Sunday, October 23, 2005

Captain's report 1

Ashes fever – the new bird flu; infectious in its own backyard but can it travel? At the end of the English summer (British for all the Celtic involvement) cricket was the new black. Not just Ashes cricket, I’m sure many of you had a good laugh at Surrey being enforced to take a breather from the top flight.
But what is enough? For how long can one milk a cow? And is there any appeal in a bunch of pie-chuckers and flailers flexing their flesh (muscles still, in some cases) in the pursuit of lost youth.

On television and radio one hears a lot in the commentary about the ‘corridor of uncertainty’, here, at our beautiful ground on the outskirts of Roujan, although great progress is being made, said corridor is more of a plough-line and uncertainty is all about us.

The opening bowlers had no trouble finding a good line and length; that could wait, locating the pitch was a more immediate concern but despite that memories of England come flooding through; not because of the leather on willow ‘tok’ – the batsmen would have to hit it for that - and not because of the see-it-from-the-right-angle-and-with-all-those-Oaks-and-Ashes-you-could-be-in-Sussex aspect, no; it was the alarming collapse of the batting side, your correspondent included (dragged one on from outside off stump, first ball) that had us all feeling warm, home sick and comfortably embarrassed inside. Still, through the efforts of Jim (13) and Stephen (78) the ship was not just settled but rendered armed and potent enough to trounce the opposition, whose innings had the same nostalgia-inducing opening as ours. Only where ours improved immeasurably – thanks to Jim and Stephen smiting their attack to all corners – theirs continued in the same vein in the face of some penetrating (?) bowling.

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