With Mabbs having more important things to do this week than write another match report, you’re stuck with me again this week! [Edit: Congrats Mr and Mrs Mabbs!]

It’s been many years since we last made the trip to Garsington, and oh what a different day that was, wet, gale force winds, and cold… today the opposite, hot, dry, and barely a cloud in the sky (at the start at least). It’s also the start of the win-lose-draw portion of the season, different format, different tactics, could Skip win the toss to take advantage of the format… no. Garsington won the toss, and decided to have a bat. Which was fine, Skip was planning to bowl anyway.

Just a quick warm up this week, to distract from some very questionable changing room / shower comments. Mabbs and Harvester opened up, the first ball of the innings giving an early hint at the quality of the pitch, just back of a length from Mabbs and some rather exaggerated bounce saw the ball fly over the batter’s head… exciting start.

Mabbs was also the first to get a breakthrough, with the Garsington opener lofting an attempted drive to Summs at mid off. Harvester bowled the #3 soon after, bringing the much anticipated ‘Sachin’ to the crease. He’d scored some runs against us earlier in the week, and had been having a really strong season, definitely Garsington’s danger man with the bat. Which became more apparent second ball, as he rocked back and drove Harvey through square cover for 4.

A couple of overs later it was Mabb’s turn to have a go at Sachin, getting one to nip back off the pitch, he found a big inside edge on another expansive drive, taken behind the stumps by Colin, celebrations ensued. But there was a problem… the batter didn’t walk, and somehow the umpire’s finger stayed down, we couldn’t believe it. Most of the resulting comments won’t be minuted in the match report, but you can guess we weren’t very impressed. Time for a change then, if Mabbs can’t get him out, over to Willbo. Which it turns out was a good decision, once against Willbo bowling an excellent line, with some dangerous shape. One of which again found Sachin’s inside edge, this time crashing into the stumps.

Tweeky at the other end replaced Harvey (5-0-19-1), bowling the remaining opener, and at 35-4, we were in a strong position. A small rebuild meant it was 58-5 when Tweeky trapped the #6 LBW. With Willbo bowling another spell too good to get wickets (7-4-16-1), the ball was thrown to 1st team debutant Craig to have a go. A daunted step up from bowling in the 2s, or not, snaffling two wickets in his first over, including two in two balls, so many jugs: first wicket for the 1s; hat-trick jug avoidance. This left Garsington 87-7. After 3 overs Craig was replaced by Mabbs, to try and get the innings finished. Craig finishing with the slightly strange figures of 3-0-9-2, but without conceding a single run off the bat.

Other than a bit of a fightback from the #7, who made 28 from 23, Mabbs made relatively quick work of the tail, to finish with 4fer and another jug up on the board – 9.5-4-20-4. Tweeky finished 7-1-42-2.

So over to the batters, 111 to win, from 58 overs.

Colin and TPL opened up, with Colin having to face first ball again as TPL begs to be #2 ever week. All we need is a nice calm start, give the oppo nothing to get excited about… alternatively Colin could get off the mark with a top edge pull over the slips, and an inside edge passed the stumps for 2. TPL at the other end was clearly liking the #2 spot, smashing 5 boundaries, including a beautiful cover drive that would make Ian Bell proud. Then the pitch got involved, and a length ball reared up at him and found the glove, looping an easy catch to 1st slip. TPL gone for 20 off 15.

In came Summs at 3, who looked solid facing the bowling, but not so solid facing his own decision making. Clipping the ball to square leg, shouting “no” as he ran half way down the pitch, turning around and being run out for 1.

Time for a rebuild with Skip coming out at 4. And a rebuild we got, on what remained a difficult pitch Spenny and Colin batted sensibly, and in fact saw us home with about 30 overs to spare. A 78 run partnership, with only a couple of scares, Colin chipping a leading edge over the bowlers head, that mid off decided to run passed and then blame mid on for not catching. And Spenny nicking one behind that the keeper couldn’t keep hold of. Colin finishing 37 off 71, luckily the not out voids any strike rate competitions against TPL. Spenny finishing 36 off 57 (not off 6 as reported on the Cherwell site).

This week’s shower gel was a coconutty affair, for those brave enough to face the cold showers.


Champagne moment went to Craig for his 2 wickets in 2 balls (another jug?)

Pigs ear went to IC for deciding to shout out all the customary post drinks cliches in extremely quick succession, after Willbo had already started to run in for the first ball back.

MOTM once again went to Mabbs, quite rightly too!