Weather: fine but breezy

Upon arrival (at about precisely 13:46) I was surprised to see Steventon geared up, ready and waiting (game wasn’t meant to start until half 2) – it turned out that they knew the club bar would be open!
Unusually the toss never happened – the away skipper not wanting to bat first and Wantage wanting to bat first – skippering so far so good. The away skipper’s aspiration to field first was motivated by an apparent lack of batting amongst his compatriots – shame, but he wasn’t kidding!
Wantage went out to bat with Rich Lonnon and Colin Mercer opening, both went on to score their half centuries (Rich Lonnon 54 and Colin Mercer 53). A big score was looking likely and both batsman looked capable of scoring centuries, however, a strategic decision was taken to retire the Wantage batsman after their 50 to ensure that a game was had by all. Having witnessed the bowling attack the batting order was re-arranged with Chief (Olly Haine) and Picnic (Nick Wilkins) sent in at nos. 3 and 4 respectively. Both where unfortunate with Picnic being dismissed for yet another ‘Quack’ and Chief dismissed for 2, both were caught (116 runs for 2 wickets). Mongo (Mark Tugwell) and Circus/Coach (Barry Martin) took the helm and put us back on course even though by the time Barry went out to bat he was seeing at least three balls!! With guidance from his team mates to just hit the middle ball, Circus went on to retire after achieving his 50 whilst Mongo got caught and bowled on 44 runs by a strange Dave Henson look-a-like!!! (whom after turning up and saying he would play for Steventon took what seemed an AGE to get his shizzle together and actually set foot on the field) It was a lighting quick reaction which if being honest started out more like an attempt to get some body part behind the well struck bowl to prevent the boundary – but as it just so it happened stuck and I think the Steventon captain was delighted with the performance of his loaned player. Next into bat was Ben Rendell and Jimmy Wallbridge both got off to good starts. Jimmy raced to a quick 38 before being caught in the Covers off Steventon’s best bowler. It was the last over and next in was Renier Pretorius. Told to just swing the bat and get Wantage to their biggest score in my time playing (targeting 300) he was sadly bowled first ball (much to picnic’s delight! Who faced 3 or 4 balls!). Ben Putt then stepped out on to the field to face the final two balls of the innings without pads, gloves or other protective clothing. Armed with just a bat to face the ‘hat-trick’ ball, the bowler delivered a full length ball which Ben Putt just kept out. So to the final ball which Ben Putt lofted over Extra Cover for four bringing the total innings to 292. Sadly Oatabix (Oli Taylor) was the only one not to bat – a captains sacrifice.

Batsman Name How Out Runs
C. Mercer Run out/Stumped 53
R. Lonnon Retired 54
O. Haine Caught 2
N. Wilkins Caught 0
M. Tugwell Caught & Bowled 44
B. Martin Retired 50
B. Rendell Not Out 22
J. Wallbridge Caught 38
R. Pretorius Bowled 0
B. Putt Not Out 4
O. Taylor (capt.) DNB

After yet again another superb tea prepared by Kerry Leighton, Wantage took to the field with Renier Pretorius and Mongo opening the bowling. Renier’s first over was a Maiden – good start. The first wicket fell in the second over and Steventon were now 1 for 3. A batting partnership of 17 formed before the remaining opener was caught off Renier’s bowling by Oatabix at Mid-Off. The Dave Henson look-a-like then walked out (to a round of booing from the Wantage squad and spectators I suspect too!), played a few shots and was then bowled by Mongo on 14 – needless to say Mongo was overjoyed by the retribution (and showed it by not only hurling abuse at Henson! But also helping him off the field with some argy bargy!). From thereon in the Steventon batting collapsed to the spin bowling of Chief who took 4 wickets for 8 runs in 3 overs. Ben Putts average alcohol consumption of 1 tin of strongbow per over was starting to slow him down and being more worried about the wellbeing of his remaing tins of alcohol behind the stumps decided to ask if anyone else wanted to keep – Picnic jumped at the chance of showing off his copyrighted “catch and roll” move, he took up his position and put glove to every ball that beat the batsman and went for a superb stumping from Coaches throwin with an even more impressive call of “aaaaaaaaaaaaaarargghghghghghghghgh” alas the umpire didn’t give it.

Wantage win by 208 runs.

Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
R. Pretorius 6 1 22 1
M. Tugwell 6 1 26 3
O. Haine 3 0 8 4
J. Wallbridge 3 0 18 2

Man of the Match: Olly Haine for his bowling
Champagne Moment: N. Wilkins for his wicket keeping
Pigs Ear: Colin for his own run out/stumping.