Being relatively new to the Plough, it’s difficult to describe the feeling of arriving at the DSG on a Sunday morning. On this particular Sunday, however, it can only be described as pure ecstasy. White shirts, far and beyond. The first sunlight of the day, searching for a break in the clouds, burst through with such fury that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The big man upstairs, however, had other plans. The drizzle began to fall down upon us and one wondered whether we would make it onto the wicket at all. When at such an uncertain crossroad, there is only one choice. To Plough On.
When our oppo arrived, we were struck by how youthful they all looked, and a certain Nigel Stephenson was concerned with how he would fair against such whippersnappers. He needn’t have worried. Losing the toss, with the noble Battersea Ironsides electing to bowl, it was down to our openers, the extraordinarily tall and really quite ugly, Tom Lane and the stalwart James Sully, to see if experience really would prevail.
Our fears were quickly put to rest with the boys putting together quite the wagon wheel. Sully’s strike rate, in particular, was rather impressive, and young Tom Lane hit three 4’s and two 6’s in quick succession which prompted Iskandar to text saying “I am never going to live this down”.
The boys put together a frightening partnership, with Sully hitting a whopping 81 runs off 52 balls, which was brought to an untimely close by a frankly, irritating ball. One that can only be described as a wild Hollies-tumbleweed; rolling, and rolling onto the stumps to send the big man packing. In comes Bharat, looking steady as he plays himself in. Tom Lane on the other hand was looking very comfortable, until… BANG…a fine hit, but safe hands from Battersea meant that this was the end for the slender man. 52 from 48. A noble effort. Time for Leon to step in.
Bharat was unlucky not to score more runs, as shortly after his boundary, he was beaten by the soft hands of Battersea. With Suri stepping up to join Leon at the crease, the men put together a tidy partnership, before Leon found himself bowled, putting an end to a solid innings of 36 from 39. Time for myself to step up. I met Suri out in the field and pressed my ears in to receive some sound advice, that was almost certain to be immediately ignored. “Straight bat. He’s looking dangerous”. Suri was correct. I swung wildly, missed, and found myself walking back muttering something about cricket being a stupid game.
Suri went on to score an honorable half-century totaling 53. Our skipper, Grant, came in to make 13, with debutant Rahul not out on 7 and Holli Lonsdale (he’s had to change his name since I joined), not out on 3. With a huge total of 273, we were feeling confident. After a scrumptious tea of ham or cheese, we hit the field.
Our bowling attack started with immediate ferocity as Matt “Space” Hopper and Holli Lonsdale fired up. Both were unlucky not to pick up any wickets, with tidy economies of 3.5 apiece. The first wicket fell with a stupendous run out from Lane, which was witnessed by a certain Lady Friend. He puffed out his chest proudly and we continued the onslaught.
Their number 2 looked dangerous, however, a revengeful ball from newcomer Rahul Nair sent him packing, backed up with the magic hands of T-Lane. In comes Nige. Ever calm, he bowls well, taking two in quick succession. Rahul comes back with a spring in his step. The confident man claims another, this time taken safely by Sully. Our dutiful skipper takes to the attack, bowling excellently with the dynamic duo of Holli & Ollie helping him secure another two wickets for the Plough. Bharat & Sully join the fray taking one each. The final over remains. One wicket to get. I step up, bowling three no-balls to start, only to bounce back taking the final wicket on the final ball.
Another victory for Ploughmans CC, winning by a comfortable margin of 71 runs. A stunning day, backed up by many a jug and riotous evening at the bar. A special shoutout must go to Duray Pretorius who put on a sexual performance against Twickenham with (at least) 158 not out.
Stay safe, and Plough On.
Ollie T x