The second game of the tour ended in a second defeat, though without actually realising it we had got ourselves into quite a good position and the match went down to the final over.
Skipper Chip’s rule of the day was that the batting order would be decided by drawing from a hat, although weirdly only Jonny at 11 was wildly away from where he would normally have been batting. I opened with Karl, who made three before being caught behind. Chalky followed three balls later for another duck and I briefly felt a bit better about my duck the previous day before I was out for three in the same over as Chip was out for seven. this proved to be the story of the innings as Kev and Nick were also out for ducks and nobody got into double figures. We were 37-10 and our innings ‘ended’ at 53-12 with all of tour party apart from Elaine, Freddie and Ed having batted.
The cry of ‘go round again’ had long been uttered and it was a more determined first three that went out to bat second time. First with Si and then with me, Karl made a much better 22. Meanwhile Chalky had found the bar and livened himself up with his ‘standard’ two pints of lager and was in aggressive mood. He hit a couple of fours then launched a trademark giant six over long-on, and from then we decided that we would give him as much strike as we could. I took the singles while he hit out. Sometimes it’s a privilege to be at the other end and when Chalky’s on form you have to admire him. His eye was truly in and he hit six fours and two sixes on his way to his second 50 for the club. A tremendous performance, and we had made 158-15.
Parkend’s reply got off to a slow start as Kev quickly bowled one of their openers, but the man we really needed to get was at the other end. Turley’s first scoring shot of his 70 was a huge six and he held the innings together while we did our best to get wickets at the other end. To the fore was Dave Barlow who produced his best bowling to date for us as he took 2-19 in a great spell only bettered by Si’s 4-30. Karl helped take two of the wickets with well-judged catches while Jonny capped an impressively energetic keeping performance with a stumping.
The odd thing was that we had managed to convince ourselves that Bream were well ahead of the required rate, and we had long moved into ‘give everyone a bowl’ mode when someone shouted to the batsmen that they needed 28 from the last five overs. We’d probably got ourselves into a winning position without realising it (though given our batting that result would have been a travesty). We gave it a good go but Si and I both bowled overs that went for nine each and by the time we got to the last over only two were required for the win. That proved impossible to defend for more than one ball.
Another great game then and fantastic performances from Dave and Si and, most of all, Chalky. We just hoped it wouldn’t be so long before he got his next 50. Little did we know exactly how long it would be.