So on to Denbury, and a game much like last year’s. Despite all our pre-match protestations and their promises, Denbury still don’t seem to have cottoned on to what we’re about. Bob only knows what would have happened if we’d fielded first.
Fortunately I won the toss and chose to bat, and although we tried our best we quickly came unstuck. Much rested on our opening partnership, and unfortunately Karl was pinned down and eventually bowled while trying to get off the mark. We were the only two experienced batters in the top order: Chris Allen and Ryan Barrow (becoming the youngest Cavalier at the age of 13) were also dismissed without scoring, while Malcolm Bradbury – making his first appearance since our win at Ipplepen – was unlucky to be dismissed for 1. Ultimately Meds and I were the only two to make double figures against a ruthless fielding side as we were bowled out for 47.
We got off to a good start in the field, with Chris and I opening the bowling and both taking early wickets, but the guy who scored a hundred against us last year and the guy who they said ‘you could bowl at him all day and never get him out’ were just too good for us and easily got to our total. Denbury won the game easily and by eight wickets.
At the toss, we had agreed that we’d field on for a bit in order to give their lads a bit of batting practice. We had assumed that this would mean that the big boys would gracefully retire and give a go to some of the young lads who were lurking around all padded up. Sadly not: the two batsman who were in just carried on in a glorified outdoor net, and when we realised they were just going to bat on and on we quickly lost enthusiasm for the whole idea. When we found out the plan was to take tea at the end of their allotted 36 overs – they were 200+ up with 16 overs left and I was in danger of permanently losing half the team – I had to step in and tell the umpire we’d pretty much had enough. Two overs later and that was that, and we wouldn’t have gone out for another innings even if the Swedish Naturist Ladies XI had been fielding with a particularly buxom blonde opening the bowling.
Fortunately the tea was excellent, as last year, and Denbury are a good bunch of lads with some really talented players – and the village has one of the finest post-match pubs on the circuit. It’s just a shame we don’t seem to be able to get a game there at anything near our level.