Good day everyone, and welcome to the match report for the great grudge match between Wantage & Grove CC 1st XI v Cairns Fudge CC – Saturday 3rd June 2023
On a gloriously sunny day in June, The WAGCC travelled to Stanton-St-John for a fixture that most of the players had been waiting with great anticipation for, for a good few years. The last time we played them was in the OCA and for whatever inexplicable, your writer had never actually beaten Fudge at their place. Half of the Wantage team sat in traffic on the Oxford ringroad for a good half an hour, before eventually turning up to loud greetings and hugs from Chaz (playing his first, and what many people thought would be his last based upon his fitness record from the last few years).
Spenny won the toss and chose to bat first, with Colin ‘The Birthday Boy’ Mercer and Timmy ‘Peter’ Lane opening up. They set a solid foundation, with a couple of good shots each before Colin was adjudged to be out LBW with the score on 22… He claims it was ‘off the bat’, but we all know he was stone dead!
Summersbee came to the crease to show Fudge who was boss, but he sadly departed 15 runs later for 3, missing a straight one and being bowled by Clark. Spenny walked out, and then ran out Timmy! Captains’ prerogative I guess, but Tim was run out for 14, 1 run short of Colin, but with only 31.82 strike rate. [Colin would like the reader to know that his strike rate was 71.43…more than double Timmy’s].
Chitty and Spenny then put on some runs! Oh so necessary runs! Bringing the scoring rate right up. Previously hitting some lofty blows, Chitty was dropped going for a big one, and was then dropped again hitting the ball to cow. Spenny (Capitan) on the other hand had played a lovely innings with beautiful caresses through the covers, a few whips through mid wicket and some delightful shots with his stand in bat [thanks Mabbs, the runs will be attributed to you im sure], before eventually being clean bowled to a ball that went dead straight, didn’t move at all, and smashed into the stumps at a perfect height…. 130-4!
Chitty was next to go 1 run later, playing a big pull to a ball that only got up to shin height. 131-5!
Challand ran himself out for 10 after a lovely shot straight to the fielder, and so Mabbs walked out. With 10 overs to go we were only on 151-6, and with the calming words of Wilbury at the other end… “just stick around, no hurry, we have ages”… Mabbs decided to smash the spinner down the ground for 4 (being dropped as well I might add) Next ball 6. The very next ball 4. In the end Mabbs’ delightful little cameo came to an end after only 8 balls, 19 runs – 3 fours and a six.
Big Chaz walked out to soak up some of the remaining overs, and he and Wilbury looked good for a while. Then, totally out of the blue, Wilbury was stumped…his foot never moved and all eyes went to the umpire… Gone! See ya later! Dumbfounded, he trudged off to words of “hard lines”, “I can’t believe it”, and “never mind Wilbury, at least you weren’t given out LBW off the bat” [no guesses for who was still bitter about this!]
The score was now 195-8 and William ‘The Silver Fox’ Harvey strode out to biff it around a bit as we all know he can do. 2 balls later he was back, and it was all down to Timothy ‘Tweekaaa’ Weekes.
Chaz and Tweeky batted admirably, sticking around until the very last over, and with a couple of boundaries pushed our score to 215, before Tweeky was C&B by Hobbs. A great total considering the reliability of the pitch.
After what seemed like the longest tea break of all time, Mabbs and Harvester strolled out to bowl.
Mabbs bowled a maiden first up, keeping good line and length and checking to see if the ball would do much off the pitch. Harvester also bowled well, removing Shaw for 4. I mean, I say it was Harvey’s wicket, because ‘Bowlers Union’, and the stats say so, but really it was all down to Timmy ‘Mits’ Lane who dived full length, snatching the ball out the air to a very hard hit ball. Apparently Shaw had hit a ton the week before, so we were pretty lucky with this one.
A few overs later and Mabbs had Venebles pinned LBW for 6, and from then on, The WAGs never doubted we would clean up. Mabbs persuaded Hobbs to chip the ball to Summersbee with a slower ball for 11, Harvey got Baxter out LBW for 0, and then Chaz bowled Hobbins for 14 to leave Fudge 54-5. Wilbury bowled probably one of the most dangerous spells of his life for no wicket, but I’d like to take a moment to give a special mention to one of his overs, where the ball somehow missed the edge at least 4 times in a row, and was just totally unplayable. Sorry Wilbo, you are clearly too good for the wickets column.
In a bid to wrap things up quickly, Mabbs was brought back on, and he duly picked up McClearly for 4, claiming what was in essence a full ish ball that didn’t bounce much…still, ‘Claim them all’! a few overs later and Mabbs had another one, with Jacobs spooning another slower ball (you could pick it from the run up) to Summerbee for 1.
Challand, after a few wayward balls picked up Clark with a good stumping from ‘The Birthday Boy’, to leave The Fudge on 99-9.
Mabbs begged and pleaded with the captain to be allowed to bowl his final overs. He was sat on 4fer, and after the last few weeks he was desperate to keep the wicket streak going.
Eventually Spenny relented, and Mabbs came back on to clean up Pervaiz with his penultimate ball, bowled for 13.
That was that!
Fudge all out for 118.
Tremendous victory which put The WAG at the top of the table!
If you want the full scorecard, check it here… Wantage & Grove CC (play-cricket.com)
In all, there wasn’t a whole lot we got wrong. We batted well, bowled well, and even fielded well.
Pigs Ear went to Ian for running himself by an entire postcode
Champers went to Timmy ‘Mits’ Lane for his unreal catch at short cover. Jonty Rhodes esque
MotM went to Mabbs for his blistering 19 off 8 balls, (that’s a strike rate of 237.5 by the way Colin!) and fine bowling figures of 8.5/3/18/5.
Top Cricket! Next week the mighty WAG are away at Garsington!