Witham Cricket Sixes - a break from the brakes
A change is as good as a rest
A change is as good as a rest
Sunday 3rd August saw LLR Team Essex ditch the bikes for the gentlemanly sport of cricket in the guise of Witham Cricket Club’s Sixes tournament, a 5 over, six a side slogfest between local cricket and social teams.
The team arrived around 10:30 for some early practice. With only Paul and myself playing anywhere near recently, there was some apprehension as to whether arms would still turn over after all this time and for Lee, whether or not the bar was going to open at 11 or 12.
With 7 of us attending, we had the luxury of being able to rest players during our 3 group games so Lee kindly offered to sit out the first game, having had his previous question answered favourably.
A few minutes in the nets loosened us up and we were soon taking the field for our first game against The Firemen. Having won the toss and electing to bowl, the first over from myself was looking expensive as the batsman exploited the pace on the ball for the first 3 before a slower delivery saw a top edge fly high in the air and the catch was taken expertly by Paul. James Burns proved to be a dark horse as he summoned up impressive pace and bounce to restrict the Firemen to just 4 runs from his over, with Dave Hatch looking like James Foster behind the stumps. Trevor rolled back the years and produced another top over to restrict our opponents to 56 from the 5 overs.
Bats (not raquets) in hand, we walked out to bat with some comedy entrance music and set about chasing the score, with none of us having batted very much at all in the last 20 years, even myself who as a out and out number 11, is rarely needed to join in.
The run chase was strong and Dave was picking up runs by finding the spaces, while Trevor, James and Paul were punishing the loose balls (should’ve worn a box chaps). Trevor was there on hand to hit the winning runs as we secured a) our first victory in cricket and b) a chance to get to the bar.
Our second game saw Lee take over the wicket-keeping duties in a game he truly loves. Our enthusiasm was infectious but for Lee sadly, that was the only thing he was catching. His sledging was top form though as he frequently reminded the batsmen what a great game this is and how sensible the rules are.
Keiran produced an epic over of wides and wickets to take his first dismissal but we were the victims of too many ‘extras’ with wides counting as 4 runs in this format. The chase was on again..
Myself and Paul opened our innings and we were a strong opening partnership with Paul holing out on the second ball, followed by me hitting a four, a six and very little else due largely to the Black Sheep Brewery and the bowlers clearly bowling several balls at once at me. Aim for the middle one wasn’t working at all, except for the bowler who responded to the six by aiming for my middle stump and back I strode to the tune of Always look on the bright side of life. The rest of the team did their best to boost the runs and even Lee managed a glorious late cut for 4 but we were narrowly beaten by the Royal Mail. There were obvious jokes about the element of surprise on their part by getting their deliveries on time and in the right place but that’s just not cricket apparently.
In our third game, Dave returned behind the stumps and we posted a score of 60 for our friends at Witham Hockey Club to chase. There was plenty of rivalry in this game as the HC had drafted in a strong side having seen the groupings. Things began well with Paul taking a wicket early and then Keiran expertly taking the wicket of Dan Khan off his own bowling. This superb dismissal saw the promising Khan trudge back to the pavillion and crowd to the chant of “He’s only got one hand, he’s only got one hand” (Sorry Kieran ). However, the euphoria was short lived as Dave, distracted by thoughts of Wonder Woman, saw further deliveries get through to the boundary and in the end the HC scored the winning runs with 7 balls to spare.
All in all it was great fun and a good laugh. The spectators generously donated their spare change and we collected over £35 for LLR as well as some interest in joining us for rides in the future.
A glorious day, well organised and good banter and we can all say with no doubt whatsoever that….Lee don’t like cricket, oh no……………but we love it.