So, the hottest day of the year so far. A muggy 30 degrees, under a blue sky with just a hint of haze. And time for some wine trade cricket, against Royal Hampton Wick Cricket Club.
It’s a beautiful ground, inside Bushy Park. I arrived just in time to take the field, after changing hurriedly, and applying some sun screen. It meant my fingers were slippy and, taking the second over, I had a horrid start, with three full tosses. Lawrie, the other opener – and genuinely fast – bowled one of the openers.
I started the third over badly, but then produced a peach of a delivery that swang and then cut off the seam, bowling their number 3, a first XI batsman. I ended up with respectable figures of 8-1-27-2, and Hampton Wick were restricted to 167-9 off their 40 overs.
The Wine Trade struggled to keep up with runs required, alas, right from the start. In the end we were bowled out for 130 odd (my measly contribution a 2 not out from no 11). But it was a glorious day to be playing cricket. Nice pint of pride enjoyed while sitting in the scorebox in Hampton Wick’s fabulous pavillion.
We had brought along some wine, and did a bit of an informal tasting at the end. My favourite was a Faiveley Mercurey 2008, which was elegant with some real complexity. Also enjoyed: a chilled Beaujolais, a Hawkes Bay Sauvignon from Jolivet of the Loire, and a Georgian Saperavi. Unfortunately I didn’t take notes, and can’t remember producers. My bad. But this was true off-duty time. We all need to play a bit more…