London, Day Five!
The match with Marylebone Cricket Club started off sunny and warm as the Fords lost the toss and were sent out into the field. Being right proper cricket players, we began our match of a whopping 40 overs. Gulesh Shukla opened the bowling for us. He struck fear into the hearts of the batsmen with his line and length. The first wicket of the match was an LBW from Shukla. Our MVP of the match, Malcolm Thompson, took four wickets out of the total of seven. He bowled one batsman with a fierce yorker, allowed Zachary Cho to take a catch, saw a magnificent catch from Jack Morgan, and also claimed an LBW.
The famous Andrew Cornell spinball bowled the 5th batsman for the 5th wicket of the match. It also once again caused a confused discussion from a few of the batsmen. The seventh wicket came from the bowling of Kaito Nakatani, and was caught by Charlie Lynn after a brush of the bat. Halfway through the first overs, there was a brief rain delay, so we were finally able to get the classic England experience of sprinting to grab the covers to protect the pitch from the elements.
We are very serious on the pitch, but silly occurrences do tend to happen. Eager on one play, Charlie ran into the wicket and knocked all the bails off. Andy gave us all a right laugh when he went to bowl and the ball flew out of his hand behind him. Our umpire even contributed, as he tried (unsuccessfully) to stand on one leg during the Nelson (an unlucky score of 111.)
The first innings were over after three and a half hours. We fueled up with some surprisingly American snacks (including some pizza and mini hotdogs) and chatted with our opponents amicably. One member remarked that cricket isn't about the outcome of the match, but about the people you meet along the way. But soon we were back on the pitch, glaring menacingly at each other.
Though hopes were initially high, the batting today from the lads was again quite dreadful. Facing some tough bowling and different pitch, we quickly had all ten wickets taken from us. On a difficult pitch, the MCC spinners had a field day. Their ability to turn the ball meant our hopes of victory quickly disappeared. Malcolm Thompson had the best day scoring 24 runs off the tricky bowling. The batting concluded with Malcolm and Alissa Valentine, showing an impressive two-over partnership (one of the longest of the match for the Fords).
We continued our now standard practice of passing the rubber duck to the lad who the got the last duck in the match. The duck is now passed on with a ritual soaking, much to the amazement of the MCC members looking on. (A "duck" being getting out without scoring any runs.) One anonymous team member stated that he would quote, "remember this match in therapy."
Similarly to the Fords, it was a disappointing day for Sunderland who lost 2-1 to Charlton Athletic in the League One Playoff Final. Right buggered, we boarded the bus back to Fulham.
The team stopped at an Indian place for dinner, where recognizing foreigners, the manager quickly ordered for us. When the dishes arrived, Gulesh received a lesson in how to orient his plate and the dangers of salt, a well warranted admonition that delighted his dinner mates. Gulesh quickly rotated his plate in the wrong direction and dug in with his typical gusto.
More matches tomorrow! The lads travel to a T20 tournament hosted by Regals Cricket. Hopefully the familiar format will rally some good play. USA!!!!!!!
Written by Paige Powell '19