The early afternoon goings-on are a bit of a mystery to me, as I only turned up 20 minutes in, so someone else could fill you in on those. We were playing at the extravagantly titled Cassington Oval, which was our first away trip of the league season.

Going on what I can comment on, I can safely say that Ryan and Chaz opened the bowling and kept it pretty tight, with runs at a premium for the Cassington openers. Chaz eventually found an opening, forcing a sharp, low catch at short cover from narcoleptic extraordinaire Tim Lane, waking from his weekly cricketing reverie to snaffle an excellent chance. The other opener was obviously dazed enough to miss a Ryan yorker next over, and we had two quick wickets which soon became three when Ryan yorked another of the Cassington batsmen. Their bowling in tandem (Chaz was adamant “tandem” was the appropriate word) put Wantage in good shape, and it fell to Barry and Grant to continue their good work as wickets began to tumble.

Although Cassington number 4 Jason Fuller put up some strong resistance with a lot of bludgeoned fours, the bowling from our second bowling pair kept leading to chances for the fielders. NiB took a good catch running back at cover point, Barry bowled a left hander, and Grant eventually saw for Fuller with a pitched up delivery which the umpire adjudged LBW. Hadland came in and gave it the long handle for a couple of overs, including a six over cover which Ian caught off the roof, before attempting the same shot two balls later only to fall to an excellent catch from NiB, whose momentum took him within an inch of the boundary. Fortunately he couldn’t have picked a better spot to take a borderline boundary catch, as it was right in front of the scorers, the opposition players and the serried ranks of Wantage fans, who were able to confirm that his heel had not breached the magic white line. The final few wickets fell quickly, as Grant picked up 3-34 and Barry 3-13, only a run out by Ben Putt (and WHAT a run out, under such intense pressure) interrupting their wicket taking.

Other points of note from the Cassington innings included “sniffer dogs” Ian and Dave Summerset finding lost balls in the hedge, dropped catches by Barry and Nicky “keeper” Burton, and Grant’s name being written in pink in the scorebook. PicNic also made an awesome one-handed stop to save the Wantage fans from the fast moving ball. There was probably also some other stuff that happened out in the middle, but if you have a match report written by someone on the side-lines, that sort of thing tends to be missed out.

Ben Putt and NiB were then tasked with opening up our innings for ten overs before tea. This proved to be a bad start for Wantage as the clouds loomed over and the rain began to swirl as we lost Ben in the 4th over before the umpires wisely called a halt to proceedings, giving us a tea break to escape from the rain.

After the break NiB and Tim batted very cautiously, watching the ball carefully as it kept quite low after a dampening from the rain. This was a sensible decision and we slowly worked our way into a good position, as they first saw off the opening bowlers and then slowly began to dominate. Tim in particular playing some well-timed leg side shots and brought up his 50 off 87 balls. Eventually Cassington’s second change bowler contracted cricketing *beep* – also known as “the yips”, and served up an over of dross which Tim took full advantage of. NiB hit the winning two runs the following over as we got home with thirteen overs to spare and with 9 wickets in hand. NiB’s innings was an exercise in delayed gratification as he posted 25* off 90 balls, whilst “cultured batsman” Tim scored the bulk of the runs with 63* off 90-odd balls.

Tim for MotM for his 63* and a cracking catch.
Champagne moment: Tim for said cracking catch.
Pig’s Ear: Something Chaz said which went over my head. Editor needs to amend this!
Net result: 30 points, and so far a perfect season with 60 points out of 60!