by S. Reade
They say, lightening never strikes twice, and the atmosphere upon arrival in a cold and cloudy Dresden, indicated that it couldn't... but it did.
The heavy clouds and damp feeling in the air should have been an indicator, but lessons were not learned, and oh how we would be reminded.
I was going to write about glorious memories, WWII referenced with witty one liners, but feel that's not appropriate. Nor does it feel right after the day we had. Let's just say, Ze Germans (sic) gave our boys a hell of a beating.
Captain for the day Mik was desperate to win the toss and put us into bat. Not only to try and use the dampness in the pitch and the chilly air to our advantage, but to try and wash away the cold memories, still only a week old, of a run chase that ended in a very stylish collapse. But it was not to be and Dresden took up the strike.
The opening overs saw them pegged back, Rahul delivering some ferocious bouncers and frightening pace with his first 5 overs giving away only 16 runs. Backed up by Arshad, Ben, Leigh and Brigham, drinks came at the halfway mark with a mere 88 runs for 2 on the board.
But the weather then played it's part, a torrential downpour and icy wind then blew across the field, both teams diving for cover under the persistant bombardment.
Upon our return, things took a turn for the worse, Umer and Siva putting The Vinos to the sword, the scoreboard started to tick over far too often and soon, runs were coming far too quickly.
The innings finished with Dresden on 258 for 6, with Brigham, Rahul (who even his last over went for 18) and Jody the only bowlers who came out with lickable wounds and we'd set ourselves a pretty much impossible target.
Even the lunchtime curry conversation was about saving face and not about winning, could we make 200 and say we'd done well... well as things went, no we couldn't.
Rahul began with the bat as he had with the ball, attacking everything and finding the boundary from the off, but his comrades in arms couldn't match his vigour and soon, the wickets began to fall. The less said the better about the batting collapse that followed for a second week in a row, only Rahul, Arshad, Benji and myself (Steve) made double figures and the battered and bruised bodies that were left after the innings were testament to being outplayed by a better team and outfought by a better adversary.
With The Barbarians being torn apart, our game next week takes on a new significance, not only do we have to go out and beat them, but we need to beat them with enough grace and style to renew our confidence and renew the Vinos Spirit! Let's hope we bat first!!!
And so we come to the Man of the match, the Play of the match and The TOTM...
MoM (Man of the Match): goes this time to Rahul. It was a close call between him and Jody who bowled exceedingly well, but as Rahul gave it all with bat and ball, he takes the honours this week.
PoM (Play of the Match): does though go to Jody, for his bowling spell. The times when Vinos have a real spinner in their ranks are very few and far between and in his opening overs, the batsmen who had carved their way through the pace, were dazzled and confused with the sudden change in tact.
ToM (Play of the Match): well, where do I start... It could have been one, it could have been all. So I give it to all that played.