We welcomed Sibford to the Windmill on a grey and drizzly day armed with a scouting report from our visitors’ win the previous day against Maids Moreton provided by our very own “double O” agent DB (we all know the day job is a front)…
We lost the toss and Sibford opted to bat, with the damp ground this didn’t go down too well in the ranks. Debuts were handed to Lala and to Harry B, bringing the average age down somewhat. At the other end of the spectrum, Rob Barton opened the bowling from the Preston’s North End, with Matt coming up the hill. After a couple of overs, it became apparent that there was a little life in the pitch with Matt in particular extracting some lift which unsettled the openers, it was he who struck first removing Pratt for 4. Sibford continued in a positive way with Rob taking some punishment square on the leg side until he found a straighter line and pinned George LBW for 27. With both openers fancying a crack at the tail rather than letting Smith P clean up, it was time for the debutants to turn their arms over, Harry first from the top end and then Lala from the other. Between them they took out Sibford’s engine room taking 4-39 in their 16 overs, Harry bowling a very tight line and with a couple of umpire’s calls going against him finished with 8-4-10-3, the umpire being more pleased than the remaining batsman at the end of his spell having been well and truly badgered by the badger with a number of especially exuberant appeals. Lala bowled with good variation, turning it both ways and mixing in the straight missile with good effect, finishing with 1-29.
With the spinners bowled out, we turned to golden balls Naylor, again extracting some good bounce with his back of a length deliveries, he struck early removing Brace for 26 courtesy of a good running catch from Victor D, and then Morbey shortly afterwards leaving Sibford 106-8. This brought Pallett and Beaumont-Dark to the crease, who built a solid chanceless partnership of 39 with some sharp running between the wickets. With overs running out they looked to be more positive and gave Rob another victim bowling B-D before the obligatory coup de grace delivered by Paul Smith with a top spinner that bowled Pallet, but not before some comedy delivered by skipper Frape batting with a runner and the inevitable yes, no, wait, no, yes etc. With that, Sibford were done for 155, competitive given the conditions overhead and in the pitch.
We started our reply positively, Niall hitting a couple of nice lofted drives before he was possibly unfortunately given LBW when struck high and leggy, umpire Victor D however was in no doubt and very quickly raise the finger sending Niall on his way, the ensuing dummy spitting causing a little mirth on the sidelines. A slightly defensive umpire later claimed that Mikey had also given it out from the non-strikers end was fooling no-one.
Sibford then found their rhythm and Paul and Mikey battled hard against some good bowling, with Morbey in particular moving the ball both ways through the air and off the pitch. Pallet continued the tight lines from the top end bowling Mikey for a grafted 16 off 61 deliveries. Injured skipper Frape then brought himself on chucking a few grenades up the hill, after creaming one over wide long on for 6, Paul then managed to knock the next one down the throat of the very recently moved wide long on and holed out for 41. Still comfortable at 87-3 Deddy then did what Deddy do best and had an extended wobble and in no time were 118-7 and in a wee spot of bother, despite 23 from Adey and with 10 overs still remaining. Rich and Lala got their heads down and with some composed batting steadily moved us towards target. When Lala finally opened up as we’ve seen him do in the nets and pump one into the crowd for 6 we looked to be home, but with just 2 required and Rich eying glory he mis-timed a drive an was caught in the covers for 19 to be replaced by a delighted Matt. Luckily for our number 10, Lala cut the next ball for 4 and taking us to victory.
With the first victory under our belts, contributions from all involved and a couple of very promising debuts, we look forward to our first league game next Sat at Banbury where we might encounter an old friend or two!