Beddington 5th XI vs Addiscombe, 2022-08-06

40/40 game, Beddington won the toss and chose to field. Addiscombe 255/7, Beddington 201/6 – scorecard

Addiscombe provided an umpire for this game, who was also keeping score on a fancy computer-machine so the scorecard (linked above) has ball-by-ball stats. Very posh, and also meant that I could alternate standing behind the wicket and out at square leg as is right and proper. It was a hot sunny day, mitigated by a breeze throughout the game. The out field was scorched dry and brown, but the square had been watered and was green, although the wicket we were using was brown, firm and dry, becoming dusty as the game progressed. It didn’t break up as much as I expected. The bone dry out field was fast, with a short boundary on one side and while the other side was much longer it was also substantially down hill, so we were in for a quite high scoring game.

Beddington’s first over with the ball went for 12, as the bowler struggled to find his length and release point. Of those 12, 6 were off no-balls and 1 a wide. Those warm-up flubs aside, he bowled well, going for an average of 4.2 an over which is respectable especially given the fast out field. Beddington’s problem wasn’t the bowling (even if, as you would expect at this level, there were bad balls a-plenty), but the fielding. Too many balls went past the fielders and once past were hopeless chases on the fast field which went to the boundary. Two of Addiscombe’s batsmen made well-deserved half-centuries, and another was one run short at the end of the innings.

With the bat, Beddington got off to an excellent start, with ten off the first over, but they couldn’t keep up with the required run rate mostly due to Addiscombe’s more effective fielding. It became clear that the game wasn’t realistically winnable but the league rules still incentivise teams to play positive cricket by offering bonus points. In particular there are bonus points for reaching 200 runs, which was achieved with two balls to go.

I’m afraid that I think I made a serious mistake in this game, giving one of Beddington’s batsmen out LBW incorrectly. The ball pitched outside off, hit him in line, I thought it was going to go on to just hit leg stump, so I gave him out. He wasn’t happy, but then, batsmen never are. After some muttering and grumbling he went off. However, discussing it afterwards it seems he had come further forward than I thought, and so after hitting him the ball would have missed the stumps.

Beddington 4th XI vs Sutton, 2020-08-01

40/40 game. Beddington won the toss and fielded first. Sutton 150/8. Beddington 129 from 33 overs – scorecard

My third game of the season, and the first to be completed, was played under changing, hot conditions. I was the only umpire, being accompanied by glamourous assistants who took square leg duties while I was at the bowler’s end throughout. It started with bright sunshine getting cloudier throughout, but the rain, such as it was, just a few light drops, held off until the Lager Innings. The outfield was scorched dry, with the ball running away fast, but the square had been watered. The strip we were using had a tinge of green to it, but was baked hard.

Early on in their innings Sutton were scoring fast, at one point looking like they might make 200, but after a high-scoring opening, Beddington’s bowlers pegged them back. It turns out that the young lad who I erroneously gave out last week can also bowl, getting 3 wickets for 10 runs conceded from his 4 overs.

Beddington’s innings started a bit wobbly, with the first two wickets falling with just 11 runs scored, but a 71 run partnership for the third wicket seemed to get things back on track with some fine batting that I was very much enjoying watching (being the umpire really does give you the best seat in the house) and I was rather annoyed when they both got out in quick succession, and the rest of the wickets fell for little profit. Aside from that one good partnership the highest score was eight. Sutton had a boy from their under-13s side who finished off most of the tail. His bowling was wild, but in his 4 overs bowled he got 4 wickets for 13 runs conceded. His feet were all over the place, often landing a long way back from the crease, and he gave away a lot of extras, but when he landed right he got wickets – results count for more than style.

After last week I had decided I was too lenient regarding wides, so was quite a bit stricter today. There were still some grumbles from batsmen for me not giving them, but that was their fault for moving towards what would have been a wide ball as I noted last week.

After my LBW mistake of last week I wonder if I perhaps veered too far in the opposite direction. I only gave two (one per team) despite many appeals. A few of those appeals were of course the usual ridiculousness were a fielder at point screams for a wicket, and a couple had the whole team go up including those who had a good view of what happened. There were a couple I only turned down because I couldn’t be sure that the ball hadn’t hit the bat – they were otherwise dead straight deliveries, but most I turned down either because I thought they were missing the stumps or had not hit the batsman in line with the stumps. Without the benefit of a suite of cameras, microphones and computers I just can’t tell if I’m getting it right or not, the best I can do is aim to be consistent, and I think I was. At some point I may sign up for a couple of hours with the techno-wizardry at the MCC indoor academy. When I do I am prepared to be terribly embarrassed!

Woodside Green vs Plastics XI, 2019-06-30

40/40 game. Woodside Green 289/5 (and one player retired on 100). Plastics 177 ao from 34.5 overs.

The ground, close to Sandilands tram stop, is in a well-heeled part of Croydon, and so far leafier than would be expected of this notoriously concretey town. The comfortable clubhouse is shared with a tennis club. It was quite a warm day so it was agreed to take drinks breaks after 13 and 27 overs instead of just at half way.

My performance was the best I’ve done so far, with no drop-off in my movement. I’m also getting used to being on my feet for so long, they don’t hurt and my back doesn’t ache as much as it did after my first game. I made one contentious decision, an LBW which the batsman was quite cross about, but I was sure and that’s that. Was I actually right? We’ll never know.