In cricket, few things are more important than timing.
The caress of a cover drive is nothing without it, otherwise you’re watching Williams flay another over cow.
Sometimes it works for you, as it did for most of Sunday…..
Horrific weather is the only thing that will distract a Rioteer from a sunday fixture, but gloriously, a week of rainfall stopped exactly on time to allow the chalk uplands of Winchester in the village of Crawely to host this fixture.
Hillier lost the toss, and was sent into bat, and with all the talent at this disposal chose this time, to stick himself in up the order, with the (timeless) Bickford.
And at 70 without loss, and almost without a boundary, on the moist outfield, it seemed that, this time, his timing was spot on.
But with Hall stood behind the stumps, as if carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island, it is only ever a matter of time before his bowlers optimism unleashes the trigger, this time up on Bickford, whose time was up.
However this meant that Hillier (A) came in. And quickly his time too, was up, with then Hillier realising that his time was also drawing to a close and retiring before anything untimely happened.
This brought Slape to the Wicket, whose timing on two big sixes had everything, and batting with the ines(time)able Cook accelerate the rate as the clock was ticking down towards tea. Cook also retired, one six too many, and in case Crawley thought their time was up, Hillier B went in and sent about nurldling a few to all corners of Hampshire. Soon with the too early demise of Slape, it was Shea’s time and then quickly it wasnt, before the innings was drawn to a close by Hillier (B) who chose the wrong time to attack a womans bowling. However his time will come.
And with that it was time for tea, with the Rioteers ammasing a monster 251 for 3.
By now Hillier’s far and wide had gathered, to survey the offerings, and what a spead, and in their first mistake of the game the Hillier’s lingered too long over the egg mayo, delayed over the cheese and onion, and prevaricated over the date and walnut.
A quick tea and we would have been out, sharp in the field, eager for wickets, but the clock, she doesn’t stop.
For sometimes Time works against you, and this was one of those occasions……
We sampled the chocolate brownies, the coffee and walnut, the tea, the conviviality, and we should have been out in the field….
When eventually we stepped out into the late evening sunshine, spirits were high, especially with Hall and Williams bowling in tandem, and soon Hall was into the wickets.
But then for a long time the game slowed, wickets proved hard to come by, Crawely batted well. Was it time for Hillier ( A), yes but no impact, was it time for Brazier? yes but no impact, to speed thing up Hillier (b) came on and made the breakthrough with a quick one, but the overs were coming down, and then slowly so did the wickets.
Time for Hillier, Williams Cook and Hilliers A and B again, but this was not a timeless test, and the clock and overs ticked around and down.
And there we were, Crawley eight down, and one ball left, time was up. But was it?
Archie launched, for the first time, an unplayable delivery.
A big wide.
Archie thundered in again for the second time, got his timing wrong, and just in time pulled out.
He thundered in a final time for the third time.
And the flat bat of time came down to close the game with two Crawley wickets remaining.
Reflecting over a cold, and istonic refreshment, the Rioteers reflected that a good time had been had, but that time had been the winner.