A promising start to 2019 in week 1, which could have been a bit better, and certainly a hell of a lot worse. Overnight rain left MP4 very wet, and hence the Gladdies elected to bat on what promised to be a hot day. This made early runs difficult to come by, and for as long as the ball stayed dry it was moving quite a lot. It was no surprise we lost early wickets in the conditions, and at 3/17, questions were being asked about whether batting first was really such a good plan after all.
But Gus and Funky came together and rolled back the years, getting the ball wet, slowly blunting the Fine Leg attack and then using the drying outfield to great effect. It still took effort to get boundaries though, and their 100 run stand would have been considerably bigger on most other days. Funky eventually fell for 28, with the Gladdies poised to make further inroads. Unfortunately, Fine Legs had turned to the arch-nemeses of 4th grade batsmen… loopy ‘spin’ bowlers. Wickets then fell pretty regularly, many of them with shots being hit straight in the air, and while we had a few lusty blows towards the end, all out for 168 was probably a little short of what we should have got. To be fair, Fine Legs only got Gus out for a fantastic 71 from an absolute screamer one handed catch, but many of the other wickets we made a little too easy for them. Still, if conditions are anything like yesterday, that is very defendable with a concerted effort week 2.
Week 2 was a lovely day; the perfect setting for Fine Legs to raise money for the Jane McGrath Foundation. They had drinks and a barbie on the sideline and were joined by wives, girlfriends, family and friends, celebrating their friendship and cricket in a great spirit. It was therefore inevitable that the match would end with the Gladdies stabbing their day in the heart by winning by five runs in the 50th and final over of the innings.
Seriously though, it was a pretty great day where the initiative swung pretty wildly between the teams throughout the day. The Gladdies put in almost certainly their most disciplined bowling and fielding display of the season. At 3/32 we looked very good, not so much at 6/129, then home at 8/133 and not so much at 8/159. Nick Thatcher’s return after an extensive layoff was particular welcome, his two six over spells put us in the driver’s seat each time, with 3/18 off 12 pretty awesome figures. Lach, Rob and Soli also bowled very well, and it was the cool performance of Jamie summoned back at the death that got us the last two wickets and the win. Fine Legs were then incredibly gracious and maintained their offer of beers and snags, which we gratefully accepted. A top day all round.