Set off to Harlow in the rain and as we drove up the M25 it looked worse, but the weather report indicated that (1). There wasn't any run and (2). There was cloud, but it would be gone by 1 pm when we were due to start, so we took a chance as there was not indication on the website that the match was called off. Picked up Tim on the way and despite the fact that there was a lot of traffic on the M25 and big queues we'd left earlier enough to get there in good time. It rained all the way until we reached the A414 into Harlow and the rain disappeared, Harlow was dry and by the time we reached the ground the cloud cover looked as though it was going to break up and be fine.
The whole team turned up eventually, most of them getting held up on the M25. Most of the team were regulars, plus a new bloke Jithin.
I think we won the toss and Lee decided that we'd bat first saying "We'll get it over and done with and get home early". I was gutted... £18.00 and driving across Essex to be knocked over for next to nothing and then possibly not get a bowl! I looked around the room for batsmen... Mike, Charlie, Dutton, Jamie and the new bloke Jithin? Maybe we'd get some runs?
I was designated scorer by Mike Blerkom - he commented that I'd been practicing so was up to it and once out there I found the opposition had a scorer too, so that would be a lot easier and we could agree as we went along.
There was a light breeze, low cloud, but partly broken and quite warm 20 degrees centigrade, it looked like a good cricket day.
Their opening bowler a bloke called T Rees looked like a right handful from the outset, he looked fast and accurate and bowling fairly short and every now and then a ball would bounce high and Dutton looked to be struggling against it a bit with the unexpected bounce?
Anthony Ayres bowled in two spells, his initial spell was superb albeit with no wickets, but almost every ball was threatening with good pace and bounce. In his second spell though, the wheels came off and ruined his figures. My spell was the other way round. My first 2 balls as often is the case were ropey, the first one was a full toss, which the bloke smacked to the boundary for 4 and the other was a short ball which got the same treatment, but the 3rd ball came good and I got into a rhythm. It ended up being possibly one of my best spells of recent years, didn't get wickets in the same way that I have been, but these blokes were good batsmen people were telling me and they weren't likely to give away their wickets in the usual 4th XI way. Lee had said that he thought the ball would turn like it did at Langdon Hills (Home Ground), but it didn't, there was something there, but not like in the last couple of weeks. After about the 3rd over, I was so confident that I was starting bowl variations and sub-variations of my leg break... More turn, less turn, flippers and Top-Spinners. I Kept the Googly back a bit and only used it twice in the 8 overs. One came in and went through the gate and over the middle stump. I then used it again in the first over following a Leg break, pitched it well outside of off and it turned a mile and hit middle and leg - best Googly I've bowled in years! Partly because I haven't bowled them for years!