Stats/Medawar at Mansfield Road, 20 overs.
Bodley took to the field for what they hoped would be a first completed jack cox match this season, after some awful weather and lack of interest scuppered the rest. Our opponents, the catchily monikered Stats/Medawar, had like us had an indifferent tournament, and looked keen with nets taking place beforehand as Bodley rested their finely-tuned bodies. With drizzle overhead we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Skipper Neely duly lost the toss, having called incorrectly. To our surprise we were put in to bat. Which today, was our stronger suit.
Neely and Horden opened the batting and make a steady start, Neely playing some lovely strokes to keep the score ticking. Horden struggles with a stiff quad but soon finds his range and hits some powerful fours. Neely retires on 31* to bring newly promoted Burnett to the crease. Sadly the wicket was soon taken and Webb went out to join Horden. A few more are scored and the runs are coming, but then Webb is bowled by a sharp one, bringing Jones to the party. Horden was soon retired on a well made 30 odd not out. Robinson joined Jones and with a very flighty, slow over the wicket bit of bowling on offer runs were quickly accumulated and the score looked healthy. A good partnership built from these two with Robinson pinching twos and guiding it to the boundary while Jones hit out to square. Jones soon fell for 18 trying to up the rate only to be caught skying one. Philipson - Bubba to his adoring fans - strode out and after some energetic swinging and missing found his range and smashed a high six over square leg. With Robinson resolutely romping away at the other end the score ended up on 137 for (insert score once scorebook is nearby). A fine score and very well batted by all concerned. So 138 to win.
There was barely time to glance towards the bar and consider the post match refreshments before we back out and fired up to defend our total. Burnett and Robinson opened the bowling, quickly locking down a pattern of tight lines and precious few runs. Burnell bowled some beautiful swinging deliveries that had the batsmen grasping at it, and was unlucky not to be rewarded. Robinson meanwhile was unstoppable, getting a plumb lbw to take the first wicket. Shortly after a second fell, Robinson again, a catch very well taken by Dale in the covers. Busby, fresh from his fielding masterclass on Sunday was likewise prowling at deep square leg, snaring everything that came his way. Dale was soon brought on, with Triggs at the other end, to produce what must be one of Bodley's most contrasting bowling partnerships. Express pace (painfully express, actually, as a broken finger would later attest to) at one end, and round the wicket leg spin at the other. Jones, keeping wicket, certainly seemed somewhat befuddled by the change, though a run out chance of Dale narrowly failed to pick up a wicket as the runs started to build. After tidy spells from both, including a cracking bowled for Dale that was just reward for such a fine, proper and very effective bowling action, the tide began to turn as a huge six was hit off the final final ball of the over. Sadly this seemed to mark the commencement if hostilities proper, and the next bowlers, Neely and Horden, were punished by some fearless swinging of the bat. the score was by now rapidly climbing and Bodley's hopes of a semi-final were looking slim. However, it is a Bodley tradition that at this point in a game Philipson is brought on to bowl. And so it was, the poor chap being tossed the ball just as Stats were seeing how far the could really hit the ball, causing a leaping and hopping Paton to enjoy some late-overs ball chasing. Sadly the winning runs were hit in the sixteenth over, bringing to a close Bodley's Jack Cox season for this year. Well played Stats, and good luck in the semi.
We can reflect on a very decent batting performance against a mixed bag of bowling, and hope for better things - and better weather - next season. Good to see our new pace bowlers Dale and Burnett in good form, the evergreen Robinson shining brightly, and the skipper back in the runs.