11 BGs (yep, you'd better believe it, 11!) made the trip to a considerably sunnier than last time Mansle for 2 20/20s yesterday. We (ok, I...) lost the toss and Mansle chose to bat first (for the first game. Under the tournament rules I could choose, as the loser of the toss, what we wanted to do in the second match). Despite extensive debate over the best way to approach the games with the rules as they stood it was decided that we should win both matches to save any obtuse calculations...
It's safe to say that we fielded like a team that hasn't played cricket for 2 months. We dropped more catches than we held, bowled more wides than we'd have liked, and let them get 136 from their 20 overs, still a gettable score but more than it should have been. Snookie bowled particularly well, opening up with 2 overs and then coming back for the 18th and 20th overs, doing a fine job to keep them from a better score. Special mention to Rupert who, despite knowing that he wasn't able to throw the ball, particularly from the boundary, chose not to underarm the ball the short distance to his able-shouldered son and sent one in from deep point - surprise surprise it hurt a lot! Still it took prompting from the captain ("Don't throw it Rupert!!!") to stop him from a similar mistake in the second match.
Luckily our batting was a little less rusty than our fielding. Rupert and I opened up, a steady start before Rupert tried to pull a good length ball and was bowled. In came Mikey and his unconventional splays around the park, while I was knocked into action by a short ball to the helmet. Mike fell to a good slower ball from Mansle's best bowler and it was me and Bald Eagle Ferreira in a very determined mood. After a decent partnership I fell for 40 odd, then Clint and Julian took us ever closer. Clint skied one to be caught by the keeper, Julian kept on now with Sagnik, then when Sagnik got out before the 20th over in came to Snooke to send his first ball flying over the trees at square leg and complete our victory!
I chose to bat first in the second game. Another good batting performance, highlights being Rupert's innings (he was seeing the ball much better this time around, or just "seeing it" as he told me), Mikey's second cavalier knock of the day, a plucky innings from our newest recruit, Alex W's little bro Cameron, Sagnik's first runs for the club, and Clinton (as usual). We felt pretty confident with a score of 157 on the board.
Once again our fielding let them get closer than they should have, Clinton the only player who looked comfortable under a catch all day - luckily 4 of them went to him! Alex W also took a fine catch to remove their most dangerous batsmen. Snookie once again bowled very well, I bowled considerably better than the first game, despite a heated discussion with some batsmen in the middle of my spell (...), Jon moved the ball prodigiously early and came back to bowl the 20th over and finish it off and Sammy bowled 3 solid outswinging overs. In the end they fell 15 runs short, calculations were avoided, and we've qualified for finals day on the 23rd at Damazan!
Email to follow regarding this weekend's fixtures and teams. Excuse me for any important moments I might have missed - I've just had a couple of Guinnesses...