‘So, what do you want to do for your birthday?’
‘Erm… play cricket? Is that ok?’
There’s a sigh and a nod from the long-suffering and newly-
appointed-coerced Club Treasurer who handily doubles as my fiancee. It turns out that Ben at Palm FM can get a side together and Barton is available, so plans are swiftly made and Lainey will be forced to watch me play cricket against her will. Poor lass.
My birthday itself opens with a couple of great presents; a ticket to watch the West Indies play England at Bristol courtesy of my brother and Mum, a subscription to the Wisden Cricketer, a new scorebook. Then there’s the usual cavalcade of last-minute drop-outs, calls to people who might know someone who’s got a mate who’s free, manic organisation of teas. It’s good fun sorting out the last-minute details, but on my birthday I feel like all I should have to do is eat a bacon sandwich and have a cup of tea before leisurely getting to the ground early. Never.
In the days leading up to the game, we wondered what sort of side Palm FM would be putting out. Would it be a team like us? I suspected not after talking to Ben live on the radio, and when I recognised a couple of Barton stalwarts carrying their kit into the away dressing room I realised that this probably wouldn’t be an easy game.
And so it proved, as the top three Palm FM batsmen all retired rather than being dismissed by our bowlers’ efforts. We had some respite in the middle overs with a rush of wickets, Mike’s diving catch the highlight, but in the end we did well to keep them to 164.
Tea was fantastic. I’d promised a good spread and we really delivered, I got a new car stereo from the family, and everyone sang happy birthday (cheers Kev!). We went out to bat in high spirits, partly due to the alcohol we’d consumed at tea.
We collapsed. The ex-Barton bowlers proved too much for us, and when they came off we started getting bowled out by girls. Only James and Charles saved us from total embarrassment as we struggled to 42, and were generously allowed to bat again. We did a little better second time around, as I doubled my score from 1 to 2 and Si made a great 33, but we never looked like catching Palm’s total.
The cricket itself didn’t really matter, fortunately. If losing heavily, taking no wickets and scoring hardly any runs would threaten to ruin my day, I wouldn’t have organised a Cavaliers match. After the match, we raised £110 for Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust with a big whip-round, got seriously drunk and made complete arses of ourselves in a local curry house.
What a day.
|C Hunt||c & b Cahill||0|
|J Hunt||c (?) b Mark||0|
|B Moseby||c Wilcock b Ryder||0|
|O Hunt||run out||22|
|J Park||c Tout b Cahill||2|
|D Cadwallader||not out||18|
|C Brimacombe||c (?) b Cahill||0|
|Extras (11w, 1b, 1lb)||13|
|First Innings||Second Innings|
|How Out||Runs||How Out||Runs|
|Rich Blagden||c B Moseby b Brimicombe||1||b Shelton||2|
|Michael Tout||b Cadwallader||1||Did Not Bat|
|Karl Wilcock||b Cadwallader||1||b Kenny||12|
|Simon Cahill||b Brimicombe||0||b Shelton||33|
|Jonathan Mark||c B Moseby b Hunt||2||c&b Kenny||0|
|Charles Ryder||st D Moseby b C Hunt||11||not out||0|
|Matt Lissenden||b B Moseby||2||run out||2|
|Sam Hollis||c J Hunt b Park||0||st D Moseby b Shelton||4|
|James Ryder||b O Hunt||17||Did Not Bat|
|Total Extras (1nb, 3w, 6b)||10|
|Total||112 all out (twice)|
Palm FM won by 52 runs.↑