Norfolk Cricket League: Martyn Wardle to rescue as victors Denver 2nds and Dersingham dodge the showers
Norfolk Cricket League: Denver 2nds v Dersingham, Saturday, 6.7.19.
Denver, Colorado is famously one mile above sea level. Denver, Norfolk, is closer to one mile below, writes Jeremy Cameron.
Colorado is more famous, believe it or not, than Norfolk. If you go there and mention Norfolk, the response can be guaranteed: "Gee, I hearda Norfolk Virginia but I never hearda Norfolk England."
Denver, Colorado has mountains. But Denver, Norfolk has a sluice.
It was drizzly, damp and humid. Would they play? It takes more than a shower or two to deter the teams of Denver and Dersingham.
Furthermore they declined a reduction in overs to compensate for time lost; this meant a finish in the small hours.
At 70-6 this all seemed a shaky decision by Denver. In the pavilion familiar scenes were being played out.
One fallen batsman was demonstrating the unfairness of his dismissal. Two awaiting batsmen were eating the traditional nutrition snack of cheese and onion crisps.
Older players were telling young players not to bat as they had done.
The scorebooks were being kept with more enthusiasm than experience .
Tea was being prepared by, yes, the ladies. But it had to be postponed.
Martin Wardle, aided by his captain Giles Lewis, had other ideas.
Dersingham played their part with a series of balls that pitched only on the boundary rope after violent contact with the bat.
Both batsmen appeared to pull a fresh muscle each time they moved but by the end of the innings the score was 189. Shortly beforehand, Wardle was on 61.
He then hit four fours and was said to have reached 76. He may wish to correct this for his seasonal average.
Now came the high point of the day. No, not the tea although that was very good.
It was the battle of wits between the hostile and classy Denver bowling and the top order Dersingham batting.
Andrew Cooper, known throughout west Norfolk and even beyond as Stick, is more famous for his wit than his wits. Afterwards he took part in a discussion about how to describe his innings in print.
‘Valiant’, it was agreed, best fitted his epic struggle.
He complained that, in cricket as in life, his legs didn’t talk to his brain. Nevertheless he fought to see off the Denver attack of Alex Oughton and Jack Challen and was one ball from doing so when he received an unplayable swinging yorker.
The innings looked like petering out after this but, to the discomfiture of those who were due elsewhere, Ben Padwick took the battle to Denver. With a flourishing straight bat he deserved the fifty which he did not reach.
Finally Denver won, by 99 runs.
Both sides were missing key players due to circumstances that do not generally affect international teams: Duke of Edinburgh awards, harvesting (pea vining usually comes first), nagging partners or even work.
Very young players filled in. They seemed to understand the need for a straight bat and a healthy disrespect. In 20, 30, 40 or 50 years’ time they will be the players with creaking joints, pulled muscles and a host of dubious memories.
Division 4W scores: Denver CC 2nd XI 189 all out (43.1) 25pts beat Dersingham 1st XI 90 all out (36.5) 7pts by 99 runs.