Game of two halves - 1 A game played over two halves 2 An ironic use to describe a game in which a team performs well at first then cocks it up after the innings break (i.e. most games involving the Bodleian CC)
Following on from an impressive performance in defeat against OUP a few days ago Bodley took on Wolvercote CC at Cutteslowe Park, a ground last visited some fourteen years previous, when Messrs Milner and Ackland were young ragamuffins on the Oxford playboy circuit. Played under a cloudy sky Wolvercote bat first and show their intent from the start, giving James scant respect for balls on a good line and length, taking advantage of short boundaries and a field pushed back far earlier than usual. With the opposition scoring in either boundaries or twos James unfortunately has to bowl tothe more aggressive batsman more often than not. Bowling at the other end Matthew has better luck, getting the ball to move around enough to cause problems for both bat and wicket-keeper. Soon a breakthrough, the ever impressive Malcolm Webb manages to force the batsman into a false shot and the ball is caught on the boundary by David, the very person the team would have wanted to be there to take the catch (I’m not saying that no-one else would have held on, but…). The wicket, quickly followed by the retirement after reaching 35 of the other opener, slowed down Wolvercote, who at one point were 50 odd for 0 off 5 overs and they are soon pegged down by good accurate bowling against more circumspect batting. Wickets fall at a regular pace, a couple of sharply taken run-outs, catches (including Ackland holding on to one for once) and a beautiful spell at the end for David (including a two-wicket maiden) and miserly work from skipper Andrew and James managed to keep the score down to an impressive but nowherenearasbadasitcouldhavebeen 137.
Bodley stroll out to bat, opening pair of Matthew and David doing their Langer and Hayden thing. Both have been batting well together this season and things start well, Matthew glancing one off his legs first ball to start the reply. Then the game of two halves thing kicks in. David’s first ball lifts a bit, throwing timing out slightly and would you believe it, the skies have darkened, all faith is lost and we abandon all hope of rescue as the ship lists violently - a dolly of a catch is snaffled at mid-off and David is out first ball. Out for a buggering duck. The collective sound of 10 jaws dropping followed by a collective chorus of ‘bollocks’. But onwards we must go, and Matthew is joined by James, and runs start to flow. But then Matthew is given out Leg Before Watson, a rare mistake from the usually (sorry Matthew) reliable Umpire (sorry again Matthew) who gave out plumb LBW while forgetting the pitched-outside leg rule (sorry again). James scores a quick-fire 16 before falling to a perfect slower ball yorker and after this Mike, Alec, Rhys and my-sorry-self fail to trouble the scorer. Apart from James only Gareth, and to a lesser, but still entertaining degree, Tim give those on the side-lines something to cheer about, playing their shots against good quick bowling under ever-darker skies and a glorious sunset. Malcolm was left not out again.
The team welcomed Rhys for his first game, hopefully it won’t prove to be his last. Comedy highlights were few due to the quality of the oppo and the task undertaken but the loud guffaws from a less than sympathetic partner (no idea who you mean - Ed) as Tim took one in the knackers raised a few laughs and I’ve got a feeling that the LBW decision won’t be forgotten in a while. On cricketing terms though the team bowled and fielded well against some attacking batting but again couldn't back up a decent performance in the field when it was our turn in with the bat. As said, a game of two halves. SA, GJ.