AT LAST the outdoor cricket season saw sunshine and light winds. Instead of hearing “I have not got enough thermals on” you heard the strange sound of people asking if anyone had any sunblock.
The artificial wicket is playing very well this year with plenty of lift and movement for the bowlers. The spinners are getting plenty of turn, so the batsmen have to concentrate hard to score their runs. The outfield was slightly greasy after early rain showers but improved as the day progressed.
A 30-over game between a chairman’s 11 and a secretary’s 11 was played, with no bowler being able to bowl more than eight overs. The secretary won the toss and elected for his side to bat first.
A loss of a wicket in the first over and the fourth over made this look like a bad decision. The first wicket to fall was to a full length yorker from Guy Nightingale and the second was bowled and caught by Itaz Virk. At the end of four overs only three runs were on the board for the loss of the two wickets.
Experienced campaigners Max Barnett and John Gray were now at the crease and they had to survive some very good swing bowling as they tried to rescue their innings, Barnett riding his luck early as a catch to the slips was dropped.
A change in bowling saw some respite for the batsmen as they slowly started to get some runs on the board. Barnett rode his luck once more in the 12th over as an attempted pull went high in the air, but fortunately for him the fielder dropped the ball. These two were now looking comfortable at the middle and the score started to increase.
The bowlers finally made the breakthrough as Gray was deceived by a ball from Nightingale that seamed and lifted. An attempted hook shot hit the top edge of the bat and the fielder at square leg took a good catch. Gray had gone for 34, the partnership between Barnett and Gray being worth 98 runs.
Barnett was outdone while on 41 by the spin bowling of Danny Callieu five balls later, the wicket keeper taking a sharp stumping.
A quickfire 15 not out from Peter Cooper helped the secretary’s 11 reach 136 for seven from their 30 overs.
The chairman’s 11 reply started well as Guy Nightingale and Itaz Virk looked very comfortable with the bat.
However, the ball was swinging for the bowlers and a perfect inswinger from Peter Cooper saw Nightingale’s off stump removed from the ground with 13 runs on the board.
Danny Callieu joined Itaz in the middle and he looked very solid from the outset. The bowlers were working hard for their wickets but the batsmen were playing the ball very well. Callieu started to look over confident as he started to move around in his crease when the bowler was on his run up.
The idea of putting off the bowler backfired every time as he mis-timed the shot he was attempting. Once Callieu realised this and went back to playing more orthodox the bowlers could not get the better of him. At the other end Itaz was putting in an excellent batting performance. Any ball short or wide was dispatched to the boundary.
A well-timed shot to leg saw the first six of the season. The bowlers were rotated to upset the partnership but to no avail, Itaz bringing up his 50 with a quick run single to the covers.
At this point Itaz seamed to stop concentrating as he cut a ball straight to the fielder. Everyone was just starting to celebrate when the ball slipped from the fielder’s hands. This was the only chance that Itaz gave as he went on to score 83 not out.
Callieu also ended the day unbeaten on 33 not out as the chairman’s 11 reached 138 for one from 28 overs, Itaz and Callieu putting together an unbroken partnership of 125.
Anyone wanting to come along and try playing cricket should turn up at Clickimin on Wednesdays at 6pm if they are a junior (nothing this week) or 7pm if they are a teenager or adult. Any adults wishing to play on Sundays should be at Clickimin at 2pm.
For further details contact John Gray on Lerwick 696123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org