*** RETRO POST *** After the rain of last weekend, finally we got our cricket season underway. Surprisingly, I was in the 1st XI - playing at home vs Swindon.
Normally, most people would be over the moon to play for their club's 1st XI - however there has been a culture over recent years at the club where players are picked purely to field (fill-in / dentists)... The 1st XI captain did ring me earlier in the week telling me that I would be filling this role - batting 6 and fielding (instead of keeping).
Was I happy with this? Not really - if I'm being honest. But as a clubman, you play where you are picked, no man is bigger than the club... I know I am more than capable of keeping in the 1st XI (batting 6 I could live with) - but at he end of the day, I'm not that good so that I can waltz into a team and play where I want... you've got to start somewhere...
With no overseas and a lot of the old guard 'retired', we have a very young (and inexperienced 1st XI) - This year will be a struggle, but with the same respect - this is something the club needs, a team of youth (and not a team of premo-s)
With the rain that had been falling in the Midlands over the week, a broken outfield mower, the ground was wet, with long grass and clumps of grass cuttings everywhere. The deck looked dry but like any April wicket... No bounce was expected.
We lost the toss and were inserted to bat... I think the innings were summed up by the 4th ball of the 1st over - where Carl, 1st Team captain, smashed a full toss and it just stuck in the ground, one bounce from the rope. We lost a few early wickets and the score was 30-4. Myself and Chris Pickering then began the rebuild. We got to 90 before Chris got out... I got to 25 before getting bowled in the 40th trying to accelerate.
Unfortunately, the tail didn't wag as much as we hoped and we finished our innings 138 all out.
As the ground/pitch got drier through the day, we could tell that this score wouldn't be enough - with the same respect... A few wickets upfront... Swindon weren't batting very deep so anything would be possible.
We started the second innings positively picking up a couple of wickets... However, our bowlers weren't as consistent as Swindon’s.. too many bad balls, which were put away and we lost the game 35 overs in.
It was a good learning experience, but (with no respect to Swindon), there are much more harder opposition to come, so the real test lies there.