|Here's my first draft of a short story - just the opening paragraphs (493 words)|
Seven overs to go…
Just seven overs, and Ben knew the team needed to win this game. The international 20/20 series had been so close against a young Indian team and the England stars were seemingly incapable of batting on the difficult sub-continent wickets.
Ben stood at the crease, eyeing the field around him, his strong, heavily tattooed arms were uncovered in the heat and he repeatedly wiped his arm across his forehead under the helmet as sweat dripped steadily down his face. Another slow ball slithered down the pitch towards his feet and he smoothly brushed it away to the edge of the field.
The tension in the crowd was growing; they could sense this match was finely balanced, and knew how important Ben was to the match’s likely outcome.
‘What now’, thought Ben, as the diminutive slow bowler tripped up to the wicket and cast the ball in his direction – he dared to step down the pitch towards the bowler and was rewarded with a ball he could hit high over the boundary for six. The local crowd was hushed for a few seconds before the sound of drumming and music filled the stadium once more.
His clear blue eyes peered through the visor of his helmet, one more ball in this over, and he really needed to get to the other end of the wicket to ensure he stayed on strike. Again he waited for the bowler to start his run-up before taking a pace down the wicket and picking off the ball as it reached him. A slight glance with the bat and it was heading straight through the slips. ‘Beautiful stroke’, thought Ben, as he ran steadily to the other wicket to ensure he could face the new bowler.
His score was close to 50 now. ‘Concentrate, concentrate’, the mantra ran through his head, no player wants to be out just before scoring a 50. Just 3 runs to go for this landmark and Ben had a reputation to maintain, in his appearances for the national team, he’d rarely been out for less than this magic number.
The change of over was taking longer than usual, the Indian captain had opted for a replacement bowler – trying something different to break the resistance from the opposition. Ben gazed around the field, checking the fielders’ positions, making sure no-one had moved to a part of the pitch he wanted to attack.
The new bowler, a medium-fast demon in blue pyjamas, paced out his run up, turned and stampeded towards Ben. Ben’s eyes narrowed as he gauged the speed of the ball, and he clipped it steadily down the leg side of his wicket. Another run on the board. Just two to go and he could relax a little.