An away match, for a change, and a long-ish trip to Bicester led us to Chesterton, sitting 3rd in the table, but promising a very competitive game. Having already beaten their under-strength team in the cup, we were wary that they had some first team regulars back in the team. Their top 4 batsmen in particular looked strong, judging by the internet research that some members of the team had undertaken.

This proved correct, as after winning the toss and bowling, we were dispatched comprehensively for 6 an over for the first ten overs, James “Absolutely Mabbulous” Mabbett and Ryan feeding the batsmen some short stuff on their legs which they both had an extravagant liking of. Mabbs was struggling with the windy conditions, being forced to bowl into the wind made him struggle with his line and his pace, but when he worked out the pitch he eventually forced the Chesterton opener to sky one to long off where Ian took a good catch over his head.

Things continued in the same vein until Grant and Barry came on and tightened things up massively, forcing four quick wickets, including a peach of a delivery in Grant’s first over to get the number 3, and three good catches from Ben, Ryan and NiB. The sixth wicket partnership, however, took a hold on things. The one opportunity we had to break the partnership was a skier straight back at the sightscreen where Ian was waiting… This he misjudged. He also let it drop over his head for four. Resigned sighs were heard around the ground. Frustrated, Ian told a nearby boundary marker what he felt about the situation with his boot. “Calm down Ian, it was still a good effort”, he was told by a diplomatic Summerset looking to diffuse the situation. This fell on deaf ears, as a second boundary marker also felt the treatment. This time half the marker flew in a satisfying arc into the nearby bush. It was at this point that Ian had to sheepishly retrieve it and attempt to stick it back in the ground. Apparently this is hard to do when the spike has been sheared off. In the end he settled for lying it on the floor and studiously avoided the gaze of everyone else on the team.

Back to cricket, and the 6th wicket partnership dominated, putting on well over a hundred (including an over of tap off Timmy “Change into the fast” Lane). Luckily Grant came back on and despite being hit for a few boundaries managed to get both the batsmen, one caught at point by Bieber, the other at long on by brother Dave, to give him a well deserved 5-for. Other highlights were Barry’s run out and having to use about 5 new balls as they got lost in various bushes and fields around the ground. Although we ran through the last few wickets, Chesterton finished on 273 all out.

Our innings should probably not be commented on. NiB, Ben, Tim, Barry, Colin, Ian, Ryan, Mongo, Mabbs and Grant all batted like mongs. Tim and Ian top scored with 12. For this they formed an exclusive club of top scorers. Dave Summerset was allowed entry on the grounds that he was not out and therefore would probably have scored 12 too. Colin was out first ball LBW, and definitely didn’t get an edge. Ditto Mabbs. Grant’s duck still lasted more balls than Barry’s and Colin’s put together. We scored 51 all out. It was utter, utter s**t.

Man of the match was Grant for his 5-for. Tim and Ian decided they deserved nominations for their 12 runs each.

Champagne Moment was Ian for a 6. This was a rare glimpse of positivity in our innings.

Pig’s Ear was, by a country mile, the boundary marker destroying incident which has taken up the majority of this report. Luckily no one had a smurfs outfit, as Ian had already suggested the winner should be forced to wear on to mark “World Smurfs Day”. Instead, he was given the broken marker as a souvenir, which he will make into a pretty necklace and wear next week.

Net result: Misery. But 5 bowling points. And Barry got drunk again.