17.06.17, DEDDINGTON 2s –vs- WOLVERCOTE 3s, League

We welcomed our visitors, Wolvercote III, to The Windmill centre and a gloriously hot and sunny day. Almost beyond belief we had a full 11 at the ground, ready to play before the game started. Almost more unbelievably skipper Ash Clark won the toss. Very sensibly he chose to bat first.

The openers, Joe Roberts and Niall Murphy very quickly settled and looked very solid. Aided early on by a number of wides and no balls, their opening partnership was worth 46, when Joe fell, trying to force the pace. Niall continued on, looking in very fine form off both the back foot and the front foot, in the company of Rob How. Rob played nicely from the off and runs were now coming quite freely. We then lost them both in fairly quick succession, Niall for a well made 41 and Rob for a very attractive 30, but we were well placed at 95 for 3 off 25 when Dan Clark joined George Welch. George worked the ball around well as Dan cracked a quick fire 22. Sadly once Dan was dismissed, Wolvercote’s spinner Luke Murgatroyd made run scoring very difficult. We limped to 145 all out from exactly 45 overs, scoring little more than 20 in the last 10 overs. The only bright spots in the last few overs were Dave Barnhill’s actioned packed innings of 5 balls – 2 singles, dropped by the keeper twice and getting hit mid ship with a very resounding thud – and Adam Moody’s even shorter innings that saw him stumped by a mile as he collected another duck for his ever growing poultry farm.

During the tea break, Moody and Murphy were clearly very agitated at the absence of a Roberts home made lemon drizzle cake and Rich Holmes quite rightly bemoaned the lack of mustard in the ham sandwiches. Dave B disappeared for while “to check things out and have a count!” – he returned looking relieved. Skipper Ash was happy enough until he remembered that he was going to have to keep wicket for 2 and ¾ hours in the blazing heat. The afore mentioned Roberts bemoaned the fact that his son Olly didn’t care enough to send a Father’s Day card, whilst Andy Cork looked very smug as he was going to spend the day with his children.

After what some would call “aimlessly chucking a ball around” we took to the field knowing we would have to play very well if we were to defend a score 30 to 40 below par. We were very upbeat though knowing that we had a good bowling attack and we would field well. The 2 Dave’s – Bet Victor and Barney – opened the bowling. Both bowled tidy spells and were well supported in the field but apart from 1 early wicket, Wolvercote looked very comfortable and moved to 30 for 1 off 10 overs. Big Moods and not so little George now came on to bowl and we saw much of the same. Tidy bowling backed up with good fielding but the batsman in no real trouble. 80 for 2 after 25, meant that the visitors were well on their way to victory. The 2 Dave’s came back on to bowl and things started to change. DB does what he does, giving little away, and DV did what he does, take wickets. DV picked up 3 in a 5 over spell and all of a sudden life looked less comfortable for the visitors at 120 for 5 with 10 overs left, with a very poorly looking Conor O’Hickey having retired. Adam came back into the attack and although Tousif Manzoor his him for some lusty blows, he picked up 2 wickets one of them courtesy of a full length diving catch by George Welch.  135 for 7 and 3 overs to go.

Next came the champagne moment of the day, and probably the season to date. Feeling under pressure the batsmen attempted a sharp single but reckoned with Dan Clark’s speed across the ground, bullet like throw and dead eyed dick accuracy. Middle stump pinged out of the ground from 30 yards with the batter well short of the crease. Last man David Quinn came out to join Manzoor and they batted very intelligently and without panic to see their tem home to a 2 wicket victory in the last over. Congratulations to them for their win, and indeed the way they conducted themselves. We may have lost but we were very proud and ultimately it is fair to say that everyone enjoyed the day in the sun.

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