Welcome to the 2024 league season, and the 1s starting home fixture against Horspath 4s…

New season, new captain, same toss result, Chitty losing his first official toss and we were put in to bat. Which I believe is what he was going to do anyway, it’s certainly what he should have been doing.

Opening up was Colin, and the newly promoted to opener, Winston. A generally watchful start, Colin getting a couple of boundaries away off his pads, before Winston took a liking to the first change bowler. Unfortunately however, that liking didn’t last long, just after the 50 partnership came up, Winston was caught at midwicket for 24. TPL taking over #3 duties came out, and did well to resist sweeping, instead he decided to drive, good plan, not such a good plan was driving it to mid off and running himself out, for 1.

Spenny’s turn, after a positive start he managed to inside edge a wide delivery back onto his stumps, takes form to do that right? Gone for 1.

At this point we sat on 63-3, a position that historically we’ve struggling in, often losing more quick wickets to leave a lot of work for the lower order. Not to be the case today! Colin and Chitty rebuilt well, and I give Colin some credit here (because I’m the one writing this and biased) from the 66 run partnership, Colin got 11. So as you can guess Chitty did some Chitty stuff, a great mix of sensible shot making, and placement. Only one big heave-ho, which he totally missed. The ball after bringing up his 50, Chitty was bowled, and got quite the send off from Horspath 2s injured opening bowler, who it appears didn’t enjoy being hit back over his head for 6 into the sightscreen.

The partnership had moved the score onto 129-4, and time for Summs to join Colin at the crease. Soon after Colin finally made it to 50, and then after a couple of very tired shots, Colin was bowled for 72. Another 50+ run partnership had taken the score to 189-5.

Summs was in fine touch, a mix of power down the ground and sweeps/clips into the leg side saw him race into the 40s. The crowd starting to get excited that we might get a 3rd jug on the jugs board from this innings alone.

As the overs started to tick away, IC was looking to push the scoring along, so much so that he wandered many miles down the pitch, missed the ball, and was out stumped by about 3 foot. The alternative telling of this wicket is that he was back in before the keeper even threw the ball at the stumps, but who knows which is true? Gone for 3.

Will Bury next, Summs still not having made it to 50, only 2 overs to go, tense times. We’d already secured the potential 7th batting point with the score going over 225, so all we had left to play for was Summ’s milestone… and with just a few balls to spare, Summs made it, 50 not out from 42 balls. Willbo finished 11 not out, including a lovely drive back down the ground for 4, the innings total of 236-6 from 45 overs, was a really good score on what wasn’t the easiest pitch to bat on, but would it be enough?

Simply put, yes. It was plenty. Mabbs and Willbo made sure of that pretty early. Willbo snaffling the first wicket, the dangerous Horspath captain caught by TPL, the following over Mabbs had some fun, dismissing the other opener (caught behind), then with the next ball trapping the #3 “plumb” in front of a stump somewhere near to leg stump. Oh exciting, hat trick ball… a jug it would not be, but an absolute peach of a ball that jagged back a mile and clattered into the top of the stumped made sure Mabbs had a 3rd wicket in the over, leaving the score at 3-4. Willbo got in on the fun again, Chitty taking another floaty catch at cover, 8-5.

Time for a change, on came Bhavik and Mikey, but the wickets did not stop. It’s around this point that our scorecards stop matching up, so I don’t really know what order these wickets happen in…

Mikey had the #6 caught by Summs, 13-6 and then Bhavik trapping the #7, who’d stuck around for 30 balls, LBW, made the score 24-7 (or 33-9 depending on who you believe).

Mikey’s next wicket (or last wicket, who knows?) was rather funny (and rightly won him Pigs), a decent delivery, a big outside edge skied the ball up and over Spenny’s head at Gully, as Spenny turned to take a couple of steps backwards to catch it, Mikey started a huge LBW appeal. Spenny took the catch, which was actually a decent catch, everyone laughed, and the score moved to 33-8 (or 24-7). A couple of minutes later Mikey had his 3rd (or 2nd) wicket, with an edge through to Colin behind the stumps, all out 33 (or 33-8 if you prefer).

What is for sure however, is the resounding 203 run win on the first day of the season. An excellent performance all round. And time for some victory shower gel – “You are my sunshine, rainbow rose & raspberry kisses”.

MOTM was Colin for some runs and some catches.

Pigs was Mikey for the great appeal.

Vibes was Willbo for taking a great lowdown catch at 2nd slip, after the ball had clattered into the stumps for Mabb’s 3rd wicket.

Off to Cairns next week…

~ Colin