by our guest correspondent, Anne van Houten
I come all the way to London and Dave makes me drive all the way out to the countryside to watch cricket again. I don't really understand his obsession with this strange game. What is so fun about standing around in a field all day, especially when it seems certain to rain like today? Maybe the game will get cancelled and we'll be home sooner than he plans. Luckily Steve is driving us and he thinks it will rain. When we get there, the field is quite pretty so I guess it's a nice enough trip to make.
Dave's team is standing first so I go into the bar and read my book. A guy they all call the Colonel has the ball and he must be doing ok because the people standing around keep holding their head and saying "ooohhh" a lot. On the other side of the pitch, a guy called Simon, who seems to have strange taste in music, must be causing the hitter problems because they can't hit the ball very far. The hitters can't be very good because they keep missing the ball a lot and soon the kernel hits the little wooden sticks and everyone jumps around and gives the Colonel high fives.
Next there is a guy called Tom, who jumps very high before he throws the ball. It seems to work because the hitters keep missing and Dave told me he bowls very fast, whatever that means. Dave comes on to throw the ball from the other side. He also hits the sticks and that Saffa guy Alec comes and pats him on the bum! It doesn't really seem to help because a big, bald, mean-looking hitter walks to the sticks. Watching Dave throw the ball is a bit boring so it's probably time to go for a walk. Margaretsbury is quite a strange place because they have a lot of fried chicken shops but nothing for vegetarians to eat. I walk around for about 45 minutes and think Dave must be finished by now so it's time to go back. Apparently they are going to give us "tea" but at this point I'd prefer lunch and I'm sure the boys must be hungry.
I can't believe it but they are still standing and the big, bald guy is still at the sticks. They also seem to have doubled the number of points now. Alec is throwing and he looks quite scary when he does it but the bald guy is doing ok and makes a few good hits. A guy Dave keeps calling Tiny Dancer is doing well from the other side and getting the hitter to miss a few. That guy Richard kind of reminds me of Troy, the way he talks, and he throws hard too. The kernel is throwing again now and he finally gets the bald guy out as everyone cheers him off.
Soon, it's over. It's so confusing, 6 throws is an over but the innings is now over and the game is far from over. I'll never understand these English. The other team has 233 points, which is apparently quite good. It's finally time for tea... oh there is food... why don't they call it lunch then? Anyway, it is all meaty so still nothing for the vegetarians. Only the Colenel understands, so we eat lots of coleslaw together.
Now it's Dave's team's turn to sit so I can finally talk to them. Steve and Kapila are hitting the ball all over the place and everyone is saying it's the best they've ever seen Kapila bat. They say he is looking so aggressive - is that a good thing? I guess it's the Saffas are saying it's good so it's probably just their violent society that prizes aggression so highly [all opinions are writer's own - ed].
What happened there? Steve is coming back - and he was doing so well! Alec goes out and hits the ball very far but then one hits him on the pads and he is "given out LBW". But it didn't hit the little sticks so why is he out? Tom is also hitting it far but then a "few wickets go down" apparently. Luckily, the Colonel is as good with the bat as he is with the ball and he manages not to go out. The guys that are still sitting are starting to get agitated though because they need a run rate of 10 and don't have many wickets in hand. I'm not sure I'll ever understand this stuff. The guys get quite excited when Dave hits a few quite far. Unfortunately, I missed it because I started reading again when he went out to hit. He is back soon enough though and everyone is looking a bit dejected. I go to try buy Dave a beer to cheer him up but instead meet a woman wearing pink tights and a tank top. I wonder if it is the fashion for 45 year olds to dress like this in Britain.
By the time I get back with the beer, everyone is walking off the field. The team looks quite sad but at least they got 80 overs and some free food. Don't know why they all have such long faces. They all cheer up pretty quickly when Steve starts buying beer and the sun comes out momentarily. I, at least, enjoyed it as I got to read 150 pages of my book.
When we get home, I tell Dave he better not play cricket the next time I'm in London. He just laughs and tells me I better learn to like it and launches into an explanation of the LBW law! Who will ever understand these boys?London Fields Batting
|Steve Fernbank||—||Run Out||Unknown||24|
|Mark Holden||—||Run Out||Unknown||1|
|Ben Sanders||—||Not Out||Unknown||46|
|Matt Dance||—||Run Out||Unknown||20|
|Paul Holden||—||Not Out||Unknown||2|
|Simon Yates||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|