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Venturers Vs Star, Wednesday May 30th

Venturers 101-7, Star 105-4

It turns out that if you own Homebase you are liable for various costs, and we can’t afford those, so we gave it back to the Australians, who were last seen trying to hide it in their trousers. But it didn’t matter, because Simon had come equipped with a new piece of technology: the self-tampering ball. It was pink, but in the damp conditions the pink layer started to slough off like the skin of a snake, revealing a greenish brown underneath. Fortunately the match ended before the ball matched the trees and the mist that was climbing out of the valley. Unfortunately the reason the match ended then was that we had lost.

Not that we played badly. Chris, in fact, might have been more effective if he had played slightly worse. He kept finding the middle of the bat, but with no timing. Either well-timed shots or edges might have found the gaps. Jamie did time the ball, but also missed altogether sometimes. Still, neither of them got out, so nobody was complaining. The put up fifty for the first wicket, in about twelve overs, which sounds like a good platform for acceleration, but we never did accelerate. Instead we just trundled steadily on, nobody else coming close to Chris and Jamie’s pair of 32s. Even Simon, who often can time the ball on slow pitches, didn’t achieve much this time, perhaps because of the wardrobe malfunction (Ian’s) that left him batting in jeans. Aadil looked briefly elegant; James P played a lovely clip off his legs for four and then tried it again to a straight ball.

We didn’t really have enough runs to bowl at. Tom gave nothing away and won a fairly obvious LBW decision against one of the openers, but the other opener chanced his arm against Ejaz and got away with it. It was a reasonable strategy under the circumstances. There were some good shots, which went for four, and some wild hacks, which also went for four. Ejaz kept attacking too, and should have had the other batsman, but what removed the opener was a retirement order from his captain. Jamie and Gregory both strayed to leg a bit too much, though they largely got away with it. Each got an LBW decision, Jamie’s probably correct and Gregory’s staringly obvious, and the number 6 played the wrong line and missed a routine offbreak, but the upshot was that Bruce and Chris were left with fifteen to defend in the last four overs, and two good batsmen in. Even with a peeling ball, that was asking too much.

Cricket bat and ball