This evening bodley, fresh (ahem) from their tour, played good friends Far From the MCC for a t20 in lovely weather. Our first game against them earlier this season was a loss for bodley, so hopes were high for a win here. One should never seek excuses in life, and even less so in sport where participation is voluntary and done with a will to enjoy, improve and occasionally, to come out on top. However, bodley were rather light in the bowling and batting departments tonight, which added a touch of caution but also perhaps focus to proceedings. Anyway...
Skipper stu duly won the toss and inserted the opposition. Let's bowl well and field like madmen, and then play the batting lottery we thought. With six bowlers needed, short spells were the order of the day, and Stu, Shaw snr, Bharat, Tim, Matthew and Robin all sent down overs - some tight, some not so tight, and others rather entertaining. An early wicket for Stu was a good start but the mads soon settled and the runs ticked along despite some decent fielding from Jones and Bharat. In the autumn of the innnings Tim Philipson took two quick wickets with good straight full balls to stem the flow a little, but the mads ended up posting 180odd. Hmm, we mused, that might be above par.
Out we marched to bat, Matthew and Bharat forming a new opening pair, with Bharat in his last bodley game this year. Some nice fours from Matthew's usual sweeping like a good lefty, and Bharat going through the gears to get to 30 and retire saw bodley make a decent start. James Shaw carried on where he'd left off, smiting a massive six over cow corner amongst a flurry of boundaries. Neely was then caught behind square by a stunning one handed catch, marvellous work to be honest. Mike Webb was then rather unlucky to get a pad edge onto the stumps down leg, and Tim was promptly back in the hutch as the mads kept the pressure on. Jones and Stu found themselves at the crease after another quick wicket. A few shots and some hard running kept the score ticking over but we remained behind the rate. Jones perished to a dodgy swipe caught at point, bringing David Busby in. Buzzer's frankly brilliant 'Ponting doing Lara' impression was soon in full flow, the backlift high, the ball pinging around, and the running as busy as ever. After Stu fell to a pearler that broke through his boycottian defence and alec had perished to the bowling, out marched Dan Shaw and soon the ship was steadied. Dan showed his father's eye and a solid technique that always looked to score - a lovely pulled four being a highlight. Despite our efforts Bodley ended up falling short on 130odd, which was a bloody good effort all told - over 300 runs scored in the two innings. Well played all, great fun and a few drinks after with a great oppo to boot - not a bad way to spend an evening. But the last word should go to saying a big thank you to Bharat for those runs, whirling overs of spin, and being a thoroughly nice chap, cheers! GJ,