So my Invitational 11; my match report to write, seems only fair, especially when you consider that this would have been my 100th game for the Cavaliers, and I’ve never before contributed to this most worthy of websites.
It all started when my lovely wife Jenny, asked me what I wanted to do for my 40th. My birthday is technically still in British summer time, and so, my mind turned, quite naturally, to cricket. I suggested a match between my friends and the Cavaliers might be fun; she agreed and instantly volunteered the services of her family as caterers and as my key ringers.
J.M.Barrie (of Peter Pan fame) had these words to say on selecting his own cricket team:
With regard to the married men, it was because I liked their wives, and with regard to the single men, it was for the oddity of their personal appearance.
To a casual observer, this may have looked to have been the case with my team, but I had in fact selected them by the simple expedient of inviting everyone I could think of (at least 30) promising them all a game and then hoping like hell that 11 turned up on the day.
As it was I needn’t have worried, we had exactly the right amount of players and supporters to cover all our bases (or wickets). It was, as it turned out pretty much a Cavaliers vs Cavaliers match, with only 3 of my players not having played for the CCCC before. Credit at this point should also be given to the British summer which lasted heroically till the 7th of September and gave us a day of brilliant sunshine; perfect cricket weather. I slapped on some of Jake’s sun cream.
Lasting heroically at the crease is not a traditional Cavalier trait, so Rich and I had agreed the previous week that his more experienced team of complete amateurs should have the task of setting a target, and that both teams should be allowed 2 hours to bat, each side of a sizable tea time feast. We went to the middle, scuffed around the pitch a little and for form’s sake flipped a coin. I believe I won [NB I dispute this. Skip], and elected to have a field.
Jules and Rich have been the standout batsmen for the Cavaliers this season, and when they came out as the opening pair I was just hoping to keep them contained. My brother in law, Cavalier legend and opening bowler Chris Hubbard did a great job of this, bowling fast and straight, and conceding just 21 runs off his 7 overs – almost decapitating the skip with one ball, then nearly getting him out c&b the next.