I arrived at the entrance with Oli and Fits after spending most of the journey explaining to Fits the definition of a Duke/aristocracy and big houses; and also that cricket can be played without swearing, please. So the scene was set: a glorious setting, sunshine, and a fit, talented IX – and Rupert. Chatsworth batted first and apart from No 2& 3 – with 28 & 29, respectively – none of them scored any real runs. Our new pro Aussie, Rohan, bowled/fielded very well, 3 good wickets and a brilliant low diving catch at square leg! The other bowlers all chipped in with the odd wicket, as did Rupert, to have them all out for 130 at tea. We had a super tea sitting around in the sunshine, taking it all in, thinking 130 would be quite a stroll. Not so.
We never quite got going, even though Oli and Rohan got starts; the top order failed and apart from Ed Marsden and Rob Smith scoring double figures, we were not up with the rate at all – with Rupert being cleaned up by a swinging full tosser, as well!! We were all out for 83. So with a slightly early finish it was off to the pub for a pint for everyone – that was kindly supplied BY Fitsy and paid for unknowingly BY me – after a very enjoyable day’s cricket! NB: never send Fits to the bar with your £20 to buy ONE pint and expect change! All in all it was a super trip and a very enjoyable game of cricket, in the most beautiful of locations. The hosts looked after us superbly and we greatly look forward to next year.
Subsequent to writing the report, a remorseful captain felt that he had possibly given our Pool based spin demon a bit too much stick in his report. I am, therefore, contractually obliged to report that Rupert’s figures were 7 – 2 – 20- 4; he was bowled by a swinging full toss, though.