The incoming batsman was only wearing one pad, and no gloves. He looked like a hick from the sticks, but these guys can be deceptive sometimes. He appeared fairly strong, so I pushed the field back a bit. The batsmen had crossed off the last ball of the over. Really, it is a shame that Dodge clearly doesn’t care enough about the game, as he should have known it was the last ball and therefore not run in order to retain the strike. It is this type of mistake that I pride myself on not making – paying attention to the game and knowing where the ball is at all times is a major key to my success.
My first delivery from Stanley’s end was much better. No runs and very nearly a wicket. The batsman played and missed, and Prof made a late save down the leg-side to stop any byes. I don’t know why bowlers don’t get as much credit for beating the batsman down the leg-side as they do for outside the off-stump. The batsman missed it, didn’t they? Perhaps my celebration at the play-and-miss was bit over the top though – I just know that I will feel the affects of that cartwheel tomorrow. The batsman asked the umpire why it wasn’t called a wide – cheeky bugger. It pitched on the concrete, I don’t know what else he wanted.
The rest of the over was fairly uneventful – no wickets and no significant runs (three fours and a six). It was spoiled by Dodge’s antics though. The non-striker has no role to play when the bowler and batsman ‘exchange pleasantries’, and he didn’t need to become involved in our chat. Threatening to hit me with his Vampire bat was clearly way over the top, and I will be reporting him to the committee. His precise words were “If you call my playing partner a 'stupid monkey' again, my precious will suck the blood from your nose”. Once again though, Dodge had become distracted from the task at hand, and by limiting his partner to boundaries, I had cleverly kept Dodge off strike.
As it was a 40 over a side match, I unfortunately had to take myself off at this point. Each bowler is limited to a maximum of eight overs, and I had now bowled five of my overs. I decided that I would need to keep the best bowler (i.e. me) with a few overs left for the end of the innings. I had a quick chat with Prof, and I think that he agreed with my suggestion that I should take over as the wicket-keeper now that I couldn’t bowl anymore. He sort of grunted when I brought it up, so I assume that he thought the same as me – it was just common sense really as I am clearly more use to the side than he was in such a vital position. We exchanged pads and gloves (I called for my own box of course – there is nothing worse than borrowing a pre-used warm and sweaty protector from someone with questionable personal hygiene).