D’Arcy Doyle Park seems to be a natural sort of amphitheatre. On a winter’s afternoon, the trees that gird the park through 270˚ must account for these acoustics. So, on Friday afternoon there was a veritable choir of groans as the Staff Cricket team took on the First XI in the second round of the inaugural Somerset Winter Cricket Tri-Series.
The groaning took two forms. Firstly it was an audible testament to the physical decrepitude of some members of the staff team (easily heard also in Jack Luke-Paredi’s vocal entreaties to the First XI fielders: “throw it to Walther’s end”). Knees, backs and shoulders in the staff side are in such poor shape that it was some small comfort to know that we had parent spectators with medical backgrounds.
The second round of groaning occurred as the students realised they were not going to catch the decent total that the staff team had set for the chase.
The staff batted first. I survived Mohnish trying to knock my head only to have him clean up my stumps when I circled the ball with my bat, rather than hitting it. Greg Dwyer showed that he can add stalwart batting to his leg-spinning credentials by stabilising the staff batting, allowing a rampant Troy Zernike and a muscling Damien Healy to smash enough boundaries for us to post a good score.
But, in scenes reminiscent of the 2007 World Cup final in Barbados, the students were undertaking their batting in near dark (this explains why two overs of my pies went unpunished), with the game having to be called off early due to an absence of, rather than just bad, light.
The student run-rate was deemed to be insufficient for victory by match referee Walther (also staff captain and umpire who rather embarrassingly appealed for a caught behind while officiating in that capacity) and the game was awarded to the staff. They play the alumni team in the Tri-Series decider.
Thanks must go to the First XI captain, James Guy, whose organisation was terrific for the day, as well as the parents of the students who came down to watch. Thanks also to Somerset staff who came down to watch. It was great to include two debutantes in the staff team: Ryan Beakey and Peer Richards - they look to be great additions to the staff squad.
« Back to IndexNext article in this edition »