Who is that Player???
A much-changed Deddington ”seconds” team travelled to Ascott-under -Wychwood on Saturday 10 July 2021 for the first leg of of the “double header” – reverse fixture next week.
From the draft Tuesday team only six survived to match day due to various injuries and commitments and one player moving to the firsts. The Tuesday long list had four reserves plus an umpire but by match day all five were in the team and two others were playing as well – one for the firsts and one for ourselves.
After arriving at Ascott introductions were made and the squad familiarised themselves with their teammates. We welcomed Al to the team – at least he survived the Tuesday curse and was playing his first league game of the season behind the stumps, coming out of semi-retirement yet again – Al now stands second in the table to Elton John in terms of the most comebacks.
We also welcomed Caz for her first game of the season, who has been doing a sterling job of umpiring on several Saturdays and this week was looking forward to a peaceful day of just being a spectator.
On inspection, the square had a slope to rival Lords and initial discussions with Captain Simon indicated that even with the slope Deddington would make first use of the track if the coin throw could be secured. However, upon having the option to choose Captain Simon decided to have a bowl based on greenness and dampness, which would help the bowlers and be easier to bat on later.
The ever-reliable Jonathan Watts opened the bowling in his usual meagre fashion. From the other end, we had part 1 of the Rawlings household with Dan doing the honours.
Dan bowled one of the openers and after 10 Overs 30 was on the board and Deddington were in high spirits.
Al caused consternation half way through an over by marching up the track from behind the stumps – had the non-striker given him a bit of lip from 22 yards away? Had Dan pushed one too many balls down the leg side and was on for a telling off as he walked back to his mark? Had the umpire made a poor decision and needed enlightenment? No – Al has just thought three balls was enough and it must be “Over”.
Jonathan bowled the number 3 batsman after he had hit four fours off Dan in an over and Captain Simon got an LBW when he replaced Jonathan.
Drinks came and Deddington were still happy – the more so after Al made some kit changes and decided a wickie’s best place was to be stood next to the non-striker. After a hasty rearrangement, a more traditional field was set. It was unfeasibly early and Al protested strongly, but with at least two entries, Al had secured Dunce of the day – albeit Al performed exceptionally behind the stumps in his own unique way.
Dan bowled his 13 overs unchanged and had no further luck – with a handful of chances going down and comments on the skinniness of the stumps. Captain Simon removed his opposite number who had crafted a good 50 but the runs flowed. Kieran took a wicket to a “Worldly” catch – no bias in the description at all! Without giving away, the ending – read no further if you want to know the Jedi moment.
Simon chipped in again but the fielding flagged as the score approached 200.
Special mention to Caz who while fielding superbly was also left to move both sightscreens by herself on numerous occasions – including up the slope.
218 looked a lot. Reliable sources counted nine chances grounded – none easy but it would have been hoped a few more could have stuck.
Captain Simon and Adey dropped anchor from ball 1. Both fell in quick succession bringing Chris to the crease. Chris tried some trademark blows before being caught.
The middle order had fortuitously entered a “join the dots” completion. Richard made an early entry with 13 with one disqualified for a run and then excluded from the competition due to giving catching practice with a fielder dropping the first chance and Richard then giving him another go next ball.
The writer went for 35 entries, three disqualified for runs and finally leaving due to over use of pads.
The winner and player of the day was Caz – 42 entries, 1 disqualified and who again made too much use of the pads.
Andy did not get an entry form and looked to play a spectacular shot off his leg stump – only one tiny, tiny error – no bat (or pad even) involved.
Dan tied with Richard on 13 deliveries – no runs so all counted. Rawlings family member 2 – Kieran was a man in a hurry – a 2 being greeted like a six over the pavilion until bowled like the rest of the household.
Jonathan and Al resisted for 20 balls until Jonathan thought Al was challenging him for the red ink and distracted Al as the ball was delivered leaving Al to be bowled!
24 off 29 overs was a poor return for the batting effort involved. 11 overs short of a losing draw but on another day that target could have been achieved.
A beer was had after the game before we wished Jonathan “Bon Voyage” with an exotic early Saturday evening out as a precursor to his holibops.
The team finished in far better spirts than a 194-run defeat should entail.
Thanks to Captain Simon for four days of team “selection” headaches, to Al for a great job behind the stumps and Caz for showing all how it should be done.
A small change in tactics is all that is needed to get revenge in next week’s fixture.
Player of the day – Caz
Jedi Moment – Derek
Dunce of the day- Al
Writer – Derek Boughton