What’s the score?
The clouds were scurrying across the sky giving the watery sun the chance to play hide & seek. The breeze was there but not particularly interested in playing. The grass had been cut into that familiar oval shape with a slightly barer strip in the middle & the wickets (sticks with little bits across) stood upright, ready for the challenge that was to come. Somehow, nature had decided years ago, to settle a tree inside the boundary. There it stood, magnificent & imposing, daring the batsmen to attempt a shot past its branches just like its fellow in Kent.
Gradually, men in the white kit of trousers, shirts & boots came out of the club room some with pads on their legs which they banged creating an impression of personal torture. Others stretched, straining their legs, arms & bodies, willing them to be more flexible. Around the outfield the supporters sat with coloured blankets, chairs, flasks & baskets containing all sort of goodies, many a far fetch from the traditional cucumber sandwiches.
The opposition was put into field so we had the first pleasure of a ridiculous slope to conquer. Our bowlers gamely threw their energy behind the ball & the wickets tumbled. Could this be happening? They were an established team, with a village pitch, clubroom, scoreboard, which before long showed:
For those not initiated into cricket these figures mean that 16 runs had been scored from 7 overs (x6 balls) but 6 wickets (people out) had been taken. The intermittent cries, whoops & applause were in contrast to the constant ‘commentating’ from the birds which were as surprised at the action as the humans were. John Arlott would have been amazed.
By the end of their innings (time they were batting) they had scored 42 runs & I was the proudest mum around with DS having bowled a wicket & caught & bowled another poor soul. By this time, some of the children were losing interest & mums were grateful for a small playground close by which gave them the excuse of not having to watch anymore.
The runs were soon made & the game finished, well ahead of time. Tea arrived for the cricketers & as is the tradition, it was agreed that a friendly limited-over match would follow. It may have only been the second game of the season but it gave is all a big smile & high hopes for the games to follow.
Are you a cricketer or a cricket widow? Do you understand this wonderful game?