UK mini tour 29/30 June 2002
Good Times, Bad Times (Jagger/Richards)
There've been good times
There've been bad times
I have my share of hard times too
L_R: Steve, Clarkster, James, Bushy, Tinker, el Director, Alex Paul, Capn, New Dom, Dr Dustman
I was musing on Sir Mick’s lyrics as the Kiwi Ringer and I tooled up the rainy M4 in the gathering twilight after the tour. (Is this really what summer is supposed to be like?). He sagely informed me that you got to “think positive” and that although I had turned in a worst ever personal bowling performance (and incidentally the 7th worst ever for the team) and dropped two catches I had still been part of a 50 partnership (well yes but Andy Bush had got 40 of them) and we had won a game (yes, but I didn’t bat and didn’t get a wicket.) Anyhow, the conversation them moved on to how to kill, skin, gut and cook a roe deer, for which I was most grateful as it made me happy I wasn’t born Bambi in NZ. But I digress.
The eager tour party turned up in Malvern in bright sun for a latish start on the lovely pitch at the Downs Prep School (we had to wait for school sports day to finish) and we pretty much cantered to a win. Nice bowling from everyone except me and snappy fielding (ditto) saw us in a strong position at changeover. Lovely batting from New Dom and James the Kiwi ringer and master butcher saw us pretty much cruise to a win . That said, and aside from your Editors low points, a tiny dark cloud entered our sky as our beloved Captain, was not a little perturbed I think, to get his second golden IN A ROW.
So, it was off to the Scouts Barbeque, then back to the Malvern Hills Hotel for mucho beero and assorted pub games (ably led by the young Bush himself. 4’s and 6’s (a version of Fizz Buzz), Thumbmaster, Bunnies, a hand banging game and famous people were amongst the many treats in store.
Sunday dawned a little cloudy as we set off the to the Plough at Crudwell to watch Oliver Kahn: Goalkeeper of the Tournament let a couple of soft ones in as Brazil whacked the Germans. The clouds were gathering as we made it to the pitch where it was, in no particular order, sloping up and down, sloping across, drizzling and blowing a bit of gale. Our bowlers did pretty well in containing Crudwell, until, and I have to say, with no other choice open to him, the Captain put Paul and I on. Now I can’t speak for Paul (who turned in the clubs 13th ever worst performance, paling into insignificance alongside my 7th worst,) but their guy who got the 100 seemed to have the measure of us. And not in a metric kind of a does that suit you sir way either.
So as we trooped off for tea at 202 it all looked bleak. And then it pissed down. Anyhow, credit where credit is due and New Dom rounded off a good weekend with a great 35 and we mooched on in the gloom and rain to 110 or so for 7. The Captain, was I am very sure, a happy person not to get a trio of Golden’s . And it was left to Bushy, with nothing to loose and (truthfully nothing to gain either) to hit 40 runs of just 4.4 overs to see us end up with a respectable score.
And with that it was back to the smoke…
And now some thanks: Two really nice teams and lovely grounds – it’s really fabulous how people put themselves out to welcome strange teams like us on tour and make loads of arrangements and just be generally incredibly hospitable and welcoming. And thanks also to Melissa, Angie and Julie for putting up with the sheer stultifying boredom of watching us play cricket, and finally thanks to Isabel and Martha for their loyal support, even if they didn’t have much say in the matter.
Me, I’m going to start looking on the bright side, or I will when the Prozac kicks in.