Purple balls

Just remembered an incident that happened a week or so ago. We were playing against a local team of young lads, who were much better than us. So we were fairly peeved when their first batsman knocked the cover off one through to the keeper and stood his ground. It was one of those edges you don’t really need to appeal for, but given the batsman wasn’t budging, we turned as a team to the umpire. He was the same age and doubtless a good friend. No reaction. Therefore, not out.

Not much you can do, save for the odd choice comment, other than carry on. The next over, no less, his opening partner gloved one outside the off stump to the keeper. I was at extra cover and ran through to congratulate the keeper who had taken a smart catch low down. Again, no need to appeal. But, again, the batter had stood his ground. In fairness to the umpire, who was quite a bit older, he said he couldn’t be sure, but he expected batsmen to walk in a Sunday friendly. So, again, not out.

Bowler goes back to his mark, steam pouring from ears. Next ball, he finds the edge of the bat once more, but this is an inside edge that canons into the firecrackers of our villain and he goes down like the proverbial sack. Eyes rolling, tongue lolling, face as white as Fred Trueman’s backside. Laugh? We nearly wet ourselves.

After five minutes and a magic sponge, he’s back at the crease. Hanging gingerly on the back foot, he steps across his stumps and gets rapped in front. Probably going down leg, but we go up anyway. We hadn’t managed the ‘HOW’ before the umpire’s finger goes up. What goes around….

The first batsman goes on to get 70. Was he justified in standing his ground? I don’t think so. But if he needed it that badly, then good luck to him.

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