Colombia: Cricket with altitude, as our game returns to Bogota
After a lot of phone calls, visits and looking after ground details, we were able to play under beautiful blue skies our first match at the Bogota Sports Club new venue.
The turn out was better than expected, 26 in all, made up of 22 Brits, three Aussies and a Canadian - yours truly!
One team was made up of teachers from the local Anglo Colombian School and the other team, the BSC was made up from teachers from other schools, bankers, oil company, British Embassy, executives, university students residing in Bogota.
A great deal of the credit for the success of the event has to go to the Headmaster of the Anglo School, Mr. Jim Walbran and the Club President, Mr. Peter Simon for the support and enthusiasm in making it a reality.
The pitch, cement covered with a synthetic carpet allowed the batsmen to play with confidence, the ball came through without danger, a true bounce, little movement for spinners and of course because of the altitude (thin air) no movement in the air of any sort. Attitude in Bogota is 2,600 meters above sea level.
The outfield, though very slow due to the thick grass, did not allow many boundaries, unless hit in the air.
The BSC batted first and scored 127 runs in the 30 overs, the big scorer was Andrew Wright, a banking executive at Lloyds Bank with 54 runs not out, nearly half the runs came from four towering 'sixes'. To keep everybody involved nine bowlers were used, remarkably each getting a wicket.
The Anglo School, in their innings scored 118 before being all out on the 29th over. Strangely enough a second Andy Wright was the highest scorer for the team, a teacher with lovely strokes managed to make 38 runs before being caught at deep mid wicket. Again nine bowlers were used and the fielding on both sides was excellent, only one catch was dropped, while eight were taken in total.
For the next match, scheduled for the 21st of January, the Club hopes to have the cement pitch widened another meter as the present one proved to be a little narrow. The enthusiasm shown by the players assures that cricket is off to a great start once again in Colombia; with a little luck, we should be able to field a team for next year's South American Championships.