Dawn to dusk

Its not just a cricket bat and some gloves you need when you play for Bushy Park Girls these days. You best be armed with at least a wooden stake and some garlic and after Tuesday night’s game against Ealing  I will be popping down to Teddington Sports to see if they can’t get some made with our very own logo.

Yes, Tuesday was another first for BPG when we played our first day night game. I will warn you that subscriptions may need to increase significantly next year as we found that phone torches were really not an adequate replacement for good old fashioned floodlights.

Anyway, back to events on the pitch. The sun was out when most of the BPG team rocked up about 5pm at the Teddington clubhouse for a 5.30 start. Unfortunately, the clubhouse was shut and there was no sign of the oppo. With Sunset due at 8.15 this wasn’t ideal.

We only had 10 on paper but Jacqs sporting a fetching new look of two sets of glasses (normal glasses with sunglasses over the top which I am sure will be all the fashion soon) was somehow persuaded to don a BPG green top. I personally thought it really complemented the glasses look. So we had 11. Or did we? As a quick count up revealed no sign of KJ. A text and a phone call ensued but no reply and we still don’t know where she is! We can only hope the oppo didn’t get to her first.

Anyway by 5.20 the clubhouse had fortunately open, stumps were up and the scoreboard ready. However, only a few Ealing players had arrived. James was on his way with others but apparently his flight from Transylvania had been delayed.

With the sun about to disappear behind the trees a figure was spotted with others trailing behind carefully keeping to the shadows to avoid the last of the sun’s rays. Sadly one of their number was not so careful so that by the time they reached the clubhouse they only had a 10. A flash of light and small pile of ashes on the outfield the only visible remains of their 11th player.

This was going to be a good toss to win. We lost and were in the field.

So, what to say of the Ealing innings? We started very promisingly. Erin and Evie opened the bowling and we got a run out early as the batter forgot to ground her bat as Molly took the ball from Paiges’ throw and whipped off the bails. The non striker had almost run 2 by then but the other opener hadn’t completed the 1st run!

In Evie’s second over the other opener went for a shot too many and hit a steepler to Molly who took the catch. 21-2. Maybe we would finish before the bats started flying and something evil lurked from the dark. Perhaps it would be a Thriller.  Sadly, it was a no to both of these. Erin, Evie, Paige, Simrat, Abi and Millie searched desperately to put a stake through the heart of the Ealing batting but the ball flew in all directions. Jacqs displayed some lovely footwork in the field putting Ronaldo to shame, Kate got solidly behind the ball which kept coming her way and Dawn noticeably improved her fielding when her daughters were bowling in fear of retribution. But despite all their efforts, a few bruises and a broken nail the Ealing bloodsuckers racked up a formidable 153-2 off their 20 overs.

At about 7.30, with the sun slowly sinking below the horizon the BPG reply began. Molly and Paige got us off to a good start and helped by some extras took us to 35 off 5 overs before Molly tried one ambitious shot too many and fell to a catch. Abi came to the wicket in the gathering gloom intent on trying to seize the initiative. Runs flowed freely as the sun completely disappeared and darkness started to shroud the ground. With 70 up after 10 overs the BPG team and supporters, tightly gripping their silver crosses had a glimmer of hope. But darkness is the vampire’s best friend. Abi lost the ball in the background and was bowled. Millie strode to the wicket swinging her wooden stake to intimidate the opposition. Regrettably the stakes behind her were immediately shattered as she took a swing at what she thought was the ball but was actually Mars. Evie left the haven of light in the clubhouse to try her best but Ealing sensed blood and 2 balls later Evie went the way of Millie although this time it was Venus to blame. As a BBC film crew set up nearby to broadcast the latest edition of the Sky at Night Erin our very own pocket rocket took up the mantle. Sadly, it was all too brief as she too succumbed.

dusk to dawn

20.23 and 12 overs in

Paige continued to bat serenely repelling the beasts as they edged closer. Simrat joined her in a brief stand before Paige was hunted down and run out. By this time it was proper dark. Ealing decided it would be good idea to change their wicket keeper half way through an over. Top idea.  As phone lights went on to help the scorers there was only one person who could save us. No it wasn’t Sarah Michelle Gellar but our very own vampire slayer. Dawn. Fear glinted in the eyes of the Ealing players. Simrat and Dawn took the attack to the opposition. Runs started to flow again although it was difficult to see where the ball had gone. The score crept over the 100 but just as we thought we might all be saved Dawn took one risk too many and Ealing pounced. There was still time for Kate (at least I think it was Kate but I couldn’t really see) to face 2 balls and scamper a run but the innings ended on 107 – 7 after 20 overs. The match ending in what was really complete darkness!

In what seemed like seconds the Ealing team dispersed into the night. Led away by the heartless Count as they took to the wing. I re-entered the clubhouse, my eyes tried to accustom to the light and I thought for a second I had entered a bar with George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino but it turned out just to be Ted and Ben. Ted shook his head “Did they look like psychos? Is that what they looked like? They were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them” (if you haven’t seen the film worth a watch but not one for the younger members!).

My thanks to Ealing and to James (no offence taken I hope 😊). Many thanks to Ben for risking his life and umpiring (was that a trickle of blood I saw on your neck?), to Jacqs for agreeing to play at the last minute avec glasses and Ted for trying to sort me out a bigger option for scoring! Onwards and upwards.

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’all’s neighborhood

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