Gallery Fields was stunning on Sunday. The quintessence of cricket's beauty. A deep, early season, green carpet. Dotted white figures in the mid-ground against a backdrop of tall trees freshly in leaf and a clean blue sky. A quaint pavilion completing a scene the match of any of the Flemish masters in the Picture Gallery across the road.
However, the game itself was no oil painting. The GCC batting less Van Eyck and more by 'eck.
The Pretenders were anything but their name from toss onwards and constructed their 237 with the minimum of fuss. Bold strokes, big canvas. Followed up by Mondrian-like bowling; all straight-lines that boxed us in to 146 for 9 in reply. Their banter was written by Gilbert and George; barely coherent, not funny, not clever and highly irritating.
The GCC highlights could be distilled into a small still life made up of: a cap, representing David's 100th and Steve's first; a rope, 'cos that's where James took his fine tumbling catch; an empty purse, for a miserly spell from a thigh-strapped Cunners that threatened to change our fortune; a glinting silver plate, that was the bright start that Mike and David gave us in reply; all lit by the shaft of light that was Richard's (belatedly) incandescent six, high over the bowler's head.
"Tea", as there was no actual tea to speak of, was a dissatisfying conceptual work only surpassed in its shallowness by the adjacent piece, "Battenburg (the absence of)".
On our minds as we left the ground, the painting of a new picture. Title: "Revenge". JE
We play most of our games in Dulwich and net during the winter at The Oval. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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