DCC II’s vs. Kidlington II’s, OCA Div 10, Sat 20th June 2015
On a rather temperamental day weather wise, Deddington took to the field with 11 men. Then, 6 balls later they were down to 10.
It was a promising start: Dave Barnhill opened the attack and, with the fifth ball of the innings, brought about the first wicket – Neil Goward taking a ‘stunning catch’ (stationery dolly) at short mid-off to back up his bowler. However on trundling in again, it then became apparent that the opening bowler would need far more support than that. High on adrenaline from taking a wicket so early on, Dave and his rib muscles simply couldn’t handle the euphoria. The ball was released, his muscles seized and there he lay, flatlined on the pitch. A spanner had been thrown into Deddington’s plans, which then had to be carried from the pitch.
Low on regular bowlers before the game, the skipper’s job of juggling the normal faces, alongside those not so normal, now became even harder. And the combined attack of Moody, Dan, Welch (junior), Rosie, Niall (not other Niall), and the Skip himself did their best under the circumstances. They were all backed up by some athletic fielding; with very few dropped chances and only one hat on the floor moment by the man who shall remain nameless at first slip. The jedi moment of the day went to a superb bit of fielding by (other) Niall, with a rocket-arm run-out sending the 12 year old boy he dismissed crying from the pitch.
Even so, at the close of the first innings, Kidlington II’s had posted a rather daunting total of 202.
Tea, and talk of how short the boundary was, left the team hopeful that they could still reach their target and thus score more runs than the firsts had done, in total, all season. But then their spirits were dampened somewhat, as rain left them with 171 to win from 35 overs; an even more daunting task.
After a delay of around half an hour, Welch Senior and Other Niall took their places at the wicket, facing the young openers from Kidlington II’s. The two bowlers were a decent pairing and after Other Niall posted a four and a couple of singles, he was making his way back to the pavilion. Much to the umpire’s disbelief, ‘Well, I never heard him nick it.’
But then we all heard something that even the umpire couldn’t miss, the sound of Quack, Quack, Quack. The middle quack earning D of the Day for attempting to leave a ball that looked at first to be going down leg, but then swung a mile (as this bowler had been prone to do all game) and hit him full on the toe, right in front of the stumps. Some say his attention had been drawn in to searching for the hat he’d thrown to the ground, back in the previous innings. Of course, we will never truly know the answer to our favourite umpire’s question, ‘Just, what was he thinking?’
The only consolation for our D of the Day, was that he was given out to a bowler who dismissed nearly everybody else. When somebody takes 8 wickets in a match you know they must be doing something right and it was a shame that many of us never quite got to grips with him. A middle-innings, but early overs partnership between Niall (not other) and Welch Senior did seem to start us off down our long, long road. But after Steve’s dismissal, several overs disappeared without any real trace and the score looked far adrift with just over 80 posted at drinks – it is important to note here, that actually there were no drinks; Kidlington II’s clearly thought that Steve and Niall had had enough to drink during the two overs the umpires kept them out there in torrential downpour.
In the closing stages of the innings however, Welch Junior, supported by Moody, Dan and an immobile Dave, attempted a late surge and perhaps with a few more overs in the bag and due to the fine form Welch Junior was in, the story may have been quite different.
However, as it was, we ended up 20 or so runs short. Positives from the batting side of things were that Welch Senior and Welch Junior took first and second place on the podium of runs scored, posting 38 and 37 (n.o) respectively. The latter scoring his top knock for the club (Harry correct me if I’m wrong?) in impressive style – 3 fours on the bounce – and the former also having a well crafted and thought-out innings.
The game was played in the true Deddington spirit, with encouragement from teammates in all areas of the field and a grand display of sportsmanship; including not one, but two members of the team walking off to caught behinds without the dreaded finger even being raised to them.
All in all there were several ifs and buts, but certainly the biggest butt of all was the one who sat on his for nearly all of the game.
(As a side note, I feel it is important to highlight that this ‘butt’ did not actually sit on his for all of the game. In fact, he very admirably came out in the number 11 spot to allow George to continue his late, run-scoring extravaganza. An ordeal he certainly did not have to put himself through, but one which I think sums up everything that makes me proud to be a part of this club.)