Round Two

Mystics versus Erratics at Gras Lawn, 31st July 1985

I'd only managed to get a team of nine together for the second outing of what was then just known as Jim Thomson's XI. Dunc and Deke were making their debuts, as were Paddy Screech and Tai-Wai Cheung. The Erratics batted first, and Dunc and Stan opened our attack. John Pearson struggled to five before knocking a caught and bowled back to Dunc. Steve Berry hit a four in one Chave over and was bowled in the next. Stan got one through the defence of the towering Nick Bishop; and then Windy came on and ruined the match. In eight overs of medium-pace left-arm-over inswing, he took six wickets for six runs. And there were some decent scalps among them: Peter Colclough, Kelsey Thomas, Richard Maltby; he even managed to breach David Salter's normally impregnable defences.

Tai Wai and I both got a bowl, but we were supporting acts. It was the Windy Miller show. The Erratics were dismissed for 70 in 30 overs. Dunc opened our batting with Nick Howe, facing the hostility of Berry and the gentle loop of Colclough. Dunc quickly slapped Colclough out of the attack, while Nick did his best to make Berry explode in frustration: anything off-line would be hopelessly flailed at and anything straight would somehow hit the bat.

Nick survived until David Salter was brought on. Having survived every thunderbolt that Berry threw at him, Nick played back to Salter's first lob, so far back that his forcing shot took out his leg stump. Luckily, the moment of impact was caught on camera. Four balls later, Tai-Wai was out. Nick Sales came on, bowling his unthreatening slow stuff. But, in tandem with Salter it was almost enough. Salter bowled Dunc (for 33 out of 41) and Sales had Stan caught (57 for four). When Sid was bowled one run later, we were in a bit of bother. With only nine players, we were effectively 58 for seven. Deke joined Windy and almost got us over the line, but he was stumped off Salter when we were still three runs short of victory. I joined Windy and played forward defensives to everything, waiting for him to score the winning runs. Only Paddy Screech remained: a non-batsman among non-batsmen he may have been, but he was there giving us the crucial psychological crutch that this wasn't a last-wicket partnership. A single off Sales, a single off Salter and the scores were level. And then Windy hit the first ball of Sales's sixth over for four.

Jim Thomson (written 25 years later)

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