories of BlackCaps prodigy Brendon McCullum. Additionally, a very penetrative earlier spell of 2 wickets across 7 overs
– Flamboyant and resilient glovework from Parish who was all over any opportunity for stumpings and caught behinds on either side of the wicket
– Hynes with a safe pair of hands in the slips cordon and a solid dozen runs as he was unfortunately dismissed in the covers in the crusade for back:back centuries at one of his favourite turfs which have yielded solid dividends
– Lonnen who set the tone early in our bowling department and fought valiantly to keep his wicket when PCC needed a reliable and steady hand in a tight run chase much like the very recent, well remembered and digitally podcasted contest against Clapham Inn CC when the key themes included putting a price on one’s wicket in times of great need
– Catanzariti with a dazzling bowling spell backed up by a batting cameo filled with flair and purpose when the asking run rate went past 8 an over; Catanzariti brought the Queensland sunshine when the clouds were closing in to rain on the PCC parade
– 14 runs by T-Rex’s and OG Hicko’s beloved and so-called ‘globetrotter express’ which reached the end of the rail line of 2020 not outs courtesy of a controversial LBW decision which dominated teahouse talk for the upcoming hours under the night sky between southerners (‘Silva’,’T-Rex’ and the ‘Warden’) who kept the vibe alive and kicking when the day felt like a candle in the wind
As the night sky set in, the trio in particular floated the possibility of ‘bloke tracker’ hawkeye that has been doing the rounds over lockdown to avoid any sort of doubt when it comes to lbw adjudication against ”the last recognised batsman”.
Dare I say Lockhart’s prized umpire coaching manual may be the 1st item on the Santa Claus list for some looking ahead to the winter recess yearning for the summer of cricket to return.
Synonymous with a marine heatwave sweeping across the Indian Ocean, it was a sorry state of affairs in both batting and bowling departments as PCC toiled all day for a win on the road but walked away with its tails between the legs.
On a side note however, noteworthy comic relief for the next cup of tea/coffee/beer/wine/spirits:
- No PCC scorebook at game
- PCC starting with 8 fielders much to the concern of Carson et al. who were keen as mustard to start proceedings
- Oppo telling Carson he had bowled out his allotted 7 overs, 2 balls into his 8th over
- Bloke fielding for PCC who later realised he was at the wrong game after 1st wicket fell, we thought he was just a subfielder given from the oppo
- The subfielder asking skip if his name was Pradeep which was answered with no, followed by an over or two of everyone asking who is this guy before we sent him on his way
Onwards and upwards to the second half of sunny September.
Yours, in Sunday fun in the sun,