London, Day Four!
Today was a big day as we traveled to the famed Windsor Castle for our second match. The field lay within the beautiful expansive residence, next to two horses and Meghan Markle's house. Our opponent was the Royal Household Cricket Club, which is a team originally comprised of people who worked for the Royal Household. Nowadays, they are made up of a mix of different people who all share the same love of cricket (including some who still work for the royals.)
The Fords faced a new match format today. The Royal Household opted to play the match by time, instead of by overs. The match began at 2 o'clock and would be played until 20 overs had been played after 6 o'clock. Haverford won the toss and took the field first. The recently arrived Gulesh Shukla was given the new ball. He bowled his first ball wide in order to confuse the batsman, and lull him into a false sense of confidence. His powerful second ball clipped leg stump for Shukla's first wicket of the tour and a dream start for the Fords. Excitingly, the notorious Daniel Van Beveren bowled his first maiden over of the tour during our time in the field. Kaito Nakatani, dangerous as ever, sprinted 50 yards to the boundary line and performed a flexible split to save a ball from the boundary line just in the nick of time.
After Shukla and Van Beveren finished their opening spell, Andrew Cornell stepped up to bowl. His trademarked spin completely confused the batsmen, as they spent several minutes between the overs trying to figure out what type of rotation the ball had. This confusing style produced the second wicket of the day, as Jack Morgan took the catch at mid-off. The arrival of Nathaniel Rolfe into the bowling attack saw the Fords take their third wicket of the afternoon. Rolfe got the ball to swing in and clip the batsman's gloves, allowing for a stealthy catch by keeper Charlie Lynn.
The final wicket of the match came from Nakatani's bowling. The opening batsmen, then on 95 runs, hit the ball directly at Zachary Cho who took a sharp catch. The outstanding fielding by Cho then caused the Royal Household to declare (putting an end to their batting innings.) Also of note, one of the Royal House team members remarked that our keeper resembled a whippet due to his quick speed and small stature (See photo for reference).
After the first innings, we were treated to a wonderful spread of sandwiches, crumpets, and quiches. And of course, copious amounts of tea.
Unfortunately for the lads, the batting was quite dismal today. Most of the wickets were due to catches, and many were from a quick edge into the keeper's gloves. Towards the middle of the batting, senior wicket-keeper Charlie Lynn stepped up to try and stabilize the batting. Showing off an impressive nine runs off of 60 balls, Lynn demonstrated test cricket-caliber batting. Despite the small amount of runs scored, the large bonds of friendship stood strong with a fair amount of senior duos. Co-captains Rolfe and Cornell batted together for a few overs, eventually leading to a Andy/Charlie duo, and the match concluded with a Charlie/Paige Powell duo. After the match concluded, we decided to bury our sorrows in an informal inter-squad rugby match.
For dinner back in Fulham, many of the team went out for Vietnamese food. Andrew decided to test out how many Thai chili peppers he could consume, bowing out at an impressive four.
Tomorrow the fords have another match, this time against Marylebone Cricket Club. These chaps own Lord's and invented the rules of cricket. Jolly good! Hopefully the lads can bounce back after today's match. In addition to our more important match, Sunderland play Charlton in League One Playoff Final at Wembley.
Written by Paige Powell '19