On a pleasant summer’s day the Whitecliff Recreation Ground overlooking Poole Harbour must be a lovely place for a game of cricket. Unfortunately, the Devils arrived in the teeth of a gale blowing off the sea and even the locals were dubious about the sense of proceeding. But, as we know, the Devils are made of stern stuff and pressed on regardless.
Having won the toss the Devils made the easy decision to ask the Dolphins to bat first. The wind was so strong that after just 2 balls it was agreed to dispense with changing ends and to bowl all the overs from the sea end. And it became clear that the fielders all needed to be behind the bat. The occasional attempt to drive just resulted in the ball looping up in the air and landing behind the batsman.
However, the wind-assisted pace of the Devil’s attach was presenting an opportunity to the batsmen. A nudge outside off stump resulted in the ball racing towards the boundary with fielders posted on the rope acting like goalkeepers trying to prevent it crossing the line.
But the bowlers managed to keep the extras down and the fielders did their job of limiting boundaries. With a break for rain after 7 overs the match was reduced to 20 overs a side – another advantage to the Devils as the Dolphins had only just reached 50.
Despite a lack of wickets the Devils stuck to their task. The Dolphins’ opener, Tom Mackenzie made a fine 50 before retiring but they were unable to improve the run-rate and ended on 140/1 after their 20 overs.
Despite losing opener Chris Lewis in the first over the Devils made good progress in reply, keeping up with the required 7 runs per over. After 10 overs they were 75 for 3, having lost David Burt and Brenda Cassell. This brought Aemonn Shearing and yours truly together and we managed to progress the innings with minimal drama.
The Dolphins’ bowling was slower than the Devils’ had been, meaning boundaries were harder to come by but there were plenty of singles to be had. I retired in the 18th over allowing Gary Moritz to come in to hit the winning runs and leaving Aemonn on 39 not out but exhausted.
Chris’ attempt to order fish & chips for the journey home faltered as he checked the closing times for the shop by the station. His iPhone read out the times from the website in a long slow delivery as the Devil’s expectations grew… Monday…8pm… Tuesday…8pm… mouth’s watering in anticipation of fish fresh from the sea… Friday…8pm… Saturday…8pm… and chips dowsed in vinegar… Sunday… they could almost taste them… Closed.
– Report by David Samuels