Hendred Away – Win After last season’s downpours it was great to have a hot, sunny day for a game of cricket so early in this season’s fixtures. Tweekey and I arrived at Hendred a little late having had to hand around waiting for Strawberry Lightening at Harwell who had our scorebook to write up last weeks match report (apparently it’s on it’s way) and had left it at home so had to go back to get it. I won the toss (that’s three in a row!) and controversially decided to field in the blazing sun. Gorgeous North took to the field in a non-keeper role and decided to field at fine leg at both ends so that he could listen to the footy. Apparently there was some game on. However, after a couple of overs jogging from one side of the pitch to the other, he changed to a gully position for every other over to save time and effort. Hendred’s Ade Francis unusually left the field early, not picking a slightly slower ball from Muppet Henson that was probably only slower due to lack of effort. When the ball popped up off the leading edge of the bat, Muppet had an easy catch to dispatch Ade back to the pavilion. Four overs in and we’d got an important wicket. Runs were hard to come by from the openers (Moobs and Muppet) and after only four overs each, both were replaced due to the challenging heat. Muppet having only conceded one run. PoD and my old Harwell team-mate Bill Ross replaced Moobs and Muppet. A couple of overs later another wicket fell to PoD, I casually took a catch. Although the bowling now was a little slower than the openers, it was still proving difficult to get away and to find gaps in the field. After the 16th over, Hendred only had 31 runs. Raffles Mercer and Tweekey took over the attack and still runs were hard to find. Raffles, whose leg ball was somehow pulled to gully, Moob’s sharp reactions pulled off a stunning catch with his right hand that amazed everyone. Raffles took one from Tweekey. We were doing well, but Hendred had brought on their secret weapon, a youngster! Mongo and Dundee had three overs each, attempting to dispatch said youngster, but he was outclassing them with real cricket shots (plainly cheating). After a bit of this and needing a win Moobs and Bill were brought back on to sort it out. Bill sorted out Ivan Mulford, who was at this point starting to slap the ball around well when an edge came my way in gully and surprisingly I took a second catch. Moobs was clearly getting tired of being slapped by the youngster and decided to up his game with a fast over. This did the trick and the youngster was sent back to the pavilion after his stumps were splattered. Harsh treatment, but Moobs felt it was fair as the youngster had crafted a beautiful 34 from our bowling. So, following that, in the remaining time, Bill got two wickets in one over, a flier that nearly went into orbit (always tricky) caught well by PoD and one spooned to Tweekey. Muppet and Tweekey finished off with an over each at the end and Muppet got his second caught and bowled. He obviously doesn’t trust anyone else with the catches. So that was it, a target of 113 to win having taken nine of Hendred’s wickets after 40 overs. Somewhere in the previous melee, Bill managed to earn himself the Pig’s ear by throwing the ball at his own head. A scene that is hard to imagine and equally hard to describe. Some might say “how could he miss”, but when you’re lying on your side in the slips trying to flick the ball back to the keeper it’s clearly an easy mistake to make; One that provided amusement for both teams. Bowling: J. Mabbett 7-0-22-1 D. Henson 5-3-2-2 (you’ve got to be pleased with figures like that!) C. Mercer 4-0-12-1 B. Ross 7-1-15-3 T. Weekes 6-0-12-1 A. Mercer 6-1-16-1 A. Gray 3-0-14-0 M. Tugwell 3-0-25-0 Tea was good. A Wantage style, do it yourself that had a nice fruit bowl and a lovely cuppa. Lacking slightly in quantity in the pickle and cake department, if you’re greedy like me, but nevertheless pretty good. I give it 3 out of 5 teapots. Thanks Hendred. So 113 looked quite an easy target and surprisingly it was. None of our normal top-end collapses interfered with the requirement to win. Gorgeous and I scored 25 each I was dropped by the keeper on 5 but got away with it, but finally I toed the ball to mid on and was caught and Gorgeous was caught somewhere when I wasn’t looking. Dundee and PoD finished the game with 26 and 21 runs respectively with extras getting another 17 to take us past Hendred’s total in the 24th over. Dundee showing off a bit in the final over with a reverse sweep for one run that earned his a cheer from the boundary and champagne moment. Bill earned Man of the match for his 3 for 15 off 7. Special thanks go to the Bulpitt’s (Stuey, Rich and especially Alice) for coming along to cheer us along. So one Sunday win up with plenty more to play, Nordic