01 Apr 2023
Day 3 - match 1 vs VK XI

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The third day of the tour marked the squad's first match. As was already feeling natural, we started the day with a buffet breakfast at 7:30 and left by 8:30 albeit one man short; the first victim of Delhi Belly. The 40-minute journey was very different from what we are used to in the UK with cars everywhere and horns permanently blaring. On arrival, at Lords Cricket Ground (not the real one!) we were met by our opposition who were all at least two years older than us. We won the toss and the leadership group elected for Delhi decided we would have a bat and make the best of the already cracking wicket. We lost Charlie early and Max was brought to the crease early. Together with Isaac, the pair put on a fifty partnership before Isaac was unfortunately run out on twenty-one. Anay arrived next at the crease before ambitiously going charging the bowler's third ball and ending up stumped. Harry was next in and played solidly for three before being run out. This brought Turan to the crease who along with Max, built another solid partnership. Max brought up his fifty before Turan was dismissed for a disciplined fifteen bringing Gabe in next. This inning marked the first golden duck of the tour with the ball being chipped tamely back to the bowler. Braine entered next and as usual, attempted to put on a show before he too was dismissed for a duck. Watson strode out to the middle to join Max who was soon given out LBW on sixty-five attempting a sweep. Next in was Tim who showed a solid defense before being bowled off one of the only balls that spun. The last wicket stand did not last long with Alex with getting out on one and completing our innings with a score of 147.

Our attempt at defending this under-par score started badly with more illegal balls bowled than legal balls in the second over setting the opposition off to a flying start. The seamers proved ineffective with many bowlers struggling to find their lines and lengths. However, we did manage to affect a runout with Anay's bullet arm proving too much for the opposition batsmen. The decision was taken to bring spin on which after a shaky start, proved to be effective with Jamie trapping a batsman in his crease LBW. Following this, the run rate was dramatically slowed but it was too late as the opposition had already clinched the game. Max was rightfully awarded the man of the match award for his excellent innings. After a quick snooze on the bus, many of us relaxed by the pool until a thunderstorm brewed overhead. Fortunately, Mr. Francis and Mr. O'Brien ventured out to a local supermarket to give us a boost with soft drinks and snacks.

Later in the evening, we met for our regular meeting to debrief and discuss the fines of the day. Plenty of fun and revealing stories about minor misdemeanours away from the cricket, with Benji winning the infamous outfit, now including trousers as well today (see Twitter). Another excellent buffet enjoyed by all before a night in front of another IPL game before bed.

by Tim D.