Ewan Harris on the 3rd XI's 2017 opener:
With no BUCS fixture on Wednesday, the 3s’ season started away at Bristol Grammar School 3s. As we arrived, their coach warned us that they were “quite a sociable bunch, maybe not the best cricketers”. Undeterred by this, Sidwell negotiated a bat first and so Harding and Vandepeer were sent out to open, looking to spend some time in the middle. It quickly became apparent the different standards to which the two sides played. BGS had 3 players in whites, the rest in a bizarre range of sports gear with one particularly standing out with his North Face puffer jacket and Ralph Lauren hat. The field placements were unconventional with at times two backstops and not a single fielder saving one.
Knocking the ball around at will, UBCC looked set for a big score. Vandepeer (6) was bounced out and Harding (34) knicked off to the keeper to bring Lloyd and Sidwell to the crease. Sidwell looked to up the rate that was already nearing 10 an over and scored his 39 off just 21 balls – 4 fours and 2 sixes. It was during this partnership that the game really descended into a farce. BGS bowlers asking the umpire important questions like “if I’m right handed where do I bowl?” or the more fundamental question of “how do I bowl?”. At which point, a lengthy discussion broke out as to what the crease was and where his front foot could and couldn’t land. Runs continued to flow despite losing Sidwell and then Lloyd who retired on 50*. Roy and Fischer put on 98 together including a huge six over square leg from the latter. Fischer was run out for 42 as he paid the price for walking the first run, being caught well short of his ground when Roy called for the second. Roy went on to make 50 before holing out on the penultimate ball bringing Harris to the crease for a one ball cameo. Trying to play to the demands of the crowd, he opted for a switch hit targeting the shorter boundary. The ideas were correct, the execution left something to be desired as he was nowhere near the ball, plumb LBW and UBCC finished their 25 overs 256-6, a very handy run rate of over 10.
With such lovely facilities at the BGS Sports Centre, UBCC had high hopes for teas. A poor selection of sandwiches and a couple of crisps was not what we were after, 3/10.
As UBCC had amassed such an imposing score, chasing it seemed pretty unlikely which allowed Sidwell to be a little more attacking with his fields. 2 slips were a staple, with at times 2 gullies and even leg slips for the left handers. Crane and Brown both bowled well at the top of the innings, both taking wickets so the ball was thrown to Harris and Fletcher to have some time in the middle. While Fletcher was burgling some lovely figures (3-1-9-3), Harris was being pumped to all parts of the ground by their gun number 4. Hodgson scored 51 off just 28 balls including 2 sixes – taking Harris over cover and Anderson over cow – all with a bat that looked like something you’d buy in a beach cricket set. The fielding for UBCC varied from the sublime to the ridiculous as Roy took the most nonchalant one hander on the boundary as he misjudged a high ball. Other members struggled however, Fletcher dropped the slowest caught and bowled chance of all time and Anderson was fumbling everything leaving Fischer to remind him “it’s red Anderson”. He redeemed himself though, wrapping up the tail to give UBCC a comfortable victory by 166 runs.
The team headed back to the WG for a post-match drink where Fischer couldn’t help but chirpse the hen party on the table next to us, educating them on the intricacies of the game and what exactly a silly mid-on is. He returned to the table to declare that another member of the 3s “loves cricket, he’s just not very good at it” – it will be left to the reader to identify to whom he was referring.
Chai Pani DOTD:Ewan Harris for a golden duck and dire figures.
Bath Ales MOTM:BGS’ Hodgson for 3-0-19-1 despite his side going at 10s and then 51 off 28 with the bat.
WG Grace Stylish Player of the Match:Bertie Lloyd for a composed 50* anchoring the innings
Nib Nibs Perfect Catch of the Match: Rajat Roy for his unbelievable grab
Sandwich Sandwich Wet Sandwich of the Match:Tom Anderson for calling the rest of the team “all d***s” after he chomped on absolutely everything all afternoon