by Nick "This really needs to be good considering I'm a part time writer) Driver
Black clouds encircled Cricket Hill as the players arrived for Saturday's Division Two match. Courtney "Dark Skies" Mills paced the wicket dishing out forlorn warnings of the impending apocalypse which fortunately never arrived although the covers did their best rendition of the cha cha slide across the wicket before play. The opposition skipper won the toss and put us into bat on a surface which resembled Ambrosia Rice Pudding rather than a cricket wicket. Up stepped Jim "How many sixes did Butler get" Paulett and Nick "I'll pretend to stock the bar for three hours to knock off a working fee" Driver to open the batting. Expecting some rapid fire bowling we were treated to exactly the opposite and were completely bamboozled although Wides put in an early dash for top run scorer and allowed us to cruise along nicely for a while. We mosied on up to 45 before Driver followed the wicketkeepers instruction and spooned it up to cover for 18. Courtenay "Spacky Backy" Mills soon arrived then departed following a crushing six and was followed swiftly by Soumitra "Safe Hands" Joshi and we looked in trouble. Leighton "If you keep putting it there, I'll keep hitting it there" Jones then joined Jim at the crease and the two began to press on, building a solid partnership in the process which gave us a total to bowl at. A very sturdy Captain's innings was brought to an end when caught behind which led to a minor collapse. Dylan "My Dad's Tesco's finest bat grip replacement service" Campbell joined Leighton as the latter brought up his rambunctious 50 and swiftly departed. Billy "Jim dropped my catch!" Saunders joined Dylan and both departed after finding a boundary or two. Harshad "Line and Length" Deshmukh then followed those two bowled as Dave "Cock Before Wicket" Bowen went the very next ball in that very fashion. Progress "Fantastic Five" Karamba and Robin "Jimmy Anderson" Paulett put on a fight at the end before Progress was caught behind.
Tea then ensued, some solid sandwiches and brownies but there was a murmur of discontent followed by a cry of "lack of crisps" from the peasants located at the bar. A solid 6.5.
The rain threatened but never really arrived as Jim described it on Play Cricket and Oakwood Hill took to the crease. Bodger and Badger, sorry Dylan and Robin opened the bowling attack and it didn't take long for Robin "Jimmy Anderson" Paulett to strike with two in one over. The first was carted straight at Nick "Prime Euro '92 Peter Schmeichel" Driver who once again delivered a diving two handed pluck when he could have stepped to his side and taken it... This brought Oakwood Hill's captain to the crease who departed a few balls later when the Robin Reliant had him plum LBW. Progress and Harshad joined the attack as batsmen 1 & 4 started to get into gear and they swiftly put a stop to that. The opener went down first as he chipped one up to Soumitra at Mid Off from Progress before the collapse began. Harshad then got amongst it as the danger man hoicked one behind his shoulder to Progress who took the catch, fired up the engines and took off like a Cessena in 50mph crosswinds over the Scottish Highlands. Their number Six then came in giving it some before Progress skittled through him and his young accomplice. The next two went quickly, caught to Dylan and Soumitra off Progress and the Lions encircled their prey. It wasn't to be a satisfying meal for the predators as the remaining Lumberjacks decided to jump off the cliff and get themselves run out.
Excellent performance all round from everyone, there's a tough choice for Jim coming up ahead of Brockham regarding the team with plenty more available. We batted stoically and bowled/fielded with panache so that needs to continue into next week!
Oakwood Hill CC - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to field