Detail: 07-07-2023 - Hugo Orange T20

Result: L by 30 runs
Joint managers: Harry Baker + Ed Jenkins

Hugo Orange XI v Blues: T20 Edition

With a hard and fast start time of 6pm, the game started in typical blues t20 fashion. It appeared none of the Hugo Orange XI work on Friday afternoons and had turned up not only on time for KO but also for a warm up. The Blues, however, come first nut, had 9 ready. Most importantly, co-captain 'Eddy J' (as I've become colloquially known in the Blues) was one of the ones that was missing. Due to his inferior cricket knowledge, compared to co-captain Harry Baker, the one job he had was to do the admin. Admin consisting of buying 2 pink balls and arriving on time. As it was, the game started and the fresh pink ball came into play 3 overs in. As a result, I have no idea what happened in the first 3 overs, except that we were bowling first, there were no wickets and single figure runs were on the board. A bloody good start I thought.

Debutant Ben Kelson and Blues stalwart, Simon Richards opened the bowling. Due to his recent form with the ball, Bakes had decided that all rounder Simon was exclusively a bowler today. In my head his first 3 overs were very good and his 4th over was absolute dross, however, the figures suggest otherwise. Kelson at the other end had clearly been spending the week studying Mark Wood, as absolute heat and 'back of a length' bowling were being produced. Later that night, Youcef was quoted to say that 'that was the fastest I've kept to in 15 years'. As soon as I began to think that maybe bens a bit too good for us, the openers off stump fell, and I actually thought I don't care if he's too good because we needed wickets. Blues cap receiver, Henry Giles, and another debutant, Archie Osmond, were on at first change. Bandana billowing behind him, Gilo bowled his usual line and length and got rewarded with a nick behind, our second wicket of the day. Archie however didn't have the same luck with his fielders. Having not bowled since school (5 years ago), Archie took his time to get into his rhythm. However, medium half trackers have become an excellent way of taking wickets in England this year and the first chance fell to Olly Wilson at gully. Unfortunately, Olly Wilson's hands didn't get the memo and the first drop was seen. As I was deciding how to poetically describe this drop in the match report, the next ball flew high into the sky. With snow on it, I had time to think who would be the next victim of a drop today. I then realised that the ball was erring towards no man's land betwixt myself and Hugo Walton (other Hugo). Sensing Hugo's nervous hot breath over my right shoulder I decided I'd do him a solid and take the second drop of the day. It's alright though because redemption was on the cards a couple of overs later and a near replica occurred and this time, even more snow on it, my chest wore it but again my hands didn't. I decided that was enough for me at cow corner and after a wave of the hands to Simon, I was subbed out for the in form cow corner fielder. A few balls later, and Hugo Walton couldn't get out of this one. High it went, boundary rope threatening to trip him up, Hugo didn't know which way to go and didn't really move at all. Turns out he was nowhere near it and over it went for a 4. Tough on Archie - welcome to the Blues.

Our next debutant, Callum piccathely, then decided to rock up on time for the next bowling change (a good 40 minutes into the game). Anyway, he got spanked about abit and worked out that he could actually pitch the ball by going round the wicket (which is quite important for a spinner). Unfortunately for him, he discovered this with 3 balls left of his spell. Hugo Walton did his best impression of cal in the one over he got. Fortunately for him, my hands had finally warmed up so when Hugo orange went for a big heave ho behind the bowlers arm, hugo enjoyed his first blues wicket - and it was the oppo captain too! The openers then came back on to bowl the last few overs resulting in a run out by Henry Giles concluding their innings at 187. About par we confidently said but I don't think any of us truly thought.

Eddy j and Saturday league cricketer olly Wilson were thrust into open. Baker had promised me that this chap was a gun and some excellent leaves from the debutant gave the blues some encouragement that we may do alright in this chase. However, a well timed 4 was swiftly followed by the first thwack of leather on leather and trigger finger gilo came out to play (on the night he was due to receive his blues cap!!) Eddy j decided he hates runs at the moment so edged one for 4 then edged one behind to depart after 4 balls. In came 3 and 4 in the form of harry baker and bowler turned batter James leeworthy. Due to a recent back injury (that anyone is yet to see evidence of) this was a chance for leeworthy to cement himself as a blues batter. And boy did he take it. Against the best bowling attack we've seen all season, the man was unnerved. Singles and boundaries, hooks and drives, the man could do it all. This was his time. Meanwhile, Baker at the other end played majestically too. Such soft hands on show, using the pace of the ball and being the rock that we needed in the innings. Giving us a chance at eclipsing 187, the sweaty harry baker departed on 25. Leeworthy was not done yet though and was still going strong, marching towards his 50. In came our long tail (which started at batsmen no. 5) with kels showing some good hand eye action, slashing himself to 6. Hugo then entered and displayed a mightily impressive high elbow game. Unfortunately, a lot of his shots were in the form of blocks to short cover, and leeworthy decided enough was enough and ran the debutant out. Tactical. Veteran Youcef who'd pushed himself down the order, 'in order to recruit as many future blues as possible' was forced to go in next. White helmet shimmering, the man looked possessed at the crease. With more tics than Rafa at Roland Garros, he bobbed up and down at the crease, waved his bat about abit and looked assured for his 7. Leeworthy then decided he'd got thirsty for youcef's warm san Miguels and departed for 53. Henry Giles was not only having a great day with the ball but also played some lovely shots to get to 20* (including a huge 6!).

Hugo orange XI may have outdone us on the pitch as we finished 30 short but we ate pints quicker than them in the red lion afterwards so all good.

MOTM: Ben Kelson

Kelson: 1-9
Henry Giles: 2-29
Hugo Walton: 1-11

Leeworthy: 53
Bakes: 25
Henry Giles: 20*

[updated 30 11 2023]