The last bell chimed and not even the crickets could be heard
Midday on the common. The chimes of the church bells rumbled through their melancholic rythmn until finally the last one came and seemed to hang on the air as it gradually died down. Once more the chatter could be heard, punctuated with the crack of a bat sweetly meeting the deep red ball. Once more the cricketers could be heard.
“Howzat” called our eleven voices in uniform excitement. Finally a breakthrough, after 7 overs without even a sniff. It felt like it was too late already and 48 for one wasn’t a lot more promising for the fielding team than 48 for no wicket.
In came the third bat, bespectacled and wiry. Just the steely character needed at that tricky position. Sometimes practically an opener, oft times coming in needing to push the pace.
Today was good though, and he felt confident. The skinny slow bowler loped in and – ooo delicious! – this had all the makings of a slow full toss ready for the new batsman to stroke easily for a boundary through the covers to get off the mark in style. He planted his front foot and brought the bat down.
The bowler grinned. The perfect ‘ball on a string’ plummeted downwards at the last minute and yorked him. The batsmen was dismayed at the rattling sound behind him and trudged disconsolately off amid the giggling cheers of the fielders .
The bowler turned to start his short slow run in. He was on a hat-trick.