When the opposition batsman says he hasn’t even experienced weather like this in Pakistan, then it really is saying something. When you come from the north of England and are keeping in a helmet, gloves and pads, my initial instinct would be to throw back some insult, but it would have been too much effort.
Yes, it was hot last Sunday…37 degrees in the shade if you want to be exact. There was even a federal warning for people not to do any sport outside. However, while the majority of us would have preferred sitting poolside with a Weizenbier, there was a more important task ahead – a journey that started at Easter and confounded even the most optimistic club member. After eight failed attempts, would Britannia finally win a game?
The news from the first’s narrow defeat to Viktoria the day before piled even more pressure on the plucky seconds, and a talented Dresden team would certainly provide a stern challenge. We were put into bat with the words of skipper Arun ringing in our ears. Bat the full 50 overs, make them tired and no silly shots. That Aarush and the skipper himself were apparently not listening did not go unnoticed by the Dresden bowlers, and BSV were soon two wickets down after just a few overs. Shuvro and myself then consolidated somewhat until the final over before drinks, where I was forced to leave the party wondering how much it would cost to install DRS at the Maifeld.
The game could have now gone either way, but out came Rohit Singh with the ball now old, the sun rising ever higher and a plan to take the game to Dresden. This plan worked splendidly, with runs coming from all areas and timing, power and balance being mixed in equal quantities. By the second drinks break, his 50 had been easily achieved, and more beautiful shots (including one onto the sightscreen and one onto the track in front of the gate) brought up a majestic 100.
Disappointingly, Rohit wasn’t given the support he needed and despite everything we were not able to bat through, with some contentious decisions and poor shots the downfall again and the last wicket falling with the score on 190. Despite a lost opportunity to score more runs, surely we could defend this total, especially with a varied and talented bowling attack at our disposal.
Arun certainly gave the impression that we didn’t want to hang around out there in the baking sunshine, with his first ball cannoning into middle stump off the inside edge. Another wicket soon after caught behind and we were in the driving seat. Aside from some frustrating defence from the opposition and rather too many wides (as is unfortunately always the case), the bowling kept the visitors under wraps, with wickets falling regularly. The back of the Dresden innings was broken by two great pieces of fielding, with Arun and Schayan both giving me the simple task of whipping off the bails for two run outs. Dresden commendably gave it their all, but the wickets kept falling and Rohit (winner of the most obvious man of the match award in BSV history) took the final one with the score on 123.
And with that, the weight fell off the collective shoulders of a whole club. Finally 8 points, finally something to cheer about! See for yourself the look on everyone’s faces – the delight, the joy, the tiredness and the relief. With the T20 starting this weekend and BSV I playing the big game against DSSC, we can only cross our fingers and hope for more. Thanks to everyone for the effort, in particular to Viktor and Chris for the 12th man responsibilities, not to mention our cheerleading and photography crew…you guys are a big reason why the club keeps ticking.