March 24, 2012
Horse 1303 - A photo with a good story behind it (tell story in description) – 30 points (Total: 393)
Today Toongabbie Baptist Church (the team I play for) played St Andrews C2 in the C Grade Church Cricket Grand Final.
This match swung back and forth like the tick of a pendulum. After 4 overs St Andrews had already amassed 42 runs and looked like giving us an absolute pasting but with some clever bowling and fielding which was still eager, this was held back to 4 wickets down for 112 runs.
112 runs after 28 overs works out to be precisely 4 an over and it was around this figure which the match swung around.
Adam Brown of St Andrews was able to gently knock the ball around the place in a batting performance which would have seemed rather boring to watch. Whilst he was slowly amassing runs, partners at the other end came and went and at the end of the alloted 56 overs (which would be the same as one regular week) Brownie found himself not out for 72 and St Andrews were all out for 208.
Our innings in reply was going to be centred around the 4 an over mark. Mark Bailey was given out caught behind off a ball which he didn't hit, but the umpire thinking that he'd walked succumbed to the pressure of the eleven layers on the bowling side and he was dismissed. This pretty well much set the tone for the innings.
Wickets fell roughly every five overs and by the break we were 98 for 4. At this point it was expected that the run rate would be accelerated but Mark Buckingham who was playing down a few grades so that he could play with his sons was bowled for 13, Stuart Jennings the captain was caught out on 7 and although Nick Buckingham kept the scoreboard ticking along with a sensible 60, by the time he was dismssed, there were 7 wickets down and 33 runs to get off of 30 balls.
Suffice to say that those three wickets fell incredibly cheaply and instead of making 208 in the dying overs, we were all out for 180 - and lost the grand final.
Now I suppose that you could argue that losing a grand final isn't a good story but there are several points to be made here. Does a story need a happy ending for it to be good? In any sporting contest there is always ultimately going to be a winner and a loser, so there will always be a victor. Secondly cricket itself doesn't play out like other sports - it ebbs and flows with sometimes various twists and turns and an evenly poised contest can often be quite fun to watch.
Looking back, personally for me, the point is that in probably 20 seasons of cricket I've played in, I've probably only ever been in maybe three finals. It was more or less expected that we'd lose against our opponents anyway (and they even went through the season undefeated) but at least this time around there was the whiff of possible victory in the air.
I'm kind of reminded of the sing by Skinner and Baddiel "Tout est Possible", the B-side to "Three Lions '98", which contained the lines:
"Waiting and wondering 'till they score then scream at the sky above,
so much bigger and better than grown up things like love"
Sport generally has a better story to tell than most movies and books. From a churches' competition which is often watched by no spectators at all to international sporting events upon which the whole world looks on, it has all the elements of plot, character, conflict and resolution and denouement which any good story has and certainly a lot of passion behind it.
We may have lost today but the story which was written on the pitch in leather and willow was a good one.
Addenda: We'll probably receive a runners-up cap for... being runners-up. That means to that that after probably 20 seasons of cricket I'll finally have something tangible to show for it.
Posted by Rollo at 22:38