After some rain during the week, we arrived at Shrivenham to find a decidedly green-looking wicket. As usual, Colin lost the toss and the Shrivenham skipper had no hesitation in inviting us to bat. This looked to be a good decision when we found ourselves 23 for 3 with Ryan and both Nick Burtons back in the shed. At one end the Shrivenham opening bowler Josh Kirk was moving the balling prodigiously in the air and off the pitch, but it was a different story at the other end as the other opener was removed from the attack after bowling 3 full toss no balls.

Barry and Tim then dug in and steadied the ship, but unfortunately someone spiked Barry’s drink at the first break and he was bowled – yes bowled – just afterwards. This brought late call-up OT to the crease, whose second scoring shot was a majestic straight six. Tim was adjudged LBW for a useful 21, and OT went for 28. As the end of the innings approached there were valuable contributions from Mongo (14), Colin (22) and Mabbs (30 including a BIG six) and with the help of 37 extras we closed on 187 all out. With the pitch showing some variable bounce, the feeling at tea was that this was a useful total to defend.

Duncan and Mabbs opened the bowling and as the overs ticked by, our total began to look more impressive. Besides the occasional four to the short boundary by the tennis courts, runs were at a premium and although we were working hard for our wickets, they were falling steadily. After the first drinks break Shrivenham’s Andrew Bowles decided to up the run rate and played some lofted drives to try and give the chase some momentum. It took a brute of a delivery from Ryan to remove him from the crease for a well played 31. Ryan finished an excellent spell with 3 for 24 and there were two wickets apiece for Barry and Duncan as the run rate continued at below 3 an over.

With Mabbs going lame after 1 for 15 in his first 8 overs, Grant entered the attack and took one wicket as we tried to prise out the Shrivenham lower order with the help of increasingly variable bounce. Unfortunately the final wicket proved elusive as Matthew Harris recovered from a nasty blow off Ryan’s bowling to see out the final overs with Tom Swann as Shrivenham finished on 113 for 9.

MOTM = Ryan – Bowling Figures

Pig’s ear = Barry – Getting hit in the nuts

Champagne monent = Moobs – Big six