Following a long exhausting day at the school the CWB team travelled back to Gaborone focusing on the cricket challenge match vs Pioneers. The team stopped off for quick showers and kit back at the lodge and then descended on the Gaborone International Oval with true belief.
The team arrived at the ground and came off the mini bus ready to do battle. The opposition were already having a team talk from their manager. CWB were a little disappointed to find that their team shirts with names on the back had not arrived. This was a minor set back and they were soon out under the floodlights warming up.
Under the captaincy of the legendary Yorkshireman, Ian Green, CWB decided to bowl first after winning the toss. The CWB team were joined by Shameelah (under 19 Botswana National Womens team captain), Elvis and Vusi (Botswana Cricket Association players) to make up the eleven.
After a group huddle, that put fear into the opposition, the opening bowling family partnership of Jethro and Bronwen Menzies (son and mother) started with a couple of overs each. Jethro’s pace was electric in the first over. The Pioneers had probably never seen pace like it. The hands of 68 year old veteran wicket keeper Graham Gayton (G Unit, GG) were stung on more than one occasion. Getting use to a floodlit game was proving difficult as a few boundaries came off the first few overs. It was the sheer pace of the ball off the wicket that was amazing. In the second over the breakthrough came. The batsman had not recovered from the ferocity of the first over and a dipping slower ball from Bronwen had the batsman in trouble has he hit one into the air. Green at mid-off focussed on the ball in the floodlights with an amazing catch.
Runs were being scored freely but spirits in the CWB team were high and the second wicket was not long to follow. Elvis took over at the pavilion end. He’d arrived late on the pitch for the huddle. The team were a little frustrated with him as they wanted ‘a little less conversation’. There were ‘suspicious minds’ but he soon delivered. The batsman tried to hit him over mid-off but was ‘caught in a trap’. He skied it into the air. It seemed to go miles into the night sky. Green stood patiently for the ball to fall and it nestled comfortably into his hands.
The scoreboard ticked over. The bowlers gave lots of effort. Pace from David Boothroyd and Scott were backed up from flight and guile from Vusi and Chris. Chris’s spell was deceptive. He laid out the batsman with his first ball. The second ball was respected by the batsman. He played all around the third ball and the speed of GG behind the stumps was too much. It all happened in slow motion but the stumping was given. Jethro took a super catch out at long on, diving full length and adding more scars to his body, following his awful attempt at a catch with the kids earlier. Shameelah came on for a couple of tidy overs, impressing both dad (sat on the boundary) and team mates. During this spell, CWB were concerned with David’s swelling. He’d apparently turned his ankle while chasing a ball to the boundary…..
The most entertaining over came when Callum Doyle entered the fray for only his third ever game. He only bowled one over, but it went on and on…and on.. it included 6 wides..and the batsman even ended up dancing over to square leg twice. Cal even turned to the captain half way through and asked if he could go home. The captain reminded him of were his pride was. Cal responded with fight and didn’t even go for a boundary. GG took a catch off Jethro’s second spell. A nick from another quick delivery stuck in the G Unit’s gloves much to his surprise. Green ended up with a hatrick of catches and finished with the most economical over of the innings.
The opposition ended up with 169 in their 20 overs.
2nd innings…to follow…dropping anchor