Nice to see you, to see you, nice! A familiar catch phrase in honour of our beloved skipper for this match.

A beautiful setting would inspire any cricketer to perform at his best. The wicket looked well used with pot holes at each crease, however this was indeed a bats runway. With the weather threatening from the outset, Ives walked out with an unspoken expectation that this would be one hell of a work out in the field, it was.

Southills openers spared no time to dig in with putting us to the test straight away and ‘having a go’ at every ball.

Christie opened in his usual casual manner taking 1 for 58 with JB and Andy H contributing with 2 for 77 and 2 for 47 respectively. Richard ‘Lionel’ Parnel although not taking any wickets had a good spell by minimising the runs to 35 off  8 overs with 1 maiden.

As the points racked up higher, higher and injury upon injury was being inflicted on us, the ‘Duke’ took two great catches at long stop and in doing so, almost cracking his chest cavity from one! Malcolm picked up a further two with one being a superb stretch from deep mid on after ‘stump smasher’ Baddeley administered some revenge. JB collecting another great catch sweeping.

As we walked in for tea after what I’m sure was an enjoyable session for all, we cast our eyes up to those three white numbers on the scoreboard, 281, which somehow seemed a lot bigger when framed by the darkening clouds behind.

After tea and a dousing of rain, the Duke and Foxy strolled out to open our account. Had the Duke remember his spikes, he might not have ended up flat on his…..bottom. Spikes aside, it was a short, fruitless innings this time for the Duke. Foxy seemed to be settling down but alas, 2 was the total for the Fox. A promising start from Skip was interrupted by a smash on the chin after the ball popped up from the bat. The Duke was quick to react, peeling himself from the score hut and straight out to the Skippers assistance. I’m sure I heard a siren! Skipper off the field having his Brucey prosthetics attached, Malcolm was in achieving 11.

Skipper back to the crease and didn’t he do well! It was certainly nice to see him back out there, to see him back out there, nice! Pulling off some very nice cover drives and a fantastic, albeit questionable six. It looked like Skip would reach a very respectable fifty but alas, another one bites the dust at 47. Also a contribution to note was Collins on 22 and Christie held up the rear, as he likes to, for a respectable 20 not out.

All said and done, we were positively thrashed but this game provided an enjoyable work out for all, eh brucey?!

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