We last won at St Neot when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, Michael Howard was the Leader of the Opposition, and the Cooks could be distinguished from each other at 50 yards. It is true that sometimes the weather has intervened, but an eight year drought of a positive result? Something needed to be done. As an attempt to do it, we put out a team that was four elevenths Chris; five elevenths if you count Jean-Cristophe. The Chairman aside, by no means a bad Mystics side.
Chris Squire was captain for the day. The toss was tossed aside, and we batted. Duncan and Chris Ferro (who was the first of a string of four Chrises batting from 2 to 5) opened. Apart from Duncan, things got up to speed rather quickly. Chris F. took a 2 off the second over, before being caught behind. Duncan played himself in cautiously. Very cautiously. All that caution (which nearly came to nothing when he was dropped in the sixth over) lasted until his 23rd ball faced which was (as they say) 'despatched to the boundary'. The second wicket stand took us up to 39, before Chris H. was bowled by Ham Snr. Captain Chris S. went out and was quickly back in a way all too familiar to the writer of this report. Ham had figures of four overs, three maidens, 2 for 1. A couple of RAF Jaguars flying overhead signalled our final Chris, Jean Luc Picard, who steadied the ship with a number of extravagant leaves. Then, with Duncan finding his fluency at the other end, we were treated to a 100 run partnership. Once Chris was out Sammy was pushed up the order to boost the run-rate, and we finished on 161. Duncan had played some beautiful strokes, some of them dropped in the field, and ended unbeaten at 70 off 102 balls.
Disregarding Olga's strictures on diet, we scoffed delicious cake. Very delicious cake. And sandwiches. Very delicious sandwiches. The most delicious cake and sandwiches.
There was a feeling that we were a few runs too short. Either they would make our total, or we needed to bowl them out; a draw seemed unlikely. Sammy and J-C opened the bowling. The first wicket fell at 10, but after that it was quite hard work. St Neot number 3, Brown, a hefty batsman, scored steadily; he was finally bowled by Pete after a spell of flinging his bat around in an incautious fashion. Neil had no mercy on Ham Jnr. (in this I believe he was following a new policy of Mr Gove) and Sean looked good for a few overs before he looked less good for a few overs. After the fifth wicket went down, we managed to slow the run-rate but the odds were always tipped in favour of the opposition. They passed our total with two wickets to spare. It was a deserved victory; the splendid tea delayed the start of the second innings, which meant they had to do in 33 overs what we did in 41. We might well be looking at Kayla Borley being Prime Minister when a (differently-constituted) Mystics team next triumph at St. Neot.