If you’ve ever got that sinking feeling that accompanies bowling a stray delivery in a Sunday league game, well imagine agonisingly working your way through a 14-ball over in front of a capacity Lord’s crowd in a domestic cup final.
That’s exactly what happened to Scott Boswell in the 2001 C&G Trophy final. Playing for Leicestershire, he treated Somerset to 18 runs in one over in the early stages of their innings.
His side lost the match, and the fast bowler took years to recover from the shock and anguish of choking in such a manner on such a stage.
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The 6”4 bowler - who was 26-years-old at the time - was on a high heading into the competition decider. In the semi-final, he removed no less than four England batsmen to take figures of 4-44 in a victory over Lancashire.
He was a regular in a Leicestershire side that included Phil DeFreitas, James Ormond and Darren Maddy and must have been looking forward to the showpiece final at the home of cricket.
But September 1 2001 was not a day that Boswell recalls fondly. As he revealed in an exclusive interview with The Guardian 12 years later the experience haunted him for a long time afterwards.
After an average first over, the opening bowler became phased by the prospect of bowling to England batsman Marcus Trescothick midway through his second over. Difficulties bowling to left-handers resurfaced as he ran in to bowl the third ball of the over.
As the video below shows, Boswell at one point bowled five consecutive wide deliveries, growing with frustration every time he returned to his mark.
That was the last time that he bowled at Lord’s that day. The opening bowler spent the remaining 46 overs of the innings serving solely as a fielder - he finished with figures of 2-0-22-0.
Boswell - who now works as a bowling coach - was sacked by Leicestershire within two weeks of the final, but firstly played one last game against Nottinghamshire in the One-Day cup.
The so-called ‘yips’ affected him once again, and the then 26-year-old was hiding and crying in a local shop before the match started. When he did come on to bowl, his first ball was a wide in an over that went for 18.
He pretended to have cramp to escape the lion’s den and spent several hours stunned in the dressing room. He never played first-class cricket again.
It’s truly amazing how a player can suddenly struggle and freeze on the big stage, and you can’t help but cringe and feel sorry for Boswell when watching the over back again.
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