“…and as I survey the land ‘pon which battle came to pass, I lament all occasions oft-rued in which victory swung from ours to others. My hands, turgid and blackened from challenges foreign and endeavours in vain, cry in silence. An army defeated, a cause lost and a heart sunken; if only I’d have caught that sodding daddy batsman…”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 8th June, 1821
I really ache today and that’s how hard all the team tried. No one can fault the effort from any of the players yesterday and there were some fantastic performances, most notably from Ayush, Ash, Mike, Nick and Adam. However it wasn’t to be.
Posting 200 is a great reward from some clever, mindful batting. Progress was steady at first and after Bell was bowled early on, Mike and Ash formed a superb partnership, Mike settling into some big shots and Ash finding gaps and running well. When Mike raised his bat for 50, it was well deserved and Ash was unlucky not to get a maiden 50 for the team as well. Dan and Adam both scored some quick runs and with a few of overs left, Sam, ET and I got the score up to 200. This provided a great platform and a good score to defend. Special thanks too to Nick who single-handedly scored and operated the scoreboard with little assistance.
This started well with Ayush and Ro keeping the run rate down and also taking a couple of wickets, one of which offered a glimpse of test match cricket with an edge to slips being pouched in superb fashion by Adam. Given the heat, I rotated the bowling every four overs and next on was Nick and ET. Unfortunately it was here that we failed to capitalise on some great chances to take the wicket of their ‘daddy batsman’, who would end up winning the game for Botany Bay with a huge ton. As we continued to toil, I got a bit of tap and any chances created didn’t stick. As Nick, Ro, Ayush and ET all came back for second spells, we probably spurned 6 or 7 chances, some very tough, some a little easier. You really have to feel for Nick who, on any other given day, would have come away with a handful of wickets. Ayush was very tight and grabbed a third wicket, Sam took a quick wicket in his two overs and all in all, we bowled well. The ground fielding was sharp with some decent stops saving the team many runs.
So the difference? Well, sometimes they stick and we win (exactly the scenario the week before) and sometimes, they don’t. When they don’t, it’s tough. No one deliberately drops a catch and when a couple flew through the air at pace, it’s always a tough ask. Another time, one sticks and we spend the rest of the evening celebrating the win.
However, it was a great show for the fans and despite the blatant untruths of the free bar, I hope everyone enjoyed the game, whether playing or spectating. I’m disappointed with the result, but effort was unquestionable and it’s the closeness of such games that get the adrenalin coursing round the body. Well played lads and thanks again to the hospitality of our friends at Botany Bay Cricket Club, always a pleasure to visit.