2nd July 2022 (delayed post)

Seven days before this fixture, the weather forecast was poor. A few days out, it looked like no cricket would be possible. However, on the morning of the game, the sun was spotted and it was not raining. Different meteorological services continued to give a range of prognoses: it would rain from one until eight, it would rain intermittently from 1:30 and then begin to clear by four, Noah had placed a large order of timber.

Despite the moist conditions, we started on time. Steventon’s skip, Chapman (formerly of this Parish) won the toss and elected to bat.  It looked like it would rain at any time, clouds suggested that it was raining everywhere except on this game. It was highly likely that the game would be shortened, it was just a question of when rather than if.  As the first ball was bowled, a few spots did start to fall but so light was the precipitation that all were happy to continue. Wantage needed to bowl out Steventon as soon as possible to take time out of the game. By the time the inevitable downfall came, Wantage had claimed 9 wickets for 49 from 29 overs. And then it rained. A lot. Despite a great start, changing room talk was of “no more play” and “there’s not enough time to dry out”. Tea was taken early accompanied sky and pitch inspections.

Earlier, Harvey had taken three for eleven off eight including a double wicket maiden in his third over . Haine had the even better figures of three for nine off eight which Bury matched with three for nine off six. Mabbett bowled tightly but without success which no-one mentioned later at all. Catches had been shared across the team: Mercer, Bhu, Chitty and Mabbett.

As the rain continued to fall, Wantage and Grove needed the rain to stop and time to take 1 more wicket and then chase down Steventon’s total before more rain arrived which according to a plethora of precipitation predictors would be at four, five, half-five or eight.

Skip was confident that there was a rain break window on its way, and he was right. Soon after tea, the rain stopped and the clear-up began. The covers had protected the pitch, a few wet patches needed attention and the game could recommence. Weeks joined the list of successful bowlers by taking Steventon’s final wicket with Lane taking the catch. Steventon were all out for 49.

The threat of more rain continued. Wantage needed to start positively. Bury fell for 0 off three balls but Mercer’s 21 off 15, and Jonny’s 20 not-out off 19 supported by Lane’s 4 of 10 saw us home in 7.5 overs. And then it rained, lots!

Pigs Ear was Haine’s attempt at bringing a roast dinner as his tea, including the biggest bag of carrot sticks ever seen. Noms also went to skip for losing the toss, again, and to Harvey for throwing his hat trick delivery down leg side for hat trick avoidance.

Champagne moment went to Bury for this athletic C&B to dismiss the Steventon number 7, with other noms going to Chitty for a slick catch, and Harvey for bowling Bennett for a golden with a well placed yorker.

Man of the match went to Harvey for his bowling, with nominations to Haine and Bury for tight bowling spells.

– Will Harvey