On a bright and breezy afternoon at Chalgrove, Deddington Seconds made it 3 wins in 4 with an, on paper, comfortable 5 wicket win.
Winning the toss, captain Ash Clark elected to bowl on a bare, dry, but spongy wicket. Lewis Bletchly and Adam Moody opened up for Deddington, Bletchly back after a couple of weeks off having trials for American football teams in the States and Moody looking for the late out-swing that made him almost unplayable the previous week. Having got his eye in again, and despite a few lusty blows from the Chalgrove openers, Bletchley soon struck, with two wickets, including a sharp take from Alan Collins behind the stumps. However the wicket was doing enough, both movement off the seam and variable bounce, that captain Clark showed his tactical genius once again by turning to the combined experience of over a century that is the famous Barnhill-Oldfield double-act. The challenging combination of fiendish changes of pace and swing from one end and turn and bounce from the other, had the Chalgrove batsmen playing at shadows and soon the wickets started to tumble. The bowling was backed-up superbly in the field, with a notable Jedi moment from the fast-developing George Welsh who stopped a certain four with a fearless stop at mid-on and faultless catching across the team. Luca Catania took two well judged catches and Mr Barnhill was forced to take a fast travelling lofted drive off Oldfield, when he suddenly realised that he hadn’t moved far enough away from the ball for it to go comfortably over his head.
Both Barnhill and Oldfied ended with four wickets each including a classic off break that pitched on off and clipped leg stump and an LBW apiece. Chalgrove were dismissed for 96 in 32 overs. With plenty of time until tea, Deddington went straight in and some of the young guns of the Club showed their growing confidence. Nail Murphy and Luca Catania helped to see off those difficult opening overs, along with Steve Welsh, with Murphy in particular showing that he had the confidence to put away the bad ball. An excellent tea was taken after nine overs and two wickets down in the village pub next to the ground, so it was with some reluctance that both sides resumed play. Refreshed, the Chalgrove opening bowlers found a bit more accuracy which resulted in inroads into the Deddington batting and a slowing of the scoring rate. Skipper Clark however started to eat into the deficit with some well-judged blows and after Rosie demonstrated that he had little regard for the advice of his team mates, by being bowled trying to clear the boundary with the fourth ball he received, Simon Oldfield came in and was happy to play second fiddle to his skipper. Perhaps the decisive moment of the game was when Captain Fantastic was dropped in the covers with still 30 runs to get. After that he continued in imperious form, on to a well deserved 50 and to seeing the team home by 5 wickets, proving the old adage that Catches win matches.
Man of the Match. Ash
Jedi moment. George Welsh
Dimwit of the day Rosie