We dominated today's match against the Wilbrahams . . .
. . . for about 8 balls. The Wilbrahams' opening bowlers were too short and wide to start off with, and Rod Dennis (8 off 7 balls) made them pay with a superb cut and pull in the first over. But then the bowlers tightened their line, found some movement, and established an ascendancy that never really let up for the whole match. None of Nick Clarke (21 off 38 balls), Roy Page (25 off 56) and Dave Williams (21 off 35 balls) ever seemed to really get comfortable, something which was illustrated nicely by Roy when he essayed possibly the strangest "leave" in cricketing history, simultaneously tucking his bat between his legs and thrusting his groin at the ball. Still, Nick, Roy and Dave all worked hard to ensure we didn't collapse, taking us to a fighting 101/4 after 27 overs.
But while the "/4" part of the score was okay, the "101" needed work. The foreman for the job was, as so often, Andy Owen, but he didn't get much support from the lower order - of our last 7 batsmen only Andy and Olly Rex (11 off 12 balls) made more than 4. When the 9th wicket fell in the 36th over it seemed we weren't even going to bat out our allotment, but in the end Rog Shelley (2* off 5 balls) hung around for long enough for Andy to get to his half-century (he finished with 50* off 70 balls) and for a sudden splurge of wides to take our total to 172/9. We'd done pretty well to score at a run a ball for the last dozen overs of our innings, although the runs had come at a price, with Rog hobbling off with strained knee ligaments (a particularly cruel blow, since this was his first match back after tearing his interocostals against NCI a month ago).
We all knew that 172 wasn't up to scratch at Trinity - our average first innings score here previously has been 235 - although the fact that today's pitch was a bit livelier than usual gave us some hope that we might be able to keep our unbeaten record . . .
. . . for about an over, by the end of which one of the Wilbrahams' openers had devoured a couple of over-pitched pies, smashing his first two balls to the leg-side boundary (albeit just past the out-stretched hands of close-in fielders). And that was the story of the next hour: he blasted at anything full and straight (of which we fed him too much), connecting cleanly most of the time, but being decidedly fortunate that his mis-cued shots landed in the gaps. Daniel Mortlock (2/53), Andy Owen (0/54) and Olly Rex (1/35) all caused the batsmen difficulty when they brought back their length, but we strayed too often: only 8 of the overs we bowled didn't contain at least one boundary, whereas the Wilbrahams managed to bowl 27 boundary-free overs. Paul Jordan (2/21) caused the batsmen the greatest difficulty by aiming about a foot outside off, an approach which had immediate success when he had our tormentor well stumped by Malcolm Creek. We then took a few more late wickets, as Rod Dennis and Richard Rex held good outfield catches, but it can't have surprised anyone too much when the winning runs came in the form of yet another leg-side boundary with a dozen overs still to be bowled.
Fortress Trinity had been well and truly breached: after seven consecutive league victories (and last week's wash-out) we've finally lost one. Let's just hope that that we're not half-way through the pharaoh's dream of seven fat cows followed by seven thin cows, and that we can get back to our winning ways next week against Fen Ditton.