Most of the team were having their first experience of the driving in and around Rwanda which to put it nicely is a lot less structured and controlled as it is back home. As the team stopped off to buy some water Chris stepped up to his role and collected money off the team to purchase all food and drink which is now kept in his little red bag known as the ‘kitty’.
The team were travelling to the genocide memorial in Kigali which they found very powerful and touching! The team had a mixed level of knowledge when it came to the genocide which was helped by the timeline in the memorial which helped the team understand how events progressed throughout. Two of the rooms that really put things into reality and touched the team was a room that contained skulls and bones from the victims and also the children’s room which contained pictures and information on children as young as 14 months old – the information included things such as favourite food, best friend and many more however the most touching information was how they were murdered.
The team then travelled to the country’s cricket ground in Kigali were they ate lunch and watched the start of what they were told was a division two match.
This is when the team really got the chance to become TEAM CWB (representing England) and take on a team made of locals from various RCA (Rwanda cricket association) teams in a T20 cricket match. The big team news of the match was that the man mountain Eric was going to be playing for Team CWB as well as a young lad that become known to the group as Eric’s prodigy.
The team opted to bowl first on what they feared was a very hot day and these fears were confirmed when even the locals were talking about how hot it was. The RCA team was bowled out for 152 – the biggest shock from this was that Eric (1 wicket) did not leave the innings with the best bowling figures as they belonged to Dan Pett who took 4 wickets and was at one point very close to getting a hat-trick. Other players to claim their first international wicket were James Sugden, Chris Coleman and Rob Jones. The other shock from this was that the man (Lewis Hobbs) who calls himself a very economical bowler showed that there was some truth in his self-proclaimed bowling style didn’t take a wicket and that Alex Hunts politely put disgustingly bad bowling actually managed to gain him an international wicket.
KEY MOMENTS of the innings – wicket keeper Chris Coleman on the very first ball dropped an edge off of Eric’s bowling which has left his team mates very disappointed with him!
James Sugden the stand in wicket keeper while Chris bowled then showed him how to keep wicket by sticking one hand out to somehow take the ball after another edge which left him the most shocked man in the ground.
So with Team CWB chasing 152 they decided that their key player Eric would open the batting alongside Chris who had been talking the talk and would now have to walk the walk in order for his team mates to believe all of the previous talk. Eric produce a quick fire 30 before being dismissed by a looping full toss by RCA general manger Joshua Mwanja leaving the team feeling worried.
Luckily Chris was starting to walk the walk and hit some of the biggest sixes that the Rwandan ground has ever seen (they think).
Chris went on to make a brilliant 74 not out which he ended in style with his 9th six which went straight back over the bowlers head. This six not only took him to that total but it also took Team CWB to 153 which made them what they believe to be the first ever team CWB to win an international match (to be confirmed). Other players that added to the total were Andrew Ferguson, James Sugden and Rob jones.
The team would also like to mention how impressed they were with some of the RCA players especially some of the young ones that are sure to give Rwanda an exciting future.
In the Evening the team felt very privileged and grateful to be hosted by Joshua, Charles and srinath from the RCA for a curry – The food was brilliant and kept coming all night long as well as a few beers. The company and the conversation with the RCA was very interesting and entertaining they are a great group of guys and Rwandan cricket is in good hands.
After the meal the team went to a bar introduced to them by Eric before getting the motor taxis home! Alex is was in lead by far and was flying down the straight before his helmet flew off of his head which he has said was a very scary moment in his life. The race home was looking like it was between two men Dan and Rob before they both took a wrong turn leaving them to take last place and resulting in a very undeserved Yorkshire one-two which James Sugden first + Lewis Hobbs second.
Now fingers crossed Andrew and Chris’s bags will be at the airport tomorrow (Sunday) morning when they go to retrieve them.
One final not is that the team would like to thank RCA for the match and the hospitality.