Played wine trade cricket today. First game of the season, versus Fullers, at Chiswick Park. It’s such a pretty ground, quintessentially English and fringed with trees. The only problem: retrieving balls that have been dispatched past the boundary. Most significantly, this was veteran Wine Trade and Fullers cricketer Mark Dally’s final game before retirement. A Fullers man, he turns captains their team in this fixture, even though he’s more regularly turning out for us, so it’s a nice chance to play against him for a change. I hope we gave him a good send-off!
Our team were batting first, and for someone who bowls and bats down the order (no 11 today), that means quite a bit of sitting around engaging in banter with teammates.
We did OK, putting on 219 runs from 38 of our 40 overs. That we didn’t use up the allocation is partly my fault. I came in with four overs to play, biffed a couple of twos and then got bowled. I felt for Dave Bowley, guest player over from South Australia. His wine label is Vinteloper. He is a good player who hasn’t played for a decade. He dispatched his first ball for 4, and then was run out: he called the batsman at the other end through, but said batsman changed his mind and ran Dave out. Poor show! And he only got to bowl once the game was pretty much decided.
Normally Fullers beat us, so we reckoned this was just a par score. It was the our turn to bowl. I took second over, and both Murray (opening at the other end, a proper opening bowler, unlike me) and I were a little wayward and our first couple of overs each were expensive. But then I began finding my length, and moving the ball a bit, and it just clicked. From my eight overs I dismissed five of the top six batsmen, 3 bowled 2 caught, and finished with figures of 8-0-43-5. The first five-for I have had. Thrilling! Possibly the moment of the game, however, was a remarkable one-handed caught and bowled by Christo Elliot-Lockhart, who just plucked a rapidly moving ball from above his head.
We ended up winning by just over 100 runs, and then enjoyed a quick drink. Dave had brought along one of his wines: a blend of Touriga Nacional plus a bit if Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Barbera. It was delicious.
Vinteloper A/13 Adelo 2013 Langhorne Creek McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Sweet rich dense and powerful, with a lovely core of raspberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit, as well as some fine creamy notes. Very rich but well defined with fine spicy notes. Showing lovely intensity and balance, this is bold, juicy and delicious. 91/100 (£17.99 Red Squirrel Wine)