The final day of my tour started off with a meeting with the tour manager, who let me know the fine body of athletes I would be skippering on the day after much speculation on who would actually be turning up!
Rain threatened in the morning as the tourists made their way to their customary pints and pub food before the match. However, it brightened up as it was negotiated that Mount would be fielding first for the 3rd time this tour! I put on my keeping gloves for the 2nd time this week as Richard Hair and Shaayan Akhtar opened the bowling.
Controversy came early on as the batsman undoubtedly gloved the ball off one of Shayaan's first balls straight to myself at keeper... Not out, the call! The first wicket came a few overs later, however after some tight bowling which frustrated the batsman led to a dolly catch for gun fielder Max Dunn off Shayaan's bowling. The second wicket came off Max's bowling after the batsman decided a reverse sweep would be the best shot to play which the whole team saw a mile off! I expertly palmed the ball to my trusty slip Shayaan for an easy catch! Another wicket fell, the batsmen, clearly frustrated by the slow run rate, attempted a risky single which was snapped up and thrown in quickly by Jacko Jnr, leading to a run out.
It was then the turn of the youngsters, Jacko and Lambo Jnr to bowl at some very capable batsmen. Toby bowled 3 overs with no wicket but only 16 runs against batsmen who were approaching their half centuries. Proud brother here! Jacko Jnr did the same at the other end with 2 wickets, one of them being the opener who shot one straight in the air to Max Dunn (never in doubt). The other (who was on 49 at the time!) swung for the ball as he charged down the wicket but missed completely as I collected and stumped him. My heart stopped as I saw DT at square leg hesitate on the decision before finally giving it out!
By the 30th over I had 3 bowlers with injuries so Richard Hair capably stepped in and bowled with Jacko Jnr to finish off the first innings! 173-5 after 35 overs. A great achievement with 10 players!
Captaining our batting innings was a slightly easier ride! Max Dunn and Shayaan Akhtar opened for me and put up the entire target for no wicket. The highest ever Mount opening partnership with both batsmen not out (since records began!!) 176! Max with 101 and 58* for Shayaan.
A great win for the Mount making it 2/3 for the tour! It was a pleasure captaining the side and I hope the first of many! Special thanks to John Sherwin and Tom Willis for stepping in also!
We then went back to The Windmill for food, pool and darts and it was a lovely way to end the tour!
See you next year!