Cricket, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, is ``a sport in which two teams of eleven players try to score runs by hitting a small hard leather-covered ball with a bat, and running between two sets of small wooden posts''. In reality it is -- as far as I can tell -- the most effective method of reminding essentially happy, successful people of the futility of their existence.
Tonight's early-starting match against The Globe was a case in point. It began with Paul Jordan (1/31) producing a perfect leg-cutter and Mike Scanlon taking a great catch behind the stumps: 0/1 after one ball. But whilst this was undeniably great cricket, it was also a strategic error, as it brough Remnants enemy number one, Mick Taylor, to the crease.
He went on an 11.7-over rampage, chancing his arm, surviving a handful of dropped catches and finishing up on 117 not out. A lucky knock, to be sure, but also completely remarkable given that the team's whole innings was just 96 balls long; he must have made his runs off about sixty deliveries. All six of our bowlers conceded more than ten an over, and the fielding, as hinted at above, was no better. The few bright spots included Mike Scanlon standing up behind the stumps (and Mick's flashing blade); Geoff Hales taking a great diving catch at mid-on; and John Gull and Nev Fidler giving it all in the outfield where others were a tad reticent.
Our run chase didn't really get started at all, The Globe having an excellent new ball partnership who bowled too well to be scored off at the requisite two-a-ball. That our openers, Nick Clarke (22) and Dave Williams (23), put on 47 runs for the first wicket represented some excellent batting in absolute terms, but in the context of the match we found ourselves in the hopeless position of needing 120 runs off about 50 balls. Tony Malik (29*) got some batting practice and at least ensured we lost by less than a hundred runs, but our final non-internal game of the season petered out a bit pointlessly.
Not that the misery ended with a 77-run loss: Geoff's kit inventory revealed that our two best bats -- black-labelled Hunts County models, in case anyone spots them -- had gone missing since last Wednesday's game against The CB XI. It's possible that they ended up in The CB XI's kit (which would be great if true) but otherwise the only conclusion is that some lowlife has nicked 'em.
Most of us stayed long after the game and drowned our sorrows in Mick Taylor's hard-earned double-jug, but a few of the more disillusioned members of the club fantasised about just what we'd do if we came across some grotty little toe-rag trying to sell one of our bats back to us.