Today was dominated by cricket. We secured an astonishingly brilliant win against the Aussies in the first test match, but there was actually a more important game going on locally which demanded my attention. Fortunately, Roam was called up to the firsts again so I was able to watch both my lads play together, making for three sets of brothers playing for us in the match (the Hamiltons, the Millers, and the Boltons). This was the reverse fixture against Tong Park. Earlier in the season we were denied a win by the weather. Just after the halfway stage in the season, both teams find themselves near the bottom of the table. This is one we really needed to win.
It was a remarkably topsy-turvy game, best illustrated by some numbers. After just 14 overs Tong Park were cruising at 88-1 looking set for a big score. Roam was brought on to bowl and took a wicket with his first ball. He bowled accurately, with some menace too, and along with Alex Miller wrested back control of the game. His first seven overs only went for ten runs. He tired a little towards the end of his spell, but still finished with 2-30 off 10 overs. After their very bright start we did well to contain them to a total of 212-9 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Forrest scored freely in the first few overs to quickly get into the twenties before holing out to a poor shot. He was very annoyed with himself because he looked so comfortable at the time. The runs then dried up and wickets continued to fall. After 20 overs we were sitting in a miserable state at 68-5. It was a very downcast scene. But Red Bolton and Kervon Christmas started to build a partnership and the runs began to flow, and then pour, as boundary after boundary was struck. The opposition's belief was quickly consumed by our own belief. Tong Park suddenly became the team under pressure, which manifested itself in terms of fielding mistakes and dropped catches.
Both these batsmen are a little fragile early on but once they have played themselves in their abundant natural talent is given a chance to blossom. And blossom it did. They put on an unbroken stand of 142 runs, 90 of those going to the mercurial Red. It was a joy to watch. This was a very big win. You can get some sense of that here, taken in the fading light of a largely grey and cool day, so typical of this cricketing summer. It all made for a rather happy household tonight.