After a winning start to the season, the VPs continued their assault on league 2 with a classy performance against a strong Baslow team. Bolstered by the return of two ex-legends of the game, Parrsy (fresh from his annual trip to Decathalon) and our overseas (Wales and Wolverhampton) Sir General Vice Admiral Layer OBE VC H&M B&Q (not that he bangs on about it).
Unusually, Skipper lost the toss (currently 50:50, what are the chances) and we were inserted. It was raining. Bob and Ashy dutifully opened up, building a steady platform and with the 50 up, Bob fell after a hard graft. Enter Stewie, fresh of the back of last weeks match winning 60 odd and from ball 1 struck the ball well. The partnership built, quick running, hitting the bad ball, hitting the ex collegiate batsman in the face and the occasional 6, it was a joy to watch. Stewart broke his bat and with Ash’s usual grinning response to some average sledging, the Baslow spirit. Banter was good in the dressing room mainly thanks to Parr reminding us of his music hall variety act. It was still raining. Ashy reached his superb ton with time running out and Stewie ended on 93 off 90 balls. A few with chronic pad rash yet again but 239-1, no one was complaining, a tough target in any standard of cricket. Still raining.
Teas were a triumph, as teas should be, no deep fry, no chicket offcuts, both savoury AND sweet items, loads of it and hot tea from an actual teapot. Buoyed by the presence of Director Of Cricket/the Guvn’r, the entire staff of MD Law and a stirring, child free motivational speech from the skipper, the team emerged into the rain for part 2.
Alex (nickname required) and Wellman opened up. Two great lads who contribute loads on the field and in the dressing room, join in the conversations, a pleasure to play with. Alex soon got the prize wicket of Wall as his attempted drive cost him dearly and he was plumb lbw for 0. Some brief resistance from the bat but perseverance from Wellman saw another danger man go and with 2 good bats down, a mountain of runs to get, Bully could pack the slips and attack. Wellman and Alex, restricted by age, were rested to be replace by Longley and Pearson, restricted by age for other reasons. Waif switched from semi transparent in the field to full stealth mode, bamboozling the Baslow middle order and steadily taking wickets on his way to a 5-der. Still raining. At the other end Pearson turned back time, and the laws of physics with his first ball before finding some rhythm, even removing one of his 6 layers to gain some extra speed. Motivated by spontaneous nickname creation, questions about his genetic make up and “banter”, defied the odds when Waif pouched at square leg. With some stout resistance by the Baslow captain, our own Skipper replaced (Pearson/derek) and soon found his stride keeping the pressure on. With time running out and no sign of capitulation from the ever competitive Baslow, bowling changes were made, fields tinkered with but with 9 down, minutes to spare and the shutters up, the last wicket proved elusive. A 5-fer from Waif, good energy in the field and with bowlers returning to form and fitness, things are looking good.
Special mention to Neil Vaughan the umpire who kept the game going despite the rain and the Baslow team for staying out when a lot of teams wouldn’t have. A return to Abbeydale and the top grass next week with plenty of momentum for another big win.
Danny the snake