Cricket Day 1: Hampton Central vs. West Bentleigh

The first weekend of October marks the start of the cricketing season in Australia. Brad and I hadn’t played for a club since we were about 12 years old so it really was a new experience fronting up on a field of men. The games are played over two Saturday’s, so the conclusion will be next Saturday, but it isn’t looking good for our team.

We won the toss and elected to bat. The openers stayed out there for a while keeping them out and taking the shine off the ball, but once one of them fell we had a mini collapse to 3-28. The ship was somewhat steadied before we lost another couple of wickets to be 6-93 three balls before tea. Brad was forced to go out a face those three nerbe racking deliveries, but managed to get through to the break unscathed despite some nerves. After the break he cut lose and bit and played some nice shots and had some luck along to way to make 15. Soon after another wicket fell and it was time for me to head to the crease at number 10.

Batting out in the middle is absolutely nothing like fronting up in the nets. You don’t have 11 white shirts ringed around you talking smack. I started at the non-strikers and two balls later my partner got cleaned bowled and it looked like I might not even get to face a ball. The number 11 came out and we managed to stick around for a while, an over and a bit later I scored by first and only two runs with a small punch through the on-side. Not long after that my partner was given out off a dubious caught behind and I was left not out on two.

For my first batting experience I was glad to finish unbeaten, but I would like to have spent more time out there. It will be interesting to see whether that remains my batting position in future games. The team total finished at 146 and we used only 57 of out 65 overs. Thus, we were forced to front up on the field for five overs with the sun getting low in the sky making it very hard to field with it blazing in our eyes.

The last five overs ruined the day completely, our opening bowlers got carted by one of the batsman… it was absolute carnage. The ball seemed to be following me around on the field too, I would have covered a fair bit of ground chasing balls around and going to retrieve them when they had been smacked for a boundary. The guy ended up lodging a half century in just five overs and they went to stumps 0-57. What was unfortunate about it all was that we had three small chances to get him out along the way and we didn’t take them.

We will front up next week needing a lot of luck to go our way tod raw us back into the contest. All in all though it was good to get my first bat out of the way and hopefully I get to have a bowl next week.

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