Match Report: Youth XI v Maxwell CC
On Day 3 of tour we were all excited to get to play our first game in Barbados. Just a short trip from the hotel, a team full of fresh and second years rocked up to Maxwell Sports Club – the same ground where we’d enjoyed a great session in the nets organised by Tanmay Desai the day before. In the scorching Barbados midday sun it was clearly a bat first day. But upon winning the toss a piece of advice I received from some Loughborough GAKs the day before suddenly came to the front of my mind. Bowl first they said, it’ll be spicy they said. We had a bowl. It was not spicy.
I’d been kimmed. Despite Kam Sidhu’s protests (“Let’s not take the piss here, I’m going to kill you Hotchin”) , we eventually got ourselves out into the field. I decided to let Kam field at slip, it sure lee couldn’t go that badly. Rishi Barve took the first over. We knew we were in for a long day when their opening bat left the first ball before signalling for someone to bring off his helmet after the second. Much like Tom Adams’ shoulders after 5 minutes of UV exposure, we were in trouble. However in spite of this alpha move the bloke wasn’t a great bat and Rishi along with Sachin Suresh bowled well for the first 10. Unfortunately this is where it started to slide, a promising start was followed by some spells which were looser than James Patient’s vocals at Hal’s karaoke bar.
Nevertheless, we did have some chances to get back into it. With their gun batsman beginning to get going, Kam informed him that he’d heard that sixes are illegal in Barbados. Crumbling under the pressure of such powerful chat delivered in a deadpan Belfast accent by a Surf’s Up extra, he proceeded to nick Div Sacheti’s next delivery directly to Sidhu at first slip. Kam being a man of charity juggled the dolly of all dollies for a good minute before he put it down. All was going well. All in all they continued to kick on and got a lot of runs and much like UWMCCFC expiermenting with a back 4, the game was effectively over before it really got going.
Pick of the bowlers however was Div whose pole-affinity is rumoured to have originated from this game – he took 3 for not a lot of runs. The highlight of his spell being his run up which gradually got longer each over until he eventually started running in from the boundary. Knowing the game was all but done we decided to use our batting innings as a chance to adjust to the unfamiliar conditions and get some valuable time out in the middle. Unfortunately Cameron Taylor and I took this too literally and completely forgot that part of the aim of batting is also to score some runs. After chewing up 7 overs for a classy 2 and having received more sledging from Neil Bhattacharya and Kam in the pavilion than we had from the opposition out in the middle, we attempted to kick on.
Although this led to some more expansive strokeplay it also resulted in the fall of a few wickets. Before we knew it Kam Sidhu had found himself at the crease muttering Paul Stirling’s 2019 Middlesex batting statistics to himself. There was a hush as an air of anticipation swept over the pavilion, an instagram live was started and Ben Ralli sent up a prayer for his hair.
After a masterful innings in which Kam swiftly made his way into double figures and beyond – much to Ben’s horror – we eventually finished with Kam top scoring on 42* having been greatly assisted by Danesh Masani (and the opposition) in what was an unbeaten partnership. A tough one to take for our first game, although thankfully we returned to the hotel with the club’s reputation not completely in tatters having beating Maxwell in a boat race afterwards.
Ollie (winner of tosses, appreciator of chefette, cutter of shshapes)