Isis CC, Queen's College Ground, 40 overs
A mixed bag of an afternoon from Bodley saw them attempt to reverse the result from their opening fixture last week, and avenge the final over loss suffered last season. Playing friendly local team Isis CC at the picturesque Queen's College ground overlooked by the sedate college boathouses, the afternoon started well when Captain Ackland won the toss and elected to bat. That would be one of the few things that went well for the team for a couple of hours...
Openers Shackleton and Neely started well. Shackleton took on the bowlers while Neely played with care, looking to get his eye in. Regrettably however, he fell for a duck when caught by Mo (who is in fact his dentist - at point). This brought McKiernan to the crease, who sought to make mayhem with the bowlers. He did this by playing across to the line at anything that was fed to him, while finding time to engage in an embarrassing run out with Shackleton, with discussions about whose fault it was taking up much of the afternoon. Milner came to the crease and engaged in some beautiful classicism while McKiernan was caught on the boundary, possibly in an attempt to hit the ball all the way to Berkshire. At that point, with Jones at the crease, everyone settled in for some Chris Tavare-style inaction. This was no bad thing as there was most of the innings still to play. Eventually both players started to hit the ball but to little avail as both also fell cheaply. Returnee Wright picked up the second duck of the innings and while Phillipson played with refreshing positivity he could only scored seven before being caught. Ackland then attempted to sum up the entire innings in one brilliant moment. He sought to play the ball down the leg side, before stopping himself out of fear of hitting the keeper and nudged the bails from the stump with his arse. MacKinnon finally did what the middle order hadn't quite, and took to smashing his way to double figures - a fine knock given the circumstances. The fall of Jones’ wicket brought Busby to the crease, and an attempt to spread the field saw him return back to the pavilion quite quickly, leaving Paton to hold up one end while MacKinnon sought to take some quick runs. Sadly, quick runs were not to be found as he holed out shortly afterwards. The Bodley innings managed to be an improvement on the first match of the season, if only because there were half as many ducks - Hilda would be pleased.
While trying to defend insufficient runs in a push for victory was a fool’s errand, nobody told the bowlers. McKiernan and Neely particularly impressed, bowling with pace and excellent line and length, each of them picking up a wicket. While Milner was unlucky to be hoicked around, he responded with a modified approach- bowling around the wicket and getting a brilliant caught in the outfield when McKinnon pouched their handy number four. The skipper finally dragged himself on to bowl at this point, and after a leg side comedy ball that almost did for the keeper's hamstrings, settled into a groove and showed off his new, stutter-free run-up (we miss the dust clouds - Ed). Proving the value of practice in the off-season ('practice' being making full use of the generous dimensions of the Map room), his line and length were almost McGrathian in their accuracy and earned him a deserved wicket when he bowled middle stump out the ground. Ultimately it was futile and it was probably appropriate that the winning run was a bye off third-change bowler Philipson’s when Jones just sort of gave up trying to gather it when it passed leg stump.
Thus it was that our first long game was lost with enough time left to play (and lose, narrowly) a 10 over thrash - the equivalent of medals for everyone at school sports day. This gave Phillipson a chance to do his astounding Bubba Watson impression again, as a fine six sailed over the boundary and numerous fours pierced the field. Jones, opening the batting and in some discomfort after a memorable somersault in the field earlier, proceeded to balance the Bubba hitting with some gentle putting on the green, eventually retiring knackered to everyone's great relief. Sadly a still dazed Shackleton couldn't quite get the runs to win - back to the nets for you David! So much to improve upon for our next game, but another reminder that our bowling is looking seriously good this season.