A nice ground, nice pavillion, nice wicket, nice tea, nice opposition, nice cheap beer, nice drive from London. So why did we have to play like shit?
This was the worst performance from BPCC in ages, although a casual perusal of the score-book might lead you to believe that it was a competitive fixture. In fact it was so bad, Malcolm was left in the changing room after the game with a bottle of whisky and a loaded revolver in the hope that he would, for once, do the decent thing.
We won the toss and batted. At Matt Rogers’ insistence, we played a timed game. David Atcherley-Symes bagged a second ball duck, but somehow this was far from being his low point of the day. Lee Keyes then tried to alternately hit the ball out of ground and hit the ball high into the air to land eight feet from where it was struck. Both of these he accomplished with some regularity. Martin tried to keep pace with Lee. Reader, he failed.
Then, of course, Lee got himself out like the prat that he is, and Martin entered “going into his shell” mode. This lasted months. Malcolm came, went, and was last heard of departing for Morocco. David Hughes tried to match Martin lack-of-stroke for lack-of-stroke, and basically succeeded. Medmenham were forced to conjure up some declaration bowling, which lent a veneer of heft to the Cox and Hughes partnership it scarcely deserved. BPCC declared at tea on 173-4 off 43 overs (Cox 88*). There is no truth to the rumour that Malcolm would have instantly declared had Martin looked like reaching three figures.
So far, so average.
Bowling every week on the helpful slope of the South Lawn seems to have engendered a measure of complacency among the BPCC bowlers. Faced with a flat, dull wicket they toiled ineffectually against moderate opposition openers. Nigel exerted some measure of control, but his resolve was understandably tested by bowling a million overs unchanged, then being asked to field deep square leg at both ends. Fielders retreated to unusual positions, sometimes after being asked to go there. Specialist midwicket Matt contrived to push himself even lower down the selection order by dropping two off the captain’s thirty-yard-runup-donkey-drops. Will fielded a ball cleanly on the boundary and then wanged the ball into the tree for a five. David A-S, attempting not to do the same, did something completely indescribable. Lee, predictably, dropped one behind. Even your specialist treasurer-at-slip, condemned to square- and fine-leg by dint of there being some even older and more unfit players, managed to drop a fiendishly spinning dolly, and then took one hard on the ankle for good measure.
The openers put on about one-fifty. We were well and truly gubbed.
This match report was written in excessive pain. I hope it shows.