Westbury 3 vs. Deddington 1, 17th July.
On the hottest day of the year so far we headed to Westbury with a few changes in the line-up. Despite missing some of our regular bowlers, skipper Rich won the toss (3 from 3 with his tails never fails call) and invited the home side to have a bat on a bit of a green top. The home team captain’s reaction of “damnit” suggested this might have been the correct call, one of the team who shall remain nameless (and faceless) also seemed to support this decision from the sidelines.
Opening with spinner Rammy from the Mill end to protect the quite short and tempting leg-side boundary was quickly thwarted by the presence of left-hander Wills, but a tight start from Rammy and Rob Barton quickly built some pressure on the home batsmen. Rammy, chasing 400 wickets for Deddington had a very close LBW shout turned down in his second over. Despite the carpet-like outfield the batsmen couldn’t seem to get the ball past the infield and finally in the process of trying to rotate the strike both found themselves at the same end when a call (or non-call) for a ball clipped to Victor D. was ignored, the pin-point throw just left keeper Rich a mere flick to remove the bails and the home side were 2-1.
Next over, with the batsmen clearly still feeling the pressure and needing to run they chanced a quick single in the covers, quick as a flash Sam swooped in, picked up the ball and returned right over the stumps into the gloves and the bails were removed again with the batsman well short of his ground, 5-2.
Deddington continued to bowl good lines until Rob decided a leg side full bunger was worth a try – the offending delivery was biffed toward the short boundary where Mikey took a good catch high and to his left, 7-3.
Having decided the corridor of uncertainty just outside the off stump was just for show, Rob slipped another down the line of leg stump and a feather edge was pouched leg-side by the keeper, 9-4. Reverting to a good line again was still getting him nowhere so the next Liquorice Allsort was a bouncer – bowled at Barton Jnr pace this may well have been chin music to the batsman, but at Barton Snr pace it was more of an ankle biter and it crashed into the stumps with the batsman yorked in his crease on the second bounce, 12-5 and Rammy had not had more than a sniff of a wicket.
Andy Glider was now settled and a few wicketless overs followed whilst the home total crept into the 20’s. Deciding to ditch the variation and settling on a line just side outside off-stump Rammy finally zipped one through the gate and found the timbers 28-6. A flurry of swipes followed including a sharp chance off Rob whacked straight at Biz at short mid-wicket that didn’t stick, before another sharper one off Rammy again straight at Biz did stick, 40-7. Next ball from Rammy was a classic off-spinners dismissal, again turning between bat and pad to crash into middle and off – a fitting way to get to 400 wickets for the club, 41-8.
There was still time for another run-out, Victor D. again with the throw straight to the keeper after an initial his misfield, before Rob claimed his 4th wicket and prevented Glider carrying his bat when trapping him LBW for a patient 21, Westbury were all done for just 48.
Paul and Mikey were sent out to begin our reply, and any faint nerves were settled with the first ball pinged courtesy of M&H to the boundary for four. It took just ten overs and one ball to reach our target with both openers playing positively but sensibly. The only hiccup coming when the scores were level and Matt waiting to bat at three decided to de-pad, Mikey found a leading edge but the ball fell inches short of the diving bowler. With Matt still scrabbling with his velcro Paul drove the next ball straight back for 4 and we were 26 points to the good by 4.30pm.
MOM: Tough on Rob but with 400 up is has to be Rammy!
Jedi: Biz for his close catch.
Dunce: Biz, couldn’t work out how to get the wickets section of the scoreboard to 400…