For the first time in two or three seasons I was picked to play cricket for HCC I on sunday. The match was a nail bighter which was decided on the last ball. We lost and the one who was ultimately responsible was…me. We needed two runs from the last five balls when MBA J was out. I strode out a bag of nerves. Four balls to score two runs. I played and missed at the first two, hit the third one straight to short cover and the last one went back to the bowler and I was run out.
The HBS players ran around like headless chickens pumping fists and screaming like they were the new world champions. I trudged off in utter dejection. I still can’t believe it.
It all started so well. We had bowled them out for a poultry 151. My own figures were 2 for 19 in 5 overs. It felt good to be playing hoofdklasse again. The intensity is just so much higher than the eerste klasse. And also the atmosphere around the ground makes for an extra level of exitement. There was music coming from the speakers during warm-ups and in the lunch break there was a fashion show. In the field I fielded pretty well except for one all to familiar incident when the ball went one way and I went the other (right in front of a sympathetic terrace). Oh well.
But all of a sudden we had slumped to 41 for four. After a short rain break we resumed on 70 for six. That became 130 (or so) for seven and then we choked. It was a valuable lesson for me. I hope next time I will handle the pressure better.
One more aspect which made every emotional aspect even clearer was the fact that this was Ernestine’s first experience of a cricket match. I felt so bad. It will take a while to get over.