Tuesday, 2 July 2019
Boys' 1st XI cricket v Beaudesert (H)
Boys’ 1st XI v Beaudesert (H) Lost by 62 runs
Beaudesert 168-3 Abberley 106
And so the sun sets on a season in which all the warmth we had been due finally arrived at once. Cakes are baked at lower temperatures.
Beaudesert won the toss and elected to bat. Both their openers passed 50 before a wicket fell, but our bowling and fielding remained resolute, if a bit ruddy-cheeked. One of our bowlers bowled a poor ball first up. “I’ve got such sun-creamy hands!” he explained. Good job he isn’t Australian.
We lost early wickets but both Ed and Miles batted with determination and, during their partnership, anything seemed to be possible. In the event, the last six batsmen made 12 runs between them, and the removal of those two heralded our demise. It has been a feature of our season that no-one has batted long enough to really change the course of a match, something the better batters should be disappointed in. It is no use looking good, smashing the ball around in practice and then surrendering meekly in matches. Well done to Miles and Ed for showing the way on this occasion.
This has been a super group to work with. Several have made good progress and many have to potential to excel at their senior schools. (The current record-holder for the most runs in a season at one of the public schools batted No11 in a prep school team I coached, unless I forced him to bat higher.) Several showed strength of character which will stand them in good stead in much more important contexts than this.
Thus ends a career which started only a few years after the addition of the middle stump to cricket. Rural swains had become irritated by the harmless passage of balls between the two stump wicket, and the smirks of flukey batters. Very occasionally, the ball does still pass through the wicket without dislodging the bails. Once, in a freak South African moment on a day which had been roasting hot and then became quite cold, the middle stump was knocked out of the ground, but the bails remained unmoved, glued together by the melting and resetting of varnish. I hope the cricketers I have worked with get what they deserve in life, and failing that, that they are outrageously lucky.