Well, that was an exciting start to the cricket season! Wantage & Grove batted first in a 35 over against Minster Lovell yesterday and after a slow but solid start by Alan “Raffles” Mercer and Olly “Lovejoy” Haine, scored 144 runs for 7 wickets. Top scorers: me with 36, Gorgeous with 26, Peachy with 15 and Tweekey with 14. Also worth noting was our newcomer, Andrew Barrett, who scored 11 not out and Muppet who managed to get run out by Gorgeous. The pigs ear moment was voted for at the end of the game and Muppet got it for this run-out.

144 was not a bad score on a lush outfield which made boundaries hard to hit along the ground. Minster Lovell responded well and were scoring runs at a sensible rate so as to stay on top of the required run rate. Their opener, B.Tew, stayed for most of the innings and scored 62. Longdog took 2 for 21 off 8, Andrew Barrett got 2 for 30 off 7, Peachy got 4 for 17 off 5.

The fielding was good all-round. There were only a couple of fumbles which was great for a coldish day at the start of the season. Naboo took a fantastic one handed catch at deep cover for which he was awarded the “champagne moment”. With four overs to go, things were looking dire for us; 14 wides had not helped. Minster Lovell needed 11 runs to win with 4 wickets in hand. Tweekey was tossed the ball and grumbled a bit about it being “too late now” to bring him on. However, he responded to the challenge in hand and the next over went for only one run. 10 needed off 3 overs. Peachy bowled the next over for 1 run, also taking a wicket. 9 needed off 2. Tweekeys next over went for 7. Not as good as the first over but Minster Lovell wanted to win. 2 needed off the last over. Peachy, not realising that this was the last over, then bowled a cracking over. Another wicket was taken on the second ball. Then, the ball was hit to backward square leg where I dived to stop the ball with my left hand, dropping a catch, but saving vital runs. The batsmen took a single. The scores were level with 2 balls to go. Peachy (still thinking that there were still a couple of overs left) bowled superbly not allowing the new batsmen to score the vital winning run so the game was tied on 144 each. Although we had lost one less wicket than them, this doesn’t really matter. A tied game at the start of the season. It doesn’t get much closed than this!

Peachy got man of the match for batting reasonably and getting 4 for 17 off 5.