A disgruntled six of our eleven players had spend the previous day sitting in the rain at Edgebaston waiting for some play between England and Sri Lanka. This was no way to warm up for Sunday’s game against Harwell International. Too much time spent at the bar waiting for England to bowl, caused dehydration and frustration. These is only one of the many excuses that could be put forward for our poor batting on Sunday.

After losing the toss (again), Wantage & Grove were asked to field in a time game against Harwell. Harwell started very slowly and lost their opening batsman in the 3rd over to a ball that seamed in nicely and bowled him. This was bowled by Stewie “npower” Bulpitt who’s spirits had been lifted by a nice blonde girl at Edgebaston. Npower finished with 6-2-6-1.

There then followed a very long dry patch where Harwell didn’t get many runs and we didn’t get many wickets. Harwell were 28 for 1 off 15. Andrew “Biggles” Barrett finished with 6-3-8-0, very tight! The stumps were hit again in the 16th over to Tweekey’s bowling. Then , soon after, an easy catch was spooned to me, off Tweekey. A catch by Biggles from Tweekey’s bowling again brought the score to 52 for 4 off 24. Duncan “Longdog” Wooloff also bowled tightly but wasn’t awarded with any wickets (7-2-12-0).

I can’t remember who was bowling when Longdog watched a ball sail past him at mid off and waited while Chief Wigham ran from long on to get the ball. This effort, or lack of it (or possibly the golden duck) gave Longdog the pigs ear.

Tweekey finished with 7-3-21-3. Harwell’s S. Maggs was starting to settle in and started to hit boundaries. Peachy came on and after his first 3 balls were smacked away for 4 runs each. After this, he bowled tightly for his first 8 overs, only to go for 9 in his 9th. Bowling at the other end to Peachy were Olly “Chief Wigham” Haine (4-0-35-0) and Alan “Raffles” Mercer (4-0-27-2). Stewie “Angel” Bulpitt caught someone from Raffles’s bowling, then Raffles caught one off of his own bowling. At tea, Harwell finished with 158 for 7 off of a staggering 43 overs.

Mrs Biggles satisfied everyone with a lovely tea (Thanks Mrs B) and Wantage prepared for a run chase.

We obviously didn’t prepare well enough as wickets started to fall in the second over. Longdog was bowled by his first ball. In the 4th over, Stewie “Angel” Bulpitt was run out on 4. Colin “Naboo” Mercer was next, caught for 8 runs. 2 balls later Graham “Gorgeous” North returned after being caught and bowled for a duck. All this happened in 7 overs. We were 18 for 4 chasing a miracle. The sticky wicket was punishing us.

Two overs later Richard Bulpitt was bowled for 1. Raffles and Chief Wigham managed to settle in for 8 overs and Olly managed to hit 5 singles before Olly got bored and smacked one to Long on and was unluckily dismissed by one of the best catches I’ve ever seen at this level of cricket. Luke Russel charged in from the boundary and dived forward catching the ball in his right hand just before it hit the ground. The Champagne moment was awarded to Luke for this, even though he was one of the opposition!

I was in and out quite quickly for 3 runs before being caught at long off by Francis. Tim made 5… then caught. Raffles was eventally caught and bowled for 17, Peachy stayed there for a while with Biggles but was eventually bowled for 10 which left Biggles stranded at the crease for 6 and Wantage & Grove with a final total of 73 all out.

In summary, we bowled well but didn’t bat well. Biggles got man of the match for his tight bowling, batting sensibly and catching S Maggs.