London: It is every batsman’s worst fear: stepping on to the field only to be dispatched for a duck.
A “freak performance” by Wirral Cricket Club saw almost the entire team bowled out for ducks, however, scoring just three runs. Only the eleventh man managed to mark the scoresheet, with the remaining two runs given as leg byes.
Wirral captain Pete Clewes, said: “It was just a freak performance.
“We bowled well. We fielded well. We bowled them out for 108, and we were feeling perfectly confident when we went into bat, but for some reason we all just batted atrociously. It was extraordinary.”
“Everyone just panicked as the wickets fell. It just got worse and worse,” added the 43-year-old computer programmer from Chester.
“I was shaking because I’d been out for nothing myself, and the good players went out for nothing early on, and the lack of confidence which that gives just runs through the team.”
The result prompted a flurry of activity on Twitter, with Wirral Cricket Club using their newly-acquired fame to tweet players and celebrities.
The club asked former England internationals Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Phil Tufnell and David Lloyd for some coaching, adding the hashtag #weneedit.
They also asked Piers Morgan whether he would like to play, to which the former talk show host replied: “Sorry lads, my form’s too good.”
The loss, while unprecedented in the history of the third division Cheshire Cricket League club, is not the lowest score ever recorded.
That dubious honour belongs to Somerset club Langport, who were dismissed for zero against Glastonbury in a 1913 match.
The lowest score for a first-class match is six, made by The Bs against England at the old Lord’s ground in 1810, while the lowest Test match score on record is 26, by New Zealand against England in 1955.
Haslington, the victorious side this weekend, toppled the batsmen in eight and a half overs with just two bowlers: Tom Gledhill and Ben Istead.
Istead took six wickets in five overs and conceded just one run to a crowd of 40 spectators.
The 17-year-old Sandbach College student, who has ambitions to become a professional cricketer, said it was his best performance. “To get six wickets for one run was pretty good,” he said.
Discussing the collapse, Matt Garrett, who was the ninth batsman to step up to the crease, with the score at 0/7, said: “When we lost the third wicket quite quickly I rushed into the changing rooms to get my pads on, because I could see things were going awry.
“You could hear cheers through the window, and you think, that’s another one — and then suddenly I’ve just put my pads on in time to go out to the middle, and we were seven down without a run on the board at that point.”