...and come crashing back to earth!by Geoff Boycott
So after a rather comfortable first win expectations were high for the second game. But the reality was rather different as the joys of captaincy threw a rather large spanner in the works.
A potted history of the build-up to the game: after Monday's selection a good ten had been picked with only one to find; then Will Street kindly agreed to play and we were good to go. However on the Thursday before the game he was told he had other plans (by whom, and what those plans were, remain a mystery to this day, perhaps reserved for his cricketing memoirs) and texted me to advise me of this. A few texts followed by a Facebook message led to offers from Lucian and Tom Poustie. Tom responded first so got the nod but then pulled out on Saturday morning. Lucian kindly agreed to play so back to eleven. Then a call from Pete H to say Charley had been rushed into hospital the night before and wasn't available. OK now this was getting beyond a joke - someone didn't want us to play with eleven! Fortunately Will Bentley was able to step in and help us out. As I said the joys of captaincy. If only Vince had told me!!!
To add to the increasingly frustrating and stressful day yours truly lost the toss and we were inserted on a damp wicket with very cloudy skies and the prospect of a testing innings. However Naj (who volunteered to open) and the skipper weathered the early storm and despite appearances the wicket was playing pretty true. Naj departed early and this brought Aaron to the crease. He soon set about the bowlers and raced past the captain (no mean feat) to notch up a fifty in no time. Not to be outdone Geoff was soon raising his bat to the massed crowds huddled in the score shed to escape the wind and showery rain. Both were caught trying to keep the run rate up, however the rest of the team managed to take the score up to a very respectable 226 all out, with Chris, Lucian and Tor notching some valuable runs in the process.
So after a delicious and generous tea (which Chris struggled to photograph despite using a wide-angled lens) Exeter went out to defend their total. Which would have been achieved comfortable with the original eleven. However two bowlers missing (including opener Charley) once the four remaining bowlers had been tried and wickets were proving hard to come by, a quick look around the field saw the skipper with a dilemma. In the end Alex 'Pampers' Reddick came on and, not being a regular, struggled especially in the wet, windy conditions. With no other option left Geoff swapped the gloves with Lucian and bowled an over himself, such was the dilemma. However the opposition passed our total with 8 balls remaining. Definitely a question of what might have been.
A disappointing day but through no fault of those who were there (though the fielding could definitely improve). Let's hope getting a team out for the rest of the season is less onerous or Geoff will be institutionalised!