Plumbing the Depths

Mystics versus Erratics at Gras Lawn, 25th July 1989

The non-appearance of Tony Jones was the first major headache on match day. The strength of the Erratics team was the other: especially Chris Cook and the insidiously talented Jack Neville. Given the weakness of the Mystics bowling, I thought that we should field first. But I'd broken my finger and so Duncan was captain. He won the toss, chose to bat and gave Jack Neville use of the hard new ball. The last ball of Neville's first over leapt off a length - most un-Gras-Lawn-like behaviour - and lobbed, via the shoulder of Duncan's bat, into the slips. Four for one. Adi hit a four and then he went. Ernie stuck around stickily for a while, but Ian Hayter was batting positively. Another horrible lifter from Neville did for Hayter and Ernie perished soon after. Stan and Sid fought bravely and briefly. Sid was lucky - a couple of leg-side flicks barely cleared midwicket - and Stan unlucky - the Cook catch to dismiss him off my dad was breath-taking. The rest fell like nine-pins, leaving Sid high and dry, and unable to take advantage of the third-string bowlers brought on to give us a few much-needed runs. 62 all out was a new low for the Mystics and it was to be ten years before we would plumb these depths.

I ended up fielding despite my broken finger - Nick Howe had to rush back to London for some high-powered legal meeting. Nick's contributions to the day had been a three-ball duck and a 120-quid train ticket. I didn't have to hang around for very long as the Erratics cruised to a six-wicket victory.

Jim Thomson (edited from a diary entry)

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