Rain the Victor
The annual fixture between our senior team and the MCC proved to be a damp squib at Pontarddulais on 11th & 12th July recently. The second day's play was totally lost to the monsoonal showers that are such a feature of our "summer" although some play was possible on the first day.
Wisely, given the weather forecasts, the organisers had agreed to play two separate games, given the pessimistic weather forecasts, but even this was not a complete success, with heavy rain causing the abandonment of the first scheduled match with MCC in a strong position.
Earlier, with the Pontarddulais ground looking immaculate, our openers, Jason Davies and debutant Arwel Thomas made good progress against the MCC attack, with Barbados-born Ruel Braithwaite (now Durham CCC) looking particularly lively. Jason's effort came to an abrupt end when he edged Braithwaite to the former Somerset 'keeper, Rob Turner.
Skipper Alun Evans and Arwel Thomas played pretty well and made steady, though unspectacular progress until Arwel's dismissal for 40. A flurry of wickets followed (Evans 49) but Matthew Fisher (28*) plundered some late runs to give the home team a respectable total of 179-6 wickets in 50 overs.
The MCC reply was positive and impressive: although the Cricket Wales boys snatched a couple of wickets, the MCC batsmen looked as if they might overtake our total in pretty short order. However, a downpour about 4pm made a resumption very unlikely.
Further rain overnight ensured that there would be no further play. All we can do now is look forward to next season when there will be a one-day match at Lord's.
Gratitude must be expressed to the officials of Pontarddulais Cricket Club: they really know how to set up a cricket match of this status. The groundstaff and the catering staff (am I allowed to call them Tea Ladies these days?) did everything they could to make the event a successful one. It's a pity the Weather Gods were not as efficient!
Arwel Thomas facing Ruel Braithwaite