Spencer CC vs Beddington 4th XI, 2020-07-25

40/40 game. Spencer won the toss and fielded first. Beddington 128/9 from 38.3 overs when the match was abandoned due to rain – scorecard

My previous match at this ground was almost exactly a year ago. That was rainy too, with the match starting late and being reduced to 30 overs a side. This time we started on time but the forecast was never good. The last several overs of the first innings were played in persistent drizzle, we eventually came off when it turned heavier, and reached the shelter of the pavilion as the heavens opened. The rain didn’t take long to return to drizzle but by that point the outfield was drenched, and I was concerned about the new ball in those conditions if we’d started the second innings. As it was, the captains agreed between them to abandon the match as it looked highly unlikely that we’d be able to restart in time for Spencer to get the required minimum 20 overs to bat.

I think I made one big mistake, giving one of Beddington’s openers (a young lad who is a very good batsman) out LBW. The ball was certainly going on to hit the stumps, but he was adamant that he had got an edge with the bat, as was his fellow opener at the non-striker’s end. But I didn’t hear it, so I gave him out. He objected strongly but his colleague told him to clear off and respect the umpire. From what I overheard from some fielders later, I shouldn’t have given him out as he did get an edge on it. I apologised to him later when we left the field.

The batsmen were also, during one particular bowler’s spell, surprised that I wasn’t giving wides. Several of his balls were marginal calls and if they’d been any wider I would have given them. The one that he did get wide enough to call, I didn’t because the batsman had moved towards it (law 22.4.1).

And I made one small mistake – I forgot about the new regulation for this season that the ball must be cleaned every six overs. I was reminded of this just before the drinks break at 20 overs, so for the second half of the innings I took some wipes out with me and did that.

Spencer CC vs Beddington 4th XI, 2019-07-20

40/40 game reduced to 30 each. Spencer won the toss and fielded first. Beddington 120/8. Spencer 116/6 – scorecard

It had been raining overnight and the covers were on, but in the morning it cleared up and they were taken off. Unfortunately about an hour before play was scheduled to start more heavy rain came over, and the groundsmen were busy putting the covers on the club’s main pitch so the one we were going to use got a good soaking, leaving muddy holes just where the bowlers would land their feet. The start was delayed, and after just under an hour and a half of sunshine and wind, and judicious application of sawdust, the game eventually started, having been reduced to 30 overs per side.

Spencer’s second field is quite a trek from the club house, with an artificial turf football pitch in between, but does have its own separate changing rooms which mitigates that somewhat. There is a slight slope across the pitch from northeast to southwest.

I was the only umpire again, being accompanied by various player-umpires throughout the match, and this time I handled the bowler’s-end duties throughout, my colleagues just standing at square leg. It was a thrilling match, very close, which came down to Spencer needing a six from the last ball to win.

I was a bit irritated by one of the players. He asked me if the score board was correct, pointing out that they had just added more runs to it than had been scored in that over. A fair point for him to bring up. I checked my own score count (as well as the ball/over/wicket counter that every player knows about, I also carry a score counter, as the Laws say it is the umpires’ responsibility to keep the score) and told him that it was correct, they had just updated the score adding the runs from the last two overs of play instead of one, and that I would keep an eye on it. But at the end of the next over, when they again updated the score board correctly, he asked me again. Grrr.