There are matches which live in the memory of cricketers for all sorts of reasons; sometimes it is a single event, or “champagne moment”, sometimes it is a personal feat, sometimes the team achievement……sometimes it is how big a thumping you received.
While this fixture may well be remembered for the impressive total of our opponents, I will recall the resilience of a team, weary from chasing the ball around the pitch, rallied to resist. The task was always likely to be uphill, so short of players for this first fixture two were related to the skipper; more pressed men than volunteers, the leg field at one stage boasted over two hundred years on Earth, and only consisted of four players, the bowling so denuded that the skipper, your correspondent, had to bowl a full compliment of overs (for only the second time in a very long league history). All of these factors, and they aren’t produced as excuses meant that we really needed to hold on to catches…… We took to the field short of three players with the skipper standing in a keeper. Fortunately, this was soon remedied as late arrivals filled the ranks. Unfortunately, we then lost a man injured, barely able to haul his carcass from the field. The opposition, generous to a fault lent us a fielder; for the most part one poor chap whose offense was never clarified, but who occupied the mid-wicket/cover area very effectively.
The bowling is best discretely left aside, except to mention debutant Kashish Singh, who while 324 runs were plundered managed to go at a tiny 3.25 per over, a genuine achievement unrewarded by a wicket. The only one of those fell to the skipper (who also managed to be the least economical bowler (10.50)) as, worn out, his previously blistering pace waning, delivered a slow looping ball which Ed, their opener, on 186, presumably equally tired, swung at and missed. Their other opener David managed his century also in the dying overs, and a long innings was over.
Our reply was led by Ramesh Bulusu, a obdurate star leading a determined, thou shall not pass rear-guard. His 46, denied a half century by an LBW decision deserved the landmark. Ably supported by Steve Hodsdon, Chris Clarke and another debutant Hridoy Dutta, showing signs of middle-order biffing that would feature later in the season. Finally, near the close came D.Mitchell, but not the one usually expected. The new generation have arrived, and 9 balls left and played from the middle left Douglas’s first innings for Camden as 0, but undefeated. Our total of 137 for 5 may have been less than half of our opponents, but it showed the spine and determination which we will be needing in weeks to come. Fulbourn were a pleasure to play, inasmuchas any such heavy defeat can be a pleasure, and the auguries for the seconds, after a shaky start, seem to be looking good.
Man of the Match: Ramesh “The Wall” Bulusu
Score Card: https://camden.play-cricket.com/website/results/4182263
Dave Mitchell (June 10, 2021)