Goddamn first games of the season.
I belong to a cricket team about 1/2 an hours' drive out of my home town, called Pomonal. I have been training for the last month, maybe more, so I could get into a C grade (lowest grade apart from under-16s and under-13s) team. For the first game of the season, last week, I was selected for the B grade side. As if they didn't have anyone better!
That game was washed out.
The next week, which was today, B grade had a bye. Since I couldn't get into that team, they put me into C grade. Now, fellahs, that's a little better! Anyway, they put me in with people whose nicknames include Beano, Donkers, Pixie and Buckrat. Strange? No. They're a good bunch.
I'm a real rabbit. I can't bat for nuts. So, I must say I was a little disappointed at that game in Willaura, when we lost the coin toss and were put in to bat. I was put in at No. 11, but until then I had to go and help with square-leg umpiring. (Not that I minded.) All I had to do was call no-balls when they went too high, and call run-outs, stumpings and short runs.
I never batted. Beano, at No. 10, went in to bat in the middle of the last over. He blocked two balls, then smacked the last ball of the innings for four. We had scored a grand total of 8/108, and there I was with my head in the car and my legs in my pads. I was now free to go and get something to eat, and watch the 'other' cricket match that was being played, Australia vs. the rest of the world - a six-day Test match instead of the normal 5. It's pretty near completion now, after only two days.
We went out to bowl. Sweet. My bowling had improved a hell of a lot over the summer, so I was eager to have a go. Our captain, Al, bowled two shithouse overs and took himself off. At the other end was Pixie, who is our opening bowler. Once he had bowled his seven overs, I was given a go. I gladly accepted the cherry and made my mark for my run-up.
In that fateful over, I gave away 12 runs.
Not that it was all bad. I nearly caught a ball off my own bowling. The guy batting, who was nicknamed 'Nogger' (or something like that) by his team, flicked the ball up into the air and back down the pitch. I mean, really high. It moved a bit away from the pitch, so I just screamed 'GOT IT!' and bent down below it.
I dropped it, and collapsed, frustrated, on the grass.
I had buggered up my first over in the senior teams by dropping a catch and bowling 3 wides and 2 no-balls. I wasn't called on again, but I did my best in the field. At drinks, which was halfway through the innings, Willaura were 4/70 in comparison to our 2/47. Some magic bowling coming from Al in his second spell gave us the wickets we needed to win the match by about 10 runs. So, it wasn't all THAT bad.