Report by Daniel Mortlock:
We dominated the first halves of both innings against the Woozlers today which, given that we ended up losing fairly comfortably, suggests that we rather stuffed up the second halves. It kind of felt a bit like being 1-0 with 20 minutes to go in the World Cup semi-final . . .
Having won the toss and heeded Matt Samson's and Seth Aycock's pleas to bat first (on the grounds that it, apparently, is better for the bowlers), they at least made good on their implicit promises, hitting 50* retired (off 39 balls) and 27 off 31 balls, respectively. With good support from number 3 Kanwar Singh (26 off 18 balls) we were sitting pretty 111/1 off 14 overs, apparently good to make 160+. But then everything went wrong - please don't blame Nelson - and we gifted one of the Woozlers' change bowlers an absurd five-for when our entire middle order contrived to get caught off his bowling (although Ev Fox and Andrew Granville were rather unfortunate, as they were both dismissed off high full tosses that could easily have been called as no balls). The result was that we finished up on a less than impressive 136/7, which didn't feel like enough in the conditions.
Still, we put our batting disasters aside and started very well with the decidedly old ball - after an innings being bashed around the tinder dry Fitz outfield it looked like it had been chewed on by the adorable labrador that one of the Woozlers had brought along to the ground. Daniel Mortlock (1/8 off 2 overs in his first spell), Adam Long (1/14 off 3 overs in his first spell) and Seth Aycock (0/14 off his first 3 overs) gave nothing away and generated plenty of chances, and we were pretty sharp in the field, the highlight being Ev Fox taking a thin edgee while standing up to Adam. Meanwhile, the incumbent Woozlers batsmen seemed to be stuck in their own different ways, one surviving thanks only to a succession of inside edges that just missed leg stump, and the other on 2* off 8 balls of tentative dead-batting. After 9 overs the score was just 42/2, and suddenly our total wasn't looking so bad: scoring 95 off 66 balls was far from impossible, but wasn't looking particularly likely, either.
We then had one nightmare over where everything went wrong: the previously more inhibited of the two batsmen was gifted a half tracker which brought him to life, as he hit 7 of his next 10 balls to the boundary; a bobble off Fitz's now very bumpy outfield saw a one turn into a four; and the one good ball of the over defeated not only the batsman, but also the 'keeper, scooting away for four byes. After those horrible few minutes the requirement became 71 off 60, and we never really got a look in after that. Amit Kumar (1/14) got a pyrrhic wicket when James Crozier held onto a nice running catch at long-on, but it was no surprise that the winning runs came in the penultimate over.
About the only consolation (other than playing with the above-mentioned dog), was that the game finished sufficiently early that it was still warm enough outside to enjoy drinking beer and watching a glorious nuclear sunset ease its way into night.