40/40 intra-club game to open the season, with batsmen retiring after facing 50 balls. Team Fandango Pink 250/5 (plus 2 retired). Team French Pink 251/4 (with 2 retired) from 37.3 overs.

The pitch was a brand new astro-turf surface and played like a road. Aside from swing from the strong breeze that was blowing across it, there was little for the bowlers, and it didn’t even bounce much, being so new that it hadn’t yet truly firmed up. The scores were accordingly quite high, with Team Fandango Pink going at over 6 an over to set a target of 251. Team French Pink was always ahead of the run rate though.

Despite this being my first match of the season after over six months off, I was pleasantly surprised that I had very little rust to blow off. I remembered to call byes, something which I forgot at the beginning of both my previous seasons and indeed occasionally later in the season too. The one LBW that I gave was uncontroversial, as were the several LBW appeals that I didn’t give. I think I only made two mistakes. The first was that I didn’t shave my head before the match, and my lockdown barnet was rather too big and my hat didn’t fit, and so blew off a few times. The second mistake I made was that I spent quite a while before deciding that one LBW appeal (which I didn’t give) was not out because it was juuust missing leg stump, only to be told by a fielder after I’d made my decision that the batsman had got an edge on the ball anyway, which I had missed. Obviously if the batsman hits the ball then it doesn’t matter whether the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps!

The one other thing that I do need to work on, although it wasn’t a mistake, is on judging wides. I called wide 16 times but could have called it a lot more. I was asked beforehand to be generous on them, as we were rather pressed for time as it still gets dark a bit early at this time of year, so I only called those that were quite outrageously wide. I hope I’m allowed to be rather stricter in my next match, so that I can get my eye in before the league season.

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