As the build-up to Varsity began to get serious, UWMCC’s premier indoor VI started their new season with an away fixture at the Connexion Indoor Arena in Coventry, against an unknown opposing side as the league organisers had failed to even publish a fixture list. Despite strong words from Captain Clobber beforehand, fresher JP was ten minutes late for the meet time, meaning that we were destined to once again have no warm-up before the match. Surprisingly, however, we got to the Connexion in good time, and since our opposition Star Alvis were late we were given a full 15 minutes practice, of which JP only used up about half (thanks for sharing).
Not even trusting these jousters from Cov Uni with a coin toss, the skippers decided to do it umpireless, and our 100% record in 2015 continued with a correct call of heads prompting a bowl-first decision, and subsequently Goodyear getting the call-up to don the gloves, not for his keeping prowess but for the fact that Jewson was potentially needed as a bowler (a frightening prospect but we were a little lacking in options).
The first over should have given us some good insight into Star Alvis’ cricketing ability, but unfortunately most of the balls were fired down leg and it was only due to some good keeping from Goodyear that the score was kept to just eight runs. Debutant Neil Gujar was given the second over and bowled very nicely, giving away a miserly three and taking one wicket, although that may have been a runout but I can’t really remember. Skipper Hobbs’ next over went for nine runs and although Gujar was managing to single-handedly keep the scoring rate low, it was time for a change in bowling. JP came on at the Rear End to bowl some handy legspin, taking 3-20 of which at least one of them was definitely a great runout from someone (Jono?) who had just one stump to aim at. Once we were sure we wouldn’t have a ridiculous total to chase, Hobbs came back to bowl his final over but the innings was ended with yet another run out (possibly the fourth) and Star Alvis finished with a below-par 56 all out.
It wasn’t long before we were ready to bat, and with Jewson seeing off the first ball with comparative ease we decided that we’d probably be back home soon enough with an easy win under our belts. Alas, three dot balls later and Jewson decided to miss a straight one and depart for a healthy zero, sending in Goodyear to meet Jono in the middle. The two veterans of this year’s side looked comfortable until Jono got out for 6 (my memory fails me again as to how he got out) which brought in Gujar for his first Cov Indoor innings. Some nice shots were not enough for Neil, who struggled to adapt to the indoor format and got caught at short midwicket for 13. UWMCC found themselves at a tricky 35-3, with the in-form Goodear about to retire and only JP and Clobber to succeed him. A lovely six followed by a well-run three brought about the temporary end to Goodyear’s innings, leaving the final two batsmen with 6 from 6 to win. Luckily, we only needed two balls to complete the job, with back-to-back threes sealing the deal and a three wicket win for the UWMCC.
Upon our exit of the arena, we marvelled at the snow outside only for Jewson to realise that his golf would probably be called off the next day and spend the rest of the journey home sulking (alas, it was not). Once we went to fill up, petrol-gate was resolved when we identified the cause of the problem was not another club shafting us but a faulty dial on the dashboard, despite Bradshaw’s best negotiation efforts back at the sports centre. We look forward to next week’s rematch with Marton CC and hope to continue our run of wins for as long as we can.