Once again positions were in great demand to play at the batsman’s paradise of Challow CC. JP as usual had provided us with an absolute belter of a batting track and a very short leg side boundary thanks to an earlier under 13’s match, would prove very interesting circumstances to score runs on the formidable lightning outfield!

Grant ‘6 pack’ Summersbee and Ren r rrr Ren were given the arduous task of opening the bowling on the exceedingly flat wicket, proving that quick bowling wasn’t going to be the flavour of Wantages day. With Walker and Harris getting there eye in quickly, it seemed to prove that bowling was somewhat of a difficult task and after 4 overs the angry one decided to take himself off. Mongo without prompt then thrust himself into the attack with some on occasion interesting off spin bowling, which seemed to restrict the rate.

After a tidy spell of 6-0-26-0 Ren was then replaced the most famous member (thanks to a barmy modelling contract) Olly ‘Chief’ Haine. Where more conventional off spin continued to stabilize what could potentially be a fast scoring rate. After a period of tying Harris in knots Haine unleashed an insightful, some may say wide ball, which with some rapid glove work from Jimmy ‘the cat’ Wallbridge brought a stumping. The first of two!

Mongo managed to bully out a 6ft 4 16 year old only to be taken off the following over for the more seasoned Olly ‘The power’ Taylor. The chunky one finished with interesting figures of 7-0-35-1. Chief was then taken off and replaced with the curry monster Moobs after taking figures of 7-0-35-2. Having taken a pair of quick wickets each, with the aid of some inspirational bowling OT and Moobs had the arduous task of bowling at Hume and Russell who quickly got their eye’s in and dominated on such a flat track. 6 pack finished off his spell and the remainder of the 40 overs. Grant finishing on figures of 7-0-53-0, OT on 6-0-62-2 and Moobs who smashed 2 quality wickets in his first over ended up with 7-0-77-2.

Tea was an affair not up to Challow’s usual high standards and will make one in particular reporter think twice about making the heady journey to the wilds of Windmill Hill again. Where was the cheese and biscuits from last year? Coronation chicken sandwiches were good as were the chicken goujons and roast potatoes were a nice touch. I don’t think I’m harsh in only offering 3.5 tea pots! Perhaps they could get the ice cream van to park-up next year?

In true Wantage fashion the repose to Challows challenging score of 283 for 8, was emphatic. With a little bit of possibly tourrets style calling Dave Somerset managed to run out the Saturday captain Ming for a poultry 7 runs. Nordic after having possibly cheese based lucid dreams of scoring a ton failed to bother the scorers and was bowled by what I can only presume was an absolute jaffer (I was frantically throwing my pads on as a collapse ensued).

The man from the West country was then bowled by a by now fiery Alderson going back to a good length ball leaving the away team on a score of 13-4! There was no answer for the sporting backlash (are we going to dope test the Challow player), Mongo and OT were required to steady the ship. OT with his sound, cultured defence and Mongo with his at times exuberant flourishing and expected cover drives and the capacity to play inside the line of the ball, steadied the ship and even pushed the waning score along. Till disaster struck. The well groomed OT went back to a full ball a la Somerset and was alas bowled for 14.

Next man in was Moobs who started off cagy (due to his father being in the crowd!) but started to find some form with the bat to illustrate to watchful eyes that he really does know how to use that expensive piece of willow which I’m going to name Kerry. The boobed duo held there own for a considerable period of time and brought the game to a more manageable state, however the taller chunky lad was undone, bowled by possibly the slowest ball of the day, which trickled under his bat. Mongo who looked like he should have been on for a ton scored a streaky 75 off 52 balls.

This unfortunate event brought on the batting prowess of Jimmy Wallbridge (nickname unsuitable for print). After some cultured flailing, was trapped plumb LBW for 2. The fall of wicket brought the very angry Grant Summersbee to the crease who was in no mood to hang around scoring 19 very useful runs, but was bowled by Gordon playing an outlandish ‘shot’.

Chief then had a little go at batting but just wasn’t given enough time to manufacture the win and in the spirit of the game donated his wicket so that Ren could have a go for the last 3 balls. Of which these were some of the most bizarre events in the history of cricket. Two solidly blocked dot balls were then followed by an exquisite cover drive where not only did two of the more festively plump members of the team manage to run 4 on a short boundary, but 4 overthrows were awarded due to some sloppy fielding, leaving Ren on 8!

Due to the nature of the match the usual hijinx of shower time did not occur, much to the discus of the shower captain. As always the day was finished off with the awards. Pigs ear was given to Dave Somerset who showed good ‘techers’ and was nutmeged for 4 on possibly one of the smoothest outfields known to man. Ren was awarded Champagne moment for scoring 8 off one ball. Last and least Mongo was awarded Man of the match for I can only guess an entertaining innings. Smashy!

C. Mercer 7 (7)
D. Summersbee 2 (4)
S. Bramley 0 (2)
S. Martin 0 (6)
M. Tugwell 75 (52)
O. Taylor 14 (27)
J. Mabbet 55* (79)
J. Wallbridge 2 (6)
G. Summersbee 19 (31)
O. Haine 4 (15)
R. Pretourious 8* (3)

Much love Mongo x