With Dan & Symo still en route from Oxford, I asked their skip if we could bat first and he kindly obliged. Chris and I opened the batting and got us off to a good start being 45/0 after 7 overs when Chris missed an in-swinger and was cleaned up for a well-made 22. I got bowled in the next over from the same bowler by a nearly identical delivery for 23. Blakey was then promptly bowled by a peach (same bowler again!) but Rich and Prem went about the business of getting the innings back on track which they did well(ish) – I genuinely lost count of the number of times Rich was dropped but it has to be one of the worst fielding/catching performances I’ve seen! Eventually they held on to a few (by law of averages more than skill) and Rich and Prem departed for 29 and 12 respectively. At that point I was still fairly comfortable knowing that we had batting to come and their best (only?) bowler out the way. However, after just 3 balls Bhups was bowled by a pea roller – think Trevor Chappell, 1981…well almost. With our most dangerous batsman back in the hutch for 0, I started to worry a little. But never fear, Dan ‘I-may-still-be-a-little-drunk’ Ransom and Chris K got together to consolidate the innings and put on a good partnership scoring 27 and 17 respectively – good job lads! While trying to push for some big runs towards the end, we were bowled out in the 38th over for 146.
After a memorable tea (albeit about 3 miles from the ground!), our bowling effort got off to a good start with Bhups and Symo getting us on top with the score 40/5 after 9. I’d love to take the rest of this report to tell you just how erratic Symo’s bowling was but I’ll save him the anguish and despite being wilder than Van himself, he was actually quite effective picking up two wickets in his first spell and a third wicket in his second spell. The highlight of our bowling effort was to come though. First change was Clare and Bav who both bowled impeccably, and, for the most part, at their best batsmen – it turns out they had pretty much reversed their batting order with their Saturday 1st XI opening batsmen coming in at 7 to single handedly rescue their innings (and ultimately win the game). Both bowled through with Clare finishing with figures of 2-12 and Bav with 1-28 – well done, it was a pleasure keeping to such consistency (Symo, take note!). By second change, the aforementioned batsman was well and truly set and methodically went about knocking off the runs semi-ably supported by a few of the lower order and they eventually reached the target* 8 down with two overs to spare. On the bowling front, special mention should also got to Blakey who impressed with a good spell and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket – well done mate. Bav also deservedly earned fielder of the day. Bowling highlights were:
Bhups 2-13 (6)
Symo 3-41 (6)
Clare 2-12 (8)
Bav 1-28 (8)
*should be noted that they reached our score but didn’t actually pass it – after reconciling their scorebook, it turns out the scores were tied!
In the final reckoning, we were probably 20-30 runs short – that said, without their two best players (one scored half their runs and the other took a 5-for) who both play for their league 1st XI, they wouldn’t have had a sniff. On the plus side we got a good game of cricket vs a decent bunch at a very nice ground in near perfect weather – there are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Thanks to Dan for yet again stepping up to do a sterling job as vice with great support in the field and setting the example with the bat!
Onwards and upwards for next week…
Up the Hill!