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Monkton Cavaliers Vs Venturers, Wednesday April 26th

Monkton Combe 139-5, Venturers 83-6

Ah, bitter chill it was! The Owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold, and so was Imran, for all his jackets. These, and the cold, prevented him from bending down sufficiently by the end to be much more use in the field than an owl would have been, but he wasn’t the only one. We limped trembling through the frozen grass, missing two catches completely and shelling a third (hit, admittedly, with great force near the limit of Gregory’s reach). Finally we messed up even when we had the ball in hand: Chris’s return went nowhere near the stumps he was aiming at and hit Jack’s discarded helmet instead. Five penalty runs, and doubtless some sort of award.

At least it didn’t actually snow, as it had done the day before, nor was there much wind. Monkton Combe’s usual pitch was unavailable and we played instead at the Prep School ground at Combe Down, less picturesque but still pleasant and easier to reach. Ian and Imran were accurate for the most part, but while Imran induced several misses to no effect, Ian aimed at the stumps, and hit them three times. At this stage our ground fielding (mainly Bruce’s) was still all right and this handed a good position to Ejaz and Gregory, but neither really bowled well, wandering in line and length respectively. By the time Joel and Bruce were bowling at the end, though, numb were the Fieldsmen’s fingers, and apart from Gregory’s stop/drop most things just ran away.

Sunny, though, showed that he can bat. Actually he should have been out third ball, but the ball bounced off the wicket-keeper’s ice-covered gloves when he tried to stump him. A straight drive just to the left of the stumps and a whip through midwicket to a ball barely short showed considerable skill, but Monkton bowled and fielded better than we had and scoring opportunities were few. Chris, less classical, was also quite effective, but when they were out the scoreboard pressure and indeed the scoreboard temperature told, and we lost a clatter of wickets. Two of these fell in a single over, one to a full toss and one to a long hop: in between were three wides at various angles. The bowler was hastily removed from the attack, either because he couldn’t possibly do it again or because they were afraid he might. Simon and Ian made a few at the end as we hurried through the rest of the match to get out of the cold.

Cricket bat and ball