25th July 2020
On a day where any cricket being played was ambitious, the captains and umpires agreed to reduce to 30 overs a side from the outset. The visitors won the toss and chose to bowl, looking to take advantage of good bowling conditions and accrue some bonus points through early wickets. Wantage started steady, but at the first sanitiser break lost the first wicket, and shortly after all players had to leave the field for the first rain break.
The match started again with no time lost and Tetsworth took advantage of a challenging wicket, first forcing Liam onto his own stumps, then Colin to spoon a drive when looking well set, and Spenny with an error of his own advancing down the wicket and missing the ball. In the 18th over at 69-4 came a heavy downpour that resulted in an early lunch to be taken with both teams huddling under gazebos or sitting in their cars listening to TMS.
After a lengthy break for rain the skippers and umpire agreed to further reduce the overs to 25 per innings. This meant that Wantage had less than eight overs left to post a score, although quickly lost another wicket upon the restart. IC and Bingo manged to push the score along to 100-5, the former hobbling between the wicket with injuries to his hamstring and knee. Unfortunately they both fell in successive overs leaving Harvester and Summs to seek the runs required to secure the second batting point. It went to the final ball of the innings with the skipper needing to get bat on ball, alas failing to do so with a swipe across the line seeing the bails dislodged. This had resulted in a two point swing giving Tetsworth their fourth bowling point in addition to preventing Wantage get their second batting point.
At the change of innings the covers came back on as the heavens had opened once more, and the forecase had clear skies scheduled within 30 minutes time. The home side completed work on the square throughout the rain to ensure the game was given the best chance of being completed. With the rain clouds retreating, as the forecast had promised the teams cleared the covers and prepared for the restart.
With blue skies overhead the conditions looked to favour Tetsworth as they started their innings. With the task of keeping the visitors below what seemed a below par score, Wantage started well with Liam (4-8) taking both openers in an exciting opening spell of bowling to leave Tetsworth at 13-2. Huish, the Tetsworth skipper, and Naseer were taking advantage of poor deliveries and rotating the strike when available as the wicket was still proving tricky to score runs on. The Wantage attack continued to plug away, causing errant shots first from Naseer, then from Ayman. Huish soon followed trying to push the score along with the Wantage skipper getting underneath a high ball and catching at the third attempt, with the score at 53-5 with 9 overs left in the chase.
Wantage feeling buoyed from the team display during the first two sanitiser breaks, felt the game was there for the taking. The Tetsworth middle and lower order attempted in vain to keep the score board ticking over, with Liam returning to the attack to finish his overs and collect a further two victims finishing with figures of 4-8 from his five overs. With 24 required from the last over Williams smashed Colin to the boundary off the first ball sending the visiting supporters into raptures. Despite the early wobble in the over Colin held his nerve and finished the over off without further concern to leave Tetsworth 19 short of their target score. Kudos to the umpire, all players and supporters for sticking it out in conditions not normally conducive to cricket. The game was played in very good spirit from all involved, and best of luck to Testworth for the rest of the season.
After the game home side gathered in the clubhouse, social distancing observed, for a few drinks and to conduct the awards. As usual pigs ear was hotly contested with two nominations for Liam hitting his own stumps and his dropped catch, neither of which receiving a vote. IC falling victim to a shower of cold rainwater that had gathered onto the gazebo was a strong nomination, but the winner was the skipper for failing to get the extra batting point on the last ball.
Champagne moment was contended between Colin for a lovely aerial cover drive for four; Bingo’s catch from a fine nick off behind; Bingo smashing a 6 into the clubhouse and Mabbs for a one handed grab whilst jumping backwards at mid off. With the Mabbs crowned the winner after a a bought of rock, paper, scissors with Bingo.
Although the team performance has been excellent, Man of the Match was quite straightforward, with Liam the winner from his excellent winning bowling performance. Nominations to Colin for top scoring with the bat and a wicket, and for Mabbs for a bowling performance which deserved to give him a mention in the paper.
Great start to the (half) season.