Last Sunday was the game that many of us chose to avoid, mainly as it was Crowmarsh away, and the usual associated aggro! Unfortunately 11 of us had to play, and we bravely stepped out to field in thirty degree heat to give them 35 of our best! We bowled admirably but again our batting let us down as we failed to threaten their total.

However, returning captain Steve was feeling optimistic early on and chose to put the home team into bat and Barry and Moobs opened the bowling and after the opening few overs left Crowmarsh with a few too many runs, they tightened up as they went along. However (as always) there were a couple of questionable umpiring decisions, especially on Barry’s bowling. One edge that was caught behind could have been heard in the club house by an old lady with her hearing aid in need of a new battery, but the umpire failed to hear it 22 yards away…life goes on. Until about an over later when the most plumb LBW in a few years was waved away by the same umpire, but i shall not go on…you get the picture…we have all been there before, and will probably again!

Barry was extremely unlucky not to take a wicket, in the most part as his deliveries were too good for their opening batsman who seemed unable to tickle one through to Richard behind the stumps; and he ended up with figures of 6-1-23-0. At the other end Moobs was still keeping it tight when the old guard was wheeled in to provide some knowledge and overall cricketing nouse. Straight away it had an effect, as Peachy took a wicket with his second ball (his solar panel working well under the bright sun). This was shocking to all, including the batsman, as Peachy’s loosener had been utterly dreadful getting tonked almost to the boundary, but the reply was right on the money and bowled their number 2 (Chris Strange) for 15. This left the score at 54-1 after 14 overs and Peachy with big smile.

Tweeky was brought in at the other end, and with his “mix-’em-up” philosophy kept it fairly tight until he was replaced by young Andy Steer. Andy bowled really well, having the batsmen fishing for deliveries they didn’t need to, and eventually one swung at a wide one and Peachy pounced on the ball at point to leave their number three heading to the pavilion for 3.
Moobs then returned for a spell leaving Peachy carrying on through his overs at the other end. It turned out to be an inspired bowing change from captain Nordic (maybe he read it in his book of Norse!?) as Moobs took the next wicket bowling their No. Four. and then the number Six for 10 and 0 respectively.

Diddy Henson had by now replaced the Peach at the Pavilion End, and was using his looping left arm spin to torment the batsmen, and it wasn’t long till they started falling…and boy did they fall! His first victim was opener R Eltham who amassed 72 before finding me at deep mid on, he only just before escaped the same fate but Moobs could not keep inside the boundary rope and the ball had to count as 6 rather than a catch.
Diddy then managed to find a bit of turn and took three more wickets, all bowled, to leave them teetering at 154 -9. This left a couple of overs to be seen out for very few runs, as we kept it tight in the field to try and keep the total achievable, leaving ourselves a total of 155 to get with the bat.

While we ate our tea (2.5 to 3 teapots was the general opinion) we argued about who would open as we were looking a bit short in enthusiasm on the batting front, and it showed on the crease. Chief and Diddy opened the batting, and facing some accurate bowling failed to get the scoreboard ticking before the Chief was bowled by Crowther for 0 off 18 balls. In stepped Mr Paul Rees who seemed very sure of his forward defensive before he went out, but not so much once at the crease, as he was also bowled for 0 by Fanstone – leaving us at 14-2 off 8 overs.

I made my way to the crease and managed to hold out for a while, amassing 3, while supporting Diddy who having seen out the openers relaxed a little too much as he edged a straight delivery to the wicketkeeper, out for 9. In came Moobs who smashed a brutal six, before also getting caught by the keeper off Bromley’s slow but accurate bowling. In came Barry who top scored for the day with 13, until he was ran out by a very good throw from close range.

Then, in another superb example of a batting collapse, our last 4 wickets fell for 11 runs, as Richard, Peachy and Tweeky all fell to the underestimated Bromley, who with his grandfatherly appearance and slow shuffle to the wicket lulled the team in general into sense of safety, but ended up taking 5 for 21. This left us all out for a very poor 54, a good hundred short of the total we needed. More nets practice i think lads…me included!

Champagne moments were few and far between this week, but we went for Muppet’s bowling display of 6-1-26-4. Pig’s ear was a unanimous one this week after Tweeky failed to cling on to a looping catch of Peachy’s bowling. So once again we decamped to the Fox at Steventon with our tails between our legs for a Fishfinger sarnie and a pint.

Come on lads, lets see if we can chase down a total next week!!