Is Bude the loveliest ground on which we play? On the cliff-tops, overlooking the sea, with the constant narrative of small children either drowned or having lost their mother drifting up from the lifeguards on the beach. It had been a rain-affected tour, but a certain sunniness, in the weather and our disposition, saw us arrive to take on the might of the North Cornwall side. Bude won the toss and sent us out into the field.
Their openers got them off to a flying start, and 57 runs were on the board before the first wicket fell (Purcell going with a marvellous yorker by Jimmy Ton). Their other opener - Hockin - was hitting the ball with such force that the order went out to evacuate all non-essential Mystic personnel down to the beach. Chris Healey's strategy of attempting to get him caught on the boundary proved expensive, although it did lead to the spectacular sight of Dunc falling over the fence attempting to catch the ball as it sailed overhead. The hundred came up with a 4, with the next ball being hit through Matt's legs to the boundary. Hockin's end came (at 132 including seven 6s) with a truly spectacular catch by Dunc off Pete. Most of the other Bude batsmen contributed in some way, although the Mystics did manage to get all eight wickets (all they had available) albeit against a rather intimidating total of 226. Perhaps not our best day in the field, although the chances not taken (a caught and bowled by Jim, a stumping by Sid) were extremely difficult. It should be noted, however, that Pete finished with 3 for 14 off 4 and 3 catches to take most of the Mystic points on offer. Places were swapped, and Adi and Sam opened for the Mystics. A brisk run-rate was kept up, Adi's wicket falling in the seventh over with the score at 40. Sid came and went, with Sam following shortly thereafter. With 53 runs on the board, 3 wickets and 11 overs down, the gathering storm was enough to force the end of the game. We had been going along at about 5 an over; when stumps were pulled we needed almost 6. Would we have made it? Probably not, although Churchill's volume The Gathering Storm is followed by Their Finest Hour. That is, however, unaccountably about the Second World War rather than great hypothetical endings of cricket matches.