I was close to making history this week.
Playing cricket for Bath RFC in a charity game against Biddestone CC, I was one ball away from my first ever hat-trick in a “competitive” game.
Bowling first, my off-spinners were causing havoc amongst the home batting line-up.
Mainly because they were all playing for turn – and mine were just going straight on!
They were completely bamboozled by my complete lack of spin. In fact, calling it “off-spin” would probably be against the Trade’s Description Act.
Anyway, the first wickets came when someone danced down the track to put one of my wide ones into the next field, missed it and our new director of rugby Gary Gold stumped him.
When the same thing happened the next ball, I got a bit excited, ran down the wicket and gave Gary a hug. When he pulled away from the hug a lot quicker than I did, I realised it was probably a step too far in terms of where to take your relationship with your new boss!
I have received plenty of stick from the lads ever since.
The hat-trick ball was upon me. I asked most of the boys to come in from the boundary to crowd the bat and put pressure on the new man at the wicket. But they were so tired from recent CV sessions at the club, that they just waved me away.
Skipper Sam Vesty told me to make sure the hat-trick ball was on the stumps. But my wide filth had been taking all of the wickets so I decided to bowl the same ball again – to no avail.
It was bitterly disappointing. These moments come and go in life and I sat down at the break wondering if my “hat-trick” moment would ever come again.
Hilariously though, while we were changing over, one of their lads asked me if I bowled a “doosra” – the mystery ball perfected by many Test bowlers in the sub-continent. I think he was being serious too.
In reply, Stephen Donald smashed it and got 40-odd in not many balls. He has clearly played a bit Down Under.
For the record, and since you ask, I went in at No.7 when we were in a bit of bother and played the anchor role for 24 not out to see us home with Steve.
Vesty told me to go out there, ignore the pressure and play my natural game.
That meant basically playing the squad cut to every shot. Somehow, it came off.
It was a cracking day and good fun. We would have really enjoyed it too – had we not had a double rugby session the following day. Ouch.