Bat first and enjoy the bratwurst sausages. That was the plan – and it came off in style.
John Thornton and Toby Chasseaud put on 52 for the first wicket despite the slow outfield. When Thornton's wicket fell, with the off stump snapped in half, John Webley kept the score moving along, bringing up his thousand runs for the season. He now has 1016 runs from 17 innings at an average of 78.15. Webley was perhaps unlucky to be bowled off his pads by a ball that would have gone down the leg side. In came Kieran Mullens, who was thinking of retiring or hitting out to get out, so that he could tend to his sausages. But when Andy Birley took over the chef's duties, Mullens relaxed into his innings, finishing not out on 34 and enjoying a 126 partnership with Chasseaud, who after a watchful start, has begun to cut loose. The skipper's fifty came off 55 balls and he later struck 26 off one over with some powerful straight hitting (2, 6, 4, 4, 6, 4). When he was caught at mid-on, there was no let-up in the run rate, with the dangerous Rizwan Siddiqui plundering 35 off just 13 balls.
During the tea interval K Dog was the hot dog king, having invested in a portable barbecue. Birley had turned the coals white hot and the bratwursts went down a treat, with plenty of vegetarian options in the kitchen too.
In reply, Old Gammarians could only manage 104, contained by tight bowling and tidy fielding, including a graceful catch by Mullens to grab a ball that would have cleared many a fielder, and nice work from Sandeep Nair behind the stumps. The ever reliable James Gleadow went for less than two runs an over and snaffled three wickets. Grant Dixon was similarly accurate and James Collis chipped in with two wickets and was unlucky not to take more as Siddiqui made light work of the tail.
Post-match drinks were had in the Stapleton Tavern, where Paul Davis joined the party after a successful day's baseball.
Thanks again to Christopher for scoring and to the affable Grammarians skipper Khalid for providing a sporting opposition. He will no doubt be planning revenge next weekend.