The Club Cricketer:
Slap & Giggle

Comment and Analysis | 25th May 2010

Twenty20 cricket caught the imagination of the nation during the recent World Cup win in the Caribbean. 

The razzmatazz, coloured clothing, huge sixes, dancing girls and the fact England finally won a World Cup pushed Twenty20 to the forefront of every sport’s lovers mind in England, some in Ireland and a few in South Africa too.

Throw in the fact that we beat the Australians resoundingly, the games were played in the evening after work and it wasn’t luck but some truly world class performances and you can understand why even non cricket lovers were enjoying the scenes in Barbados.

English cricket was buzzing, especially in Twenty20 circles, so it was understandable that there was a certain amount of excitement around Plumtree’s first round game in the club Twenty20 competition.

It wasn’t to be Guyana, St Kitts, or Barbados but a trip to Kirkby Portland to begin our campaign in the ‘Chris Trafford Trophy’.

It didn’t quite live up to the spectacular Twenty20 occasion that we had been witnessing from our arm chairs in recent weeks.

Any chance to get out on the field and play cricket is always something to look forward to, especially after a day at work and I was itching to get away from the office and make my way to Kirkby Portland.

As I left work and made my way to the car flashing blades, powerplays and slower ball bouncers were in my mind.

It was the first Twenty20 game of the season and I was really excited about it – it took just ten minutes in the car for the enthusiasm to start to wane.

Getting across town is not easy at the best of times and trying to get through town during rush hour for a 6 o’clock start is very frustrating.

The light was already starting to fade as I pulled into the ground at 5:55pm and rushed into the changing room.

No time for a warm up and the floodlights are still to be installed – the umpires with the help of the captains decide to reduce the overs - Sixteen16 just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!

Winning the toss we decide to have a bowl and the twelfth man is sent away to find a supply of night goggles for our innings later in the evening.

Surprisingly, without the time for a loosener, it starts well and the score board reads 0-1 at the end of the over – a wicket maiden, albeit a run out!

But you can just tell with some batsmen can’t you!

The number 3 looks like he is wielding an axe at the other end and proceeds to bludgeon my seemingly decent deliveries into the field behind me and from an economy rate of 0 I am nursing figure of 2 overs for 16 – have a blow!!

We bowl and field well helped by the fact we are still able to see the ball, something which the opposition struggle with a bit later on, and we are left to chase 84 from our 16 overs.

With a new pair of gloves I want to try out and a lack of time out in the middle I strap the pads on and look forward to some time out in the middle – it quickly becomes apparent that even batting at four this isn’t going to happen.

The game descends into darkness and there isn’t a dancing girl to be seen – oh well perhaps there will be some more razzmatazz at Southwell or Ellerslie in the next round?

And of course there is the carrot of a visit to Trent Bridge for finals day to play for!!

Ben Thompson plays for Plumtree CC in the South Notts Cricket League.

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