Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nurdle & Spank

Of all the appendages that homo sapiens has evolved, the medial malleolus is one of the least effective with which to catch a cricket ball. At least it was a unique, innovative method to choose. The hand thing hadn't worked for anyone else, barring the notable exception of Ben Salt's smart return catch and Jeff the keeper, who had gloves.

The day started early, having a chat with a fox up the allotment while harvesting stuff for tea, then DC2 came round to cut up dolphin in my kitchen. The sandwich malarkey was behind schedule when the call came through from the 1st XI to nick one of our players owing to their own deficiencies. We rolled with it and even ended up with jam appreciator and all round top gun Rich Grove to replace and bolster.

Portway's opening batsmen were keen to get on with it after winning the toss, but some tight, unrewarded opening bowling by Mackie, assisted by the other one, limited them to below four an over and happily, a couple of catches stuck. Unfortunately, all this did was to bring better batsmen to the crease. We watched some of the biggest sixes hit at Frenchay and heard the tinkling of glass from the golf driving range and hoped they wouldn't fire back. Some tried reasoning with the batsmen not to hit it quite so far, especially when we were having difficulty finding a replacement ball. They wouldn't even let us continue with a brand new one.

Despite positivity in the field, the Cowboys couldn't rein Portway in. They could induce one of their batsmen to fling his bat to square leg, but you don't get points for that. Just giggles. Dave, Ben, Rich, Grant and Alan all bowled admirably in the face of the onslaught. The short square boundary didn't help and did I mention the dropped catches and the fool who took one on the ankle? Even when the ball was caught and the batsman started to walk, the umpire wasn't sure and the batsman curtailed his homeward hike.

So somewhat daunted then by the prospect of scoring 298 to win. Those nice ladies in the kitchen had done their bit by laying out all the sarnies, veg, dolphin and that. They even had the brew on. Nice one. People were heard to say with their mouths full that it was the best tea of the season. Good to see some friendly faces to support too.

And so to bat. What's this? Who's this? Excuse the novice Cowboy (and scorer for the first twenty overs) but which one's George and which one's Adam? Or is it Alan? No, that's Alan spectating in the Tavern Stand. The one without the hat's just smashed another four. Fifty up. So soon? Crikey! Game on.

After the loss of Adam at the end of a great opening partnership the Cowboys consolidated and pressed on. George, supported by Grant and the early order ended up with a personal best in the eighties, making it all look possible and Jeff, Rich and Ben all tried to keep the hope alive.

It would seem that the ankle bone isn't connected to the batting bone and the No.7 batsman didn't need a runner. After getting off the mark with a six it didn't look like he was in the mood for running at all, but if the run rate was to be kept in sight then the slightly beguiling bowling required a bit of nurdling as well as spanking. Not spooning to the keeper off the back of the bat, although appealing when the batsman was walking was a strange custom, as was the Portway Haka at the fall of each wicket.

Dave and Mackie powered the lower order, the latter hitting his maiden six, followed immediately by another which won a few nominations for the cider moment, but it was unreasonable to expect him to do that every ball, which is what was required of the last couple of overs. In the end, 253 for 7 was a bold effort, leaving Stroddy and DC2 with their pads on, possibly salivating at the short boundary and what might have been.

Scorecard here, more match reports here.

Do Cricketers Eat Carrots?

Or do they prefer a dolphin / tuna sandwich?

Up slightly later than the crack of dawn to harvest stuff from the allotment for the cricket tea. It means less time in the supermarket and that's got to be a good thing. Someone else was handling the carnivores.

But would anyone fancy carrots, beetroot, mangetout, gherkins, lettuce, red onions and redcurrants? Yeah, yeah, there was bread and cheese and a few onion bhajis, muffins and chocolate brownies too.

See the next post.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cool as a

Better success with cucumbers this year thanks to the good weather in June. Or are they gherkins? (The courgettes / marrows have a similar identity crisis)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sweet & Sticky

The hoya's in bloom, with half a dozen sweet smelling sticky flowers attracting butterflies and moths in the evening.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Brock's About

The badger's been at the carrots early this year. Can't do much about it, apart from grow them in a cage and all the cage material is going around the sweetcorn.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Winners & Losers

So it goes.

The frog hopped out as I was picking the last of this year's 20+kilos of strawberries and a blackbird deposited the still warm body a few feet away, presumably clearing the nest of one that didn't make it.

It's one thing to lose when you're in nice surroundings and you think you've given your all, but when the drone of the M5, drizzle, the peculiarities of human behaviour and the frailty of the aging human form make the afternoon not all that enjoyable you sometimes wish you'd been at home to answer the call from your crying teenage child, which must have come close to the moment that the ball, destined for a six, held up on a strong gust of south-westerly wind and found its way into the fielder's greedy hands.

Oh. You want a proper match report?

Brislington won the toss and inserted the Cowboys on a lively batting wicket and despite losing Wayne and his toe early on, the run rate was gurt awesome for a long while, thanks to Mister Higgins' masterful display of square cutting and stuff, ably supported by the early order. After his departure for 70 the team rallied to bat out the 40 overs, ending up on 220-8, some 20 or more runs short of what might have been possible but respectable nonetheless, give or take the odd, remarkable run out.

Drizzle interfered a bit towards the end of the innings and continued throughout and after tea. Brislington didn't appear to want to come out to play. Was it a bluff? A tactical delay within the rules pertaining to weather? A ploy to make us round off our almond slices with a(nother) pint? It didn't seem any worse then than when we'd been batting. Pass the rule book. Oh, it's stopped.

OK. Set mental calculator to 5.5 an over. Anything less, we're winning. Some tight, aggressive opening bowling from Hidayat, supported by Andy C saw to that and kept the openers down. Then, in the skipper's own words 'it went a bit pear shaped'. This was directly related to said skipper's plan of coming on to bowl and offering up ripe strawberries for the batsmen, one of whom eventually filled his punnet to 111 not out. There was a glimmer of spirited and wiley resistance to accompany the frequent trips to retrieve the ball from the hedges (three were found in one, the true one the soggiest) but against a very solid batting performance the bowling lacked the penetration and depth blah blah, especially as some shirker was claiming incapacity and in others it was quite apparent.

The opposition completed the task within 27 overs for the loss of only 2 wickets.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

New Fruit Please

From red to black in the new month as the strawberries are nearly finished and the blackcurrants are worth harvesting.