It was all Windy's fault

Mystics versus Erratics at Gras Lawn, 25th July 1992

A great cricket match. The Erratics batted first and (Chris Cook to the fore) made 201 for three. The Mystics started off fairly well in the field, bowling tightly and running about keenly. Ernie dropped John Pearson at slip - a very difficult chance off James Burrows.

Kev came on to bowl down the hill, and he persuaded Pearson to hit one up miles up into the air. I had to turn and run back to take a good catch over my shoulder and was more than a bit pleased with myself when the ball settled into my hands. So pleased was I that I brought myself on to bowl, picking up two wickets, both caught, with the second a particularly good take by Matt Matravers. There, however, the wicket-taking ended. Cook and Richard Maltby kept the scoreboard ticking along at a healthy rate, despite regular changes in the bowling. Gary Lenearth bowled well as did Windy, but the fielding became a bit ragged, and perhaps James Burrows could have been brought back a little earlier.

Windy and Ernie opened the batting under strict instructions: "put on a hundred for the first wicket and one of you needs to get a ton." Ernie let me down, getting out for 41 with the score on just 99. Fortunately for the Mystics, Windy held up his end of the bargain ... at least until the penultimate ball. Nick Howe and Tai-Wai Cheung followed Ernie back to the pavilion in rapid succession, and the run rate at the start of the last 20 overs was a shade under seven.

By now, Sid and Windy were batting well together. On 18, however, Sid found himself the wrong end of a mix-up in calling. Andy Payne stayed with Windy for a while and then missed a straight ball from Chris Cook. Matt Matavers came in and we all realised that it was down to Windy. The pair picked up runs here and there, but we were always a boundary or two short of comfort. They ran an excellent two when Windy saw that the fielders weren't moving towards the ball after he'd turn down a single in order to keep the strike.

Nine were needed off the last over with Windy facing. He scored a four and a two off the first four balls - three needed off two - and then bizarrely took a single. Matt, needing a two to win the match, swatted wildly across a straight ball and was bowled. A draw because Windy was too yellow-bellied to face the last ball. It seems a bit harsh to blame the man who bowled well, was our best fielder and then scored a brilliant not-out century (the first Mystics ton), but life's harsh.

Jim Thomson (edited from a diary entry)

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