The Wantage team arrived at Crowmarsh keen and ready to put on a display for some special foreign guests (a Scotsman and an American) along with the usual Zimbabwean crowd. After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Timmy and Putty opened and put on a display of how dull cricket can be. After a few runs at the start they allowed Crowmarsh to bowl three consecutive maidens, a tedious 22 dot balls. This did, however, see off some dangerous bowling that might have taken the wickets of lesser batsmen. There were two very loud and determined LBW shouts that PoD, the umpire, was equally determined not to give out. This enflamed passions and rattled the bowlers who were muttering something that was probably quite rude.

In the 12th over, with the score on 31, Putty was bowled to a lovely ball that cut back in towards him onto his stumps. Oatibix replaced him and informed Timmy that we were playing a 35 over game, not a 40 over game and that he’d better start to score some runs. When this didn’t work, Oatibix tried to show him what he meant by middling a full toss back over mid on for 6. Timmy got the hint and starting opening up a bit. Unfortunately, this was Oatibix’s last scoring shot as he was caught skilfully at point three balls later.

Rich “Thigh bone” Lonnon went out to continue scoring runs after his lovely display and retirement the previous week. 15 runs later he was bowled. Timmy was finally given out LBW. He’d scored 41 runs and had given us a good platform to set what should be a winning score. PoD was a late entry into the team as he’d decided not to go out practicing walking as “they were too hung over”. Strangely, not so hung over that he couldn’t play cricket. Simon Martin and PoD took the reins and Simon managed to score 14 before being caught.

Now, when we consider that the next batsman, Picnic, had scored three runs in the previous season and has already conceded a hat trick of ducks this year, no one expected what happened next. Picnic was clearly eager to put some runs on the board and prove to his team that he deserved his place at number seven in the batting order. His first single raised a cheer and some light applause from the crowd. His second met with similar rapture. PoD was practically ignored as everyone was willing Picnic to get back on strike for sheer entertainment. Then, after a couple more singles, a blow through the fielders carried the ball close to the boundary… Was Picnic about to score his first ever boundary? No. It stopped short, but it had given him time to run two. He was already on his highest score ever and showed no signs of giving in. PoD got 12 and was stumped. He quickly tucked the bat under his arm and strode purposefully back to the pavilion; Daz King replaced him.

Picnic’s unorthodox batting style finally gave way as his outside off stump guard meant that when the ball did hit his legs, he was plumb. The crowd, disappointed, welcomed him back to the side lines with huge applause celebrating his massive double figure score of 11.

With overs running out, Six Pack started scoring runs quickly, playing a lovely six (that doesn’t happen very often!). Daz was out, then a hungover Somerset was out and Nordic joined Six Pack for the last eight balls. Both were not out wondering why they were batting so low down the order.
Wantage were 165 for 9 which seemed like a reasonable and defendable score.

Batsman Name How Out Runs
B. Putt Bowled 15
T. Lane LBW 41
O. Taylor Caught 8
R. Lonnon Bowled 15
S. Martin Caught 14
C. Mercer Stumped 12
N. Wilkins LBW 11
D. King Bowled 2
G. Summersbee Not Out 29
D. Summersbee Caught 2
S. Bramley Not Out 7

Tea. A nice selection of sandwiches and cakes. Score: a good 4 out of 5 teapots.

Now, I wouldn’t like to say that Crowmarsh were cheating, but they have too many left handers in their team which left Nordic very confused for a large majority of the innings (this isn’t really difficult). The whole innings had at least one lefty batting all the time and it only stopped being confusing when there were two of them in. This led to some awful field setting and far too many runs leaking through the gaps. R. McGuinness, the opening lefty carried his bat scoring a comfortable 70 runs. There were chances, but in a catlike fashion, he had more than one life.

Six Pack and Oatibix bowled economically, but struggled to break the openers. Oatibix finally got one in his last over.

There was a run out in the 4th over. Clearly there was never a run there to any fielder, but Six Pack hurled the ball in tight to the stumps and Putty took the ball and stumbled into the stumps sending D. Roy back to the pavilion wondering what he was thinking calling for a second run in the first place.

Timmy Lane bowled for a bit and bowled one of them. Daz King also bowled one from some tight medium pace.

Somerset and Simon had a go towards the end but both struggled to keep the Crowmarsh batsmen from keeping the score ticking over at the required rate. Somerset giving a little hope bowling a maiden, and setting up a catch that Oatibix fumbled and dropped. Possibly the easiest catch I’ve ever seen him drop.

So, with seven balls to go, Crowmarsh scored the winning runs for the loss of 4 wickets.

Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
G. Summersbee 7 2 17 0
O. Taylor 6 0 28 1
T. Lane 7 0 37 1
D. King 7 1 30 1
D. Summersbee 4.5 1 20 0
S. Martin 2 0 28 0

Man of the Match: Grant Summersbee for late runs and economical bowling (Won after a tie with Timmy Lane for his batting – decided by Paper Scissors Stone best of 3 (2-0 Grant))
Champagne Moment: Rich Lonnon’s dive to save a boundary. Good work Rich!
Pigs Ear: Grant Summersbee for throwing the ball into the ground instead of at the stumps and nearly giving away an extra run.  A special mention to Nordic for reversing over his kit bag after the game.  However, it didn’t get voted for as nobody saw it.

It was an enjoyable game – unfortunately they were better than us.