After losing the toss but being in to bat first on a wicket that looked as hard as concrete, we were warned that the wicket had “variable bounce”. Their skipper wasn’t kidding. Some balls came on to the bat quite well, some shot through and the occasional one jumped up over head height. This led to an interesting innings.

Coach and Benny opened but Benny was sent back to the pavilion after 10 balls with only one scoring shot (a four). Rich Lonnon also scored 4 before being caught. Nordic saw himself in for a bit, hot 3 consecutive fours and a single and then, there was a loud appeal for LBW. Nordic was still pacing forward, not sure where the ball had gone and by the time he’d found it (in the hands of gully), he was struggling to turn around and get back before a direct hit on the stumps found him out of his crease and walking gloomily back to the pavilion after scoring only 13. Grant “Six pack” Summersbee was caught on 7, Jimmy Wallbridge got 8 and Coach was triggered LBW on 44 to a ball that didn’t bounce at all.

Mongo stepped up to the plate and hammered the ball to all boundaries. Oatibix joined him and looked comfortable for a while, hitting 2 sixes over long on but only managed to get 19 before being bowled. Picnic edged his first ball to the keeper and was sent packing. Mongo was dismissed for 55 and was slightly disgruntled that the scorers hadn’t noticed that he’d got 50 thereby missing the opportunity to wave his bat around in the air to the applause of the crowd. It was, however, this 55 runs that kept Wantage’s hopes alive.

Chief was LBW for a duck and Muppet was left without a partner on 0. We had scored 173 runs before tea, but had only managed to face 30 of our 40 overs.

Tea was okay. There was some nice fruit cake and gingerbread men while we scrutinised the ball that had been ripped to shreds.

B. Martin LBW 44
B. Putt LBW 4
R. Lonnon Caught 4
S. Bramley Run Out 13
G. Summersbee Caught 7
J. Wallbridge Bowled 8
M. Tugwell Bowled 55
O. Taylor Bowled 19
N. Wilkins Caught 0
D. Henson Not Out 0
O. Haine LBW 0

After tea, Oatibix led the bowling attack which was rather short of pace with the exception of Oatibix himself. Oatibix was economical but failed to get any wickets. Muppet was not so economical (apart from his second over, a maiden). Welford’s W. Herrington scored a quick 50 runs, taking their team score to 60. Frustratingly, he had been dropped a couple of times. Chief had come on to bowl and at the start of his fourth over, removed Herrington as he swiped at a ball that turned nicely onto the stumps.

Now, Coach and Chief were keeping the run rate down nicely. Oatibix took a nice catch at cow corner off Chief’s bowling and then Jimmy took a catch at point, off Chief.

By this time, Welford were over halfway to their target of 174 runs and only 3 wickets down. Coach joined the party with two consecutive wicket maidens removing their other opener (who after 23 overs had only scored 9 runs) who hit the ball to Chief for an easy catch and the second was a skyer that Mongo found himself underneath, but caught expertly.

On his Birthday, Benny came on to bowl and bowled some rubbish that completely foxed their middle order. Shortly, somehow, he’d taken three wickets. Another catch for Jimmy, one that bowled the batsman by being straight, and one that was skied and Nordic stumbled in quickly to catch, on the run, against all odds.

Seeing Benny’s success bowling dross, Muppet came back on and also took a wicket by bowling a straight one. They now needed 10 runs to win with one wicket left. Mongo finished them off by letting them slap a ball over mid on where Coach took the final catch over his shoulder to his left. It was a fantastic catch that finished the game on a high with Welford only needing 9 runs to win.

Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
O. Taylor 8 3 22 0
D. Henson 6 2 47 1
O. Haine 8 2 17 3
B. Martin 6 2 18 2
B. Putt 4 0 39 3
M. Tugwell 4.4 0 16 1

Man of the Match was Chief for some excellent bowling figures.
Champagne Moment was Oatibix for one of his sixes that went miles.
Pigs Ear was Nordic for his second stupid self run out in a week.