Early on Saturday morning we headed for the most distant ground in the league, the difficult journey compounded by having to negotiate the Rugby Sevens crowd en-route. Spirits however were high as we were fielding what at least on paper was a very strong XI and furthermore Twickenham was the scene of our last win ( unfortunately for Ed Harvey he had missed that game last year).
On arriving at the ground, well actually a very picturesque common, we were intrigued to see a camera attached to the top of the sightscreen. It transpired the entire match would be filmed and broadcast live on Youtube. Word of this spread quickly on social media with Sal Syed soon tweeting that he was watching proceedings on his 55inch screen.
Anyway back to the game we found ourselves batting first but without Shoaib our opener who somewhat naively had allowed only 2 hours 15 minutes for his journey.
On a bouncy surface Alvin departed early followed shortly by Jez albeit after he had possibly played the two best shots of the match. From 20-2 there followed our best period of the match as Shoaib & new boy Raj looked totally at ease in taking the score to 80 at a more than healthy rate. However the match changed when an off-spinner was allowed to get away with five full tosses in his first over. Getting into the head of a bowler is so important but instead of starting his second over with 4 or 5 boundaries against his name, as it should have been, he still had a clean slate. Going forward with his confidence not destroyed he was now able to find his line & length and within the space of a couple of overs had converted 84-2 to 94-5. The five hour match was essentially lost in these 10 minutes.
Thereafter the only innings of substance came from Pranay who looked totally at ease in compiling an excellent 42 not out. This contrasted with 9 soft dismissals elsewhere - only Ed Harvey beaten by a sharp turner can really claim to have been "got out". Whilst we had hoped that a few clean cover drives or clips off the legs would be kept for posterity all that most of us had to show from the technology was a silly popped up catch !!
By virtue of scoring 167 at touching 5 an over we had left so many overs unused that it was agreed to play 10 overs before taking tea.
As well as Pranay bowled, supported by Liam, the match appeared only to be heading in one direction with Twickenham having reached 38-0 after 8 overs. However in the next two overs Pranay and Mike Cox each took a good wicket to leave us with renewed hope at tea.
Watching Jason Roy pop up a simple catch whilst savouring an admittedly superb pasta bake just reminded us of the horror of our own demise.
After tea we put in a most disciplined display of bowling and fielding and with wickets falling regularly, including to several good catches, were back in the game. At 92-6 and 119-7 we were firmly in the box seat for our first win of the campaign - & Ed Harvey was entering unchartered territory. The only thing against us was that the modesty of the target meant we could never raise the required much above three an over which made it difficult to build any real pressure.
At 160-8 Liam was brought back for one last throw of the dice and promptly took a wicket. With the number 11, who I have also seen bat 11 for their 3s, now at the wicket we were definitely back in the game. A few balls later and for a split second we had actually won the game; but what actually happened I can't bring myself to say - you'll just have to watch the footage on Twickenham 2s v Southgate 2s youtube.
Oh & finally, do I really have such a large arse?!!!