Hailey vs. DCC, OCA Div 4 25th July 2015
A decidedly youthful, not to mention talented and beardy looking Deddington XI rocked up to West Witney on a damp but bright afternoon (the bearded 12th, Harry, rocked up at about 1.25 obviously having gone to find Daire some spare ribs). After a brief look at the very green wicket it was pretty clear that whoever won the toss would opt to bowl and make use of the conditions before they dried out. Skipper Rammy promptly lost the toss and Gerry and Niall were padded up and of to negotiate the tricky conditions.
The innings started very slowly as the senior junior Bletchly put down his anchor and he and Gerry set about seeing off the new ball to lay foundations for the plethora of more expansive batsmen down the order. After the first couple of overs Gerry decided that should he need to scamper any quick singles he’d be better of scampering without his car keys in his pocket, the first of his many indiscretions of the day.
The innings proceeded slowly, Gerry breaking his blade in a rare flash compiling 13 from as many overs, Rich, Daire & Rammy also came and went relatively cheaply whilst Niall got to double figures (and no further) in the 25th over. At about 60-5 from almost 30 overs we looked to be a little behind par, but in hindsight the top 5 had seen off the new ball, the worst of the conditions and the opening bowlers. Enter Matt “Guns” Teare and Ben Lewis playing his first game for many months, to begin the counter attack that was desperately needed. A mixture of excellent running between the wickets, combined with some big hits, the two whipper-snappers compiled a stand of 93 and accelerated the total toward something defendable.
Big Ivo managed a couple of lusty blows near the end, whilst despite Ollie’s best efforts, Dave Barnhill (clearly petrified at being asked to run a quick single with “Guns” Teare) was not required. Innings closing on177-7, this felt like a good score but with the wicket and outfield drying out, we knew the home side were going to have the best of the conditions as we got stuck into the Jaffa cakes and chocolate fingers.
DCC opened up with Barnhill from the Witney Road end whilst Ollie trundled up the hill as his strike partner. Clearly the senior man had the pick of ends and soon got one to stop in the pitch and claimed a simple c&b, game on. Skipper Rammy then tried senior junior Bletchley from the troublesome bottom end, before inevitably bringing himself on.
Between them, Dave and Rammy routed the home side’s top six for around 60, Rammy taking a dipping chance off Dave in the gully and then juggling a second c&b before finally catching it on his chest whilst laid flat in his back, the ball having not been grounded throughout. Dave using all his guile from the other end, both supported superbly in the field – apart from one spill by Guns Teare, and another by Ben (who despite running 20 yards backward and taking the ball over his shoulder couldn’t quite keep hold of it) Niall caught sharply in the covers, and Hugh behind the stumps snaffled Sean King standing up. This was one of the senior teams best fielding performances in many years (yep, usually we’re pretty average folks). Unfortunately no-one thought to mention to Gerry that we were going to try in the field this week and he was his usual motionless self at midwicket – shockingly leaving many balls hit in his direction to his more senior and more distant team mates, to their absolute (mock) disgust.
At 60-6 and the game almost in the bag, after an apparent epiphany (which was most likely him sobering up) Ollie was brought back into the attack from his preferred end, and charging down the hill quickly took the result beyond any doubt with an excellent spell. A skier so high it came down with snow on it pouched by Rich at point (no pressure, just the entire wedding party watching), followed by a leg-side snick taken at the wicket then pegging back an off stump and the hosts were 80-9. For the following six overs the fielding side eyed up the bucking bronco being assembled just off the outfield (whilst others eyed up a couple of the wedding guests), as we searched for the 10th wicket and victory.
The skipper finally asked Ben Lewis to take an over from the bottom end, and with his first ball he rattled the timbers and we were home and hosed for only the second time this season. Ben was shortly afterwards heard discreetly enquiring of Harry “what were my bowling figures”….
Word should go to our hosts for their sporting attitude, two batsmen both walked when edging behind, and a third also walking without question despite being unsighted as Rammy juggled and eventually caught & claimed a return catch. Hailey always enjoy their cricket in their own way, but they are as fair and sporting as any team we have played recently.
Man of the Match – Matt Teare for his match winning innings
Jedi Moment – Rammy, for juggling then snaffling a c&b
Dunce of the Day – Gerry, take your pick (but probably for batting with his keys in his pocket)