For those that bother to check the weather, watch the forecasts or use their phone apps, this match report (or bit of a match report) is for you.
The amateur forecasters predicted a “great July and August” with the BBC not sure which country it appeared to be forecasting for! Your reporter had seen seven different forecasts in the preceding three days. Players sauntered to Hunter Park expecting a shower or two but hoping for a full game. Mike McKenzie’s phone clearly showed showers between 2pm and 4pm, corroborated by Bancey’s steam driven telephonic communicator, which also told the same story (eventually). However Reidy’s phone appeared to show a forecast for that bumper summer in 1976 (only a few players at the club will remember that one) with no rain until October.
Paine senior had been promoted to senior selector and had forgotten that a cricket team consists of 11, with only 10 picked. Frantic phone calls to various quarters of the UK (including from France as Moreland had to step in to retain order) resulted in a team of twelve, ten minutes later. Paine promptly savagely sacked as senior selector by Michael Gove just before the game commenced.
Mike McKenzie was installed as skipper after the shock Brexit result, which saw Moreland disappearing on holiday for two weeks, apparently the youth has no say in both club and country, read on. McKenzie appears to have adopted the younger supremos toss-up approach by spending many minutes discussing cloud iridescence or something similarly meaningful. However, skip was clear, win toss, bat. Toss indeed was won.
Ducker and Umpire Bance sauntered to the pavilion at a shoddy 1.45pm with Colin Hutton, Otterbourne’s umpire also appearing, clearly bored at home what with Otterbourne’s game being called off last Wednesday due to water logging at the Waterworks ground…
An arm around the shoulder of Jon Bance from McKenzie created one of those “uh-oh” moments, Bancey knowing he was to be sacrificed and would be opening again. Westy was to be senior partner. First over was interesting with the wicket very flat but damp with the water table just a few millimetres under the surface, Bancey escaping a short pitched delivery from the tall opening bowler from Odiham, clothing it just out of reach of the even younger Odiham wicketkeeper.
Kev West was then “covered” in mud by delivery’s pitching and taking huge divots out of the surface. Westy should be used to divots, his golf game seemingly hitting the skids over the last few weeks. A decent first over with the quickish opener extracting some life. The other Odiham bowler unfortunately did not have the pace or had not learnt from the other bowler and was carted for 2 fours and a six by Bance. However in over 4, West was caught behind, when his feet decided that they were a little wet and cold to bother to move, the wicket keeper snaffling a low catch. Thirty seconds later the game was done and dusted (or muddied), when a huge shower decided to come calling to Hunter Park, when I say done…
Fielders, batsmen and umpires legged it off before being struck by lightning and for the next twenty minutes watched from the pavilion as rain fell on an already soft Twyford wicket.
At 3pm, the captains and John Paine, acting as “head of pitch rolling” inspected and shook hands, game abandoned. The younger fraternity of both clubs scratched their heads, clearly not noticing the next band of “summer weather” queuing up to the west. Claims of both this cricket match and our country’s future being ruined by the “olds” were thrown around the changing room with Reidy and Ducker two clearly not happy. The tall Odiham fast bowler was also unhappy and felt we should have been out there playing.
Ground put to bed once a fuming Senior Paine had castigated the younger Paine for messing the ropes up, we ventured for a quick pint in the Phoenix, not a second after making into the car park the heavens opened with a deluge of water flooding the local vicinity.
Moral of this story, always keep your head up and look to the horizon.
Twyford 22-1 (Bance 19 not out)