29th August 2020

With the weather putting pay to our trip to Sunningwell and last weeks defeat at the hands of Dorch, a win was very much at the front of all minds. Having been witness to weather that would normally have resulted in a number of mammals boarding an ark earlier in the week, there was much groundwork required in preparation for the game. Fortunately the collective ground staff were on point and with the support of a number of the other team members had everything readied in time for the 1pm start.

West Ilsley won the toss and elected to bowl first on a pitch which looked a little tacky after the recent torrential rain. Summs making it clear he would’ve bowled as well should he have not lost his first toss of the season. Wantage started the innings well, with Summs and Colin opening, initially rotating the strike well as the ball was hard to get away. Summs hitting Beesley back over the top for and Colin with back to back fours as highlights over the first 12 overs. The half century partnership was brought up shortly after, and Summs departed the following over after not getting forward enough to a ball that stayed low on him and saw him castled for 20.

Bingo came to the wicket to join Colin, as they continued to rotate the strike well and punished a couple of balls to the boundary. After looking in good touch Bingo’s eyes lit up as second change Channon chucked down a short wide one, only for Bingo to slap the ball straight to the fielder at cover for a run a ball 10. After a couple of wide ones Colin was the recipient of a cracker of a delivery in the same over, with the ball pitching on leg and taking the top of off stump – Colin departing for 27.

With the score at 74-3 Wantage were in danger of a collapse that could determine the innings, fortunately Spenny and Mabbs had other ideas. Both players patiently building their innings and taking advantage of some loose bowling from the visitors. After a slower than usual start to his innings (11 off 33) it was Spenny of the two that kicked on, dispatching several of the bowlers to the boundary. Off the field Skipper and Harvester were debating the target with the score at 142-3 (after 30 overs), with the former decided 220 should be in reach. The forth wicket stand was the game changer, reaching 88 until Mabbs was given his marching orders when trapped in front by the returning Hill (3-27). Mabbs left the field for 26 disappointed having felt he hit it before being struck on the pads.

IC joined Spenny, the latter bringing up a deserved half century (from 61) in the next over, only two balls later being run out by Iceman after some substandard calling for a well played 52. The next over IC mistimed an aerial drive and Harvester followed two balls later, after a lusty drive for four, leaving for two and four respectively. After another mini collapse the score was 174-7 with the returning Grant and debutant Jamie at the crease with just over five overs to go. Grant having dislocated his shoulder a few weeks before it wasn’t clear how it would hold up, but he didn’t wait too long to unleash some hefty blows over midwicket; notching up two sixes and three fours. With three balls to go in the innings he needed three sixes to reach his maiden half century. When the first ball cleared the ropes the crowd were on their feet egging him on, unfortunately he could only skew the next ball to cover. A single off the final ball left Wantage on 231-7, with Grant on 39* (off 22) and Jamie with 7*. The third half century partnership (57*) of the innings took the total well past a par score, the total looked ominous for the visitors.

After a short break for tea, the chase didn’t start well for West Ilsley, losing their first wicket to a run-out on the second ball of their innings when attempting a second run. The throw from Colin wasn’t his best, but still gave plenty of time for Bingo to collect the ball and destroy the stumps. Jamie and Harvester continued their spells with some very tight bowling making it particularly difficult for the visitors to get either of them off the square. Harvesters spell of six overs involving four straight maidens finishing with 6-4-3-0 and Jamie on debut with 6-3-10-0.

First change called for Chief’s flight and guile, continuing the pressure built by the seamers with a maiden and wicket maiden. The second wicket falling when the batsmen slapped the ball to midwicket where Tweeks took the catch. With the chase at 20-2 after 15 overs the pressure was building on the the visitors who were still a long way from the total required. It was the pressure that saw for the next wicket with another run out, when Harvester chased down a ball in the deep, throwing the ball in to Grant to remove the bails as the batsman was unable to make his ground for the third run. Grant had come on for a short spell from the top end, getting the ball to swing away nicely and challenging the batsmen outside their off stump despite finishing without a wicket 4-0-12-0. Chief then added to his victims in his fifth over firstly bowling the opener, then Spenny getting underneath a skier at Gully to leave the score at 39-5. Mabbs replaced Grant, and when the new man in edged the ball past Grant he chased it down, returning the ball into Bingo to run out the third batsman of the day.

Despite his teammates falling around him Horsefield looked in good touch, hitting Chief to the boundary three times in his final two overs, to damage Chiefs figures a little as he finished on 8-2-27-3. Tweeky came on from the road end and with only his second ball of his spell the visiting skipper pulled the ball round the corner straight into Mabbs bucket hands on the 45. Horsefield (30) batted maturely, but ultimately ran out of partners when Mabbs bowled Beesley and Sinclair in consecutive balls, then the following over trapping Horsefield in front to finish with 5.1-2-12-3.

Awards were discussed and fines dished out, with Pigs Ear going to IC for running out Spenny. Iceman was also nominated for somehow throwing the ball backwards when the fielding looked like it should be regulation, and also for attempting to throw the ball into Bingo instead hitting the batting visiting skipper who was just stood in his crease. Grant was also included in the mix for forgetting to bring his bat, it was argued that if he had then he would’ve made his fifty – he was duly fined for this.

Champagne moment went to Chief for his delivery that took the top of the openers off stump. Other nominations went to Grant for one of his sixes that hit the clubhouse, and Mabbs for his crackerjack that bowled Beesley.

Man of the match was hotly contested with Mabbs contributing well with bat and ball; Spenny for a great knock with the bat; Grant for an exciting cameo with the bat and a solid bowling spell; and Chief for a great spell of bowling. It was Mabbs that walked away the victor. After awards many beers were consumed and pizzas eaten, before the standard Killer Pool was played, and a glass was raised to the latest addition to the Summersbee clan, baby Isaac.

Author: Summs