The Gladdies did a pretty good job week one in setting a total to defend. The toss was avoided by agreement, with the Wood Ducks happy to field (weird). The ground was very wet, and the openers did an excellent job of keeping the ball on the ground and making it fairly difficult to use. Winnos got a tough LBW early, but then Kunal came in and absolutely crunched 44 in about 10 overs, absolutely punishing anything on his pads. Dan also scored pretty briskly before falling to a ridiculous one handed caught and bowled. I was pretty sure only Marty was allowed to take those, but whatever.
Brendan then did an excellent job with Lach to keep building a platform for a hit at the end. We got to the second drinks break still only three down, but with a little more to do to set an imposing total on the always small MP4. We were still only 181 with 9 to go, but the next 8 overs went very well. Sixes were hit, (mostly) excellent running continued, and Hirak’s eventual run out very much got the biggest cheer of the day… largely because he’d already completed the single that finally broke a five year hoodoo for the Gladdies. Finally, our most recent 100 is actually one to fondly remember, as Lach cashed in on a day he was seeing them very well, finishing on 103* with 9 4s, 4 6s and plenty of hard running. When Fossil denied us a final over because it had ticked over to 12:30, we were 7 for 251 off 49 overs. Not unbeatable, but with a little more rain during the week, certainly very defendable. Depending on how much of a prick I want to be next week, I can probably also insist on us only bowling 48 overs, as compensation for missing out on our 50th, but we’ll see.
Somehow, despite all our best efforts, the Gladdies managed to win in week two. We started hard with only 10 players, and the Wood Ducks showed how to bat on MP4, scoring 63 off the first 11 overs. Fortunately, we had Rookie, who managed to blast out 3 wickets before he had to leave.
Jamie got the prize wicket of their barnstorming opener with his first ball, sending Wood Ducks into a bit of paralysis. They weren’t scoring runs, but we sure weren’t taking wickets, and, over the course of the day, gave them at least a dozen wickets from dropped chances and missed run outs, plus plenty of freebie runs. But at 4/116 off 28 overs, they’d left themselves a mountain of a task. They slowly started ramping up, and the rain came and went, leaving a soaked outfield which helped and hindered both sides. At 7/167 in the 35th, things looked pretty good for us, only for their number 9 to come out and play a hell of an innings. He got them to 7/224 with 8 to go, and it was looking a lot like a Life Member’s Shield end to the season. But cometh the hour, cometh the hype man, and Jamie knocked over their two danger men, the last wicket a ridiculous two attempt grab from Dan on the boundary, unbelievably putting us home with just 6 runs to spare. Crazy.