Anyone who has seen me play cricket will know I'm not very good. While by my age most players of any talent have decided whether they're a batsman or a bowler, I am still undecided. As I am equally poor at both.
So when a lunchtime game of cricket was suggested yesterday, I thought I was only playing to make up the numbers. So imagine my shock when I was the best player. As informal as the game was (even using a fire extinguisher and a bin as wickets), my quickfire innings, was only equalled by my sharp work as wicketkeeper, where I performed three top stumpings. I even took a few wickets with my crafty spin. Thinking ahead to the Middlesex v Somerset game later, I was likened to Craig Kieswetter; a big hitter who was like a hawk behind the stumps.
At the game itself, Kieswetter did not fire. So while I was busy congratulating myself for being better than Craig K, I myself was outperformed by someone else. Kieron Pollard, having taken three Middlesex wickets, came out to bat when the Sabres were 4 down and in trouble. Pollard then smashed 89 from only 44, in a knock remniscent of mine earlier. Including the longest six seen at Lord's since 1888, Pollard demolished Middlesex and won the game with 20 balls to spare (an absolute drubbing by T20 standards).
Pollard was a class-apart from the honest county pros of both Middlesex and Somerset, with him belting sixes in a partnership with Peter Trego who stayed at a sedate run a ball. It's very rare that a player wins a game almost totally on his own, and Pollard did just that. Had he gone cheaply, Middlesex would have won the game comfortably. But he didn't, and won Somerset the game on his debut.
Middlesex are yet to win in this year's FPt20, yet they can take a lot of heart from a very good performance. The only difference between a solid win and an embarrassing loss was one man - Kieron Pollard. Just like the lunchtime game I played in. Somerset could do a lot worse than to sign me up to play alongside Pollard. The only difference between our innings? His was at Lord's against an international-packed Middlesex attack. Mine was in the Sixth Form Centre against a few mates, using a history folder as a bat.