A Week in the Life of a Third XI Captain

Sunday 22nd May

Still buzzing after yesterday’s win against Odiham 4ths. Great team performance, nice to get a few runs and up to 6th in the table.

Monday 23rd May

Back to work today. Started every conversation with ‘what did you get up to at the weekend……..me, played cricket…..yeah, did ok managed to get a few runs….’

Tuesday 24th May

Message from the club phone comes out asking for availability. The anticipation as to the week ahead starts to increase. Hope numbers are good, would be great to build on last weekends win

Wednesday 25th May

Message from the club phone……8, 8 available for the weekend. Time for some creative captaincy

Thursday 26th May

8 is now a 9, and by late morning I can name a full team. Time to start planning for Saturday’s game. Three minutes later……..we’re down to 10. Time to make some calls. By mid-afternoon I’m sat in Lidl car park (not all glitz and glamour as 3rd team captain) and somehow 10 has now become 12 and I need to let Deano know that we no longer need his mate. Back to 11.

Friday 27th May

One day close to game day, the anticipation is increasing. Find out yesterday’s 11 is now back down to 10 (due to injury). Quick call to Deano ‘is your mate still available to play tomorrow……, great, he’s in’.

Saturday 28th May

Match day, and in addition to a three making their 3rd team debut, we were able to welcome back Steve Savage, following a speedy recovery. Winning the toss and batting first, Cove’s experienced openers started steady, with both falling to Lee Noble during his 8-over spell. Lee’s opening partner, making her 3rd team debut, was his 13-year-old daughter, Lucy.

Lucy’s opening spell was full of great control and caused the Cove batters problems throughout (a great career ahead for Lucy who already opens the batting and bowling for her Hampshire Pathway age group). Lucy was followed by Ravi Kancharla, who as always in 3rd team cricket doesn’t give many runs away and continually causes batters problems. Ravi was unlucky to only pick up one wicket during his 8-over spell, thanks to a catch from another debutant, Tim Beere.

The third debutant was ‘Deano’s mate’ Graham Hooper, who appeared to have a great time in field, throwing himself about and almost taking a spectacular one-handed catch. Thanks to Graham for stepping in and helping the team out. Lucy returned for her second spell and this time was rewarded for her efforts, picking up two wickets

In all honesty, we were at least one bowler short, although three more straight-forward dropped catches didn’t help. Cove scoring 210 for 5 from their 40 overs. Chasing a 200+ target at Newfound would always prove a tough ask and it was made all the more challenging when Phil Carpenter went first ball of our innings, chasing a wide one, and then I snicked one behind to the keeper in the second over.

Only Graham H and extras(!) managed to achieve double figures, although Lucy offered some resistance and Tim Beere did demonstrate a sound technique, playing a couple of good-looking shots. The 3’s fell well short of the Cove total, who were good value for their win. They will do well in this division, having a good mix of colts and more experienced players.

On to next week and here’s to better fortune.