Cricket Day 2: Hampton Central vs. Washington Park

What a strange and crazy day it was yesterday. We started the day needing to chase down 206 for the win, I came in at about 1/26 after Joe got out. From the first ball I faced I just wasn’t feeling it, my feet felt stuck to the ground and I wasn’t keeping my head still or watching the ball right onto the blade. Once again, I knicked one straight to slip and was dropped when I was on zero… it didn’t matter though because an over later I was clean bowled for a duck. The wickets kept tumbling after I got out and I was soon out in the middle again, this time to be runner for Cooper who had an injured ankle. He, along with Rossy and Brad managed to stay out there a while and I had a bit of running to do, but soon the team was all out for 100, leaving Brad stranded on 10 not out. We needed to score 107 to avoid the follow on, so 7 runs short of that we would be forced to bat again after tea in order to avoid outright defeat.

I was told this time I would get to open the batting. I started at the non-strikers end and it wasn’t long before Joe got out and we were already one down. Then Brad came out to bat with me, the second time we have been in the middle batting together, the last time didn’t last long and neither did this one. Batting about a foot outside my crease facing a right armed tall bowler who I hadn’t seen yet, I left a ball that landed about 20 centimetres outside off-stump and still well in front of me despite my being out of my crease… somehow it swung back enough and also kept low enough to clip the top of off stump. Thankfully, in the previous over I had scored a run and avoided getting a pair of ducks for the game, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasurable or confidence inspiring day with the bat in hand.

After suffering the embarrassment of being bowled while leaving a delivery I didn’t have to trudge back to the dressing rooms to front my team mates. Cooper came out to bat and I was once again runner. That didn’t last that long though and we were back watching from the sidelines in no time. Brad was the only batsman in the team looking at all comfortable. Because I was out in the middle when he came to bat he had to borrow Nin’s bat (he usuaully uses mine). Anyway, in attempting to play a horizontal bat shot on the off-side the bat he was using snapped in half. Usually, you expect cricket bat to break at the splice or something, this one literally just split horizontally at the middle.

Things only got weirder… Brad was looking good sitting on 22 when he was facing up to the opposition left arm bowler who had done most of the damage all day. He got a short ball and at first moved forward to it but then went to play a pull shot, but was too late on it and the ball whacked into the mid part of his left forearm. He stumbled backwards then rolled back onto the ground. A few of us went out to see if he was okay and he got up and started to walk off trying to move his arm. He had a bit of movement, but it was visibly shaking so he came off and we took him to get an x-ray. The hospital was fairly quick and efficient and it was soon cofirmed that he had broken his arm and very nearly his elbow as well. After his family got to the hospital and he was being looked after I headed back to the ground to catch the end of the match. With a few overs to go and 8 wickets down (effectively nine with Brad being gone) if we had lost a wicket we would have lost the game outright. Nin and Kelly kept it out though and we salvaged at least a little dignity out of what was a very odd day.

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