Peasemore CC vs. Bodley, Peasemore. 35 overs.
Bodley made the short trip to West Berkshire to play our annual away fixture against the ever-friendly Peasemore CC. The weather was fair, the pub close by (and already visited by Mr Busby), and after the toss captain Milner was unlucky to come off second best. So Bodley were bowling first.
McKiernen and Shaw opened the bowling and did a superb job of keeping things tight on a slightly two-paced pitch. New keeper Brown kept things tidy behind the stumps and sharp stops by Jones and moonlighting Mads Hadfield ensured there were no leaks. The first real chance fell to the skipper, standing at slip. The ball, good length and sitting up nicely, was top edged over the keeper to the off side and headed into Milner's orbit. The veteran ball-wanger back peddled to get himself under it but as it became apparent that its trajectory was taking it beyond his grasp he leaped, hare-like, into the close summer air. Amazingly the ball somehow evaded the outstretched hands, and plumped itself down on the ground behind. Entertaining stuff and enjoyed by all. Shortly after Jones opted to leap over a thumped four rather than risk further injury after last weeks calamitous nets, and the oppo then suffered their own slice of bad luck when Neely bowled a slower ball beamer that top edged into the batsman's chin. Concern all round but thankfully all ok. The subsequent retirement slowed the runs further and Bodley were fairly happy as the score stood at 48 from 15 overs, albeit with plenty of wickets in hand. The first wicket finally fell in the sixteenth over as Mckiernen took a sharp catch at slip from Milner's bowling, making amends for an impromptu bout of juggling a few overs before. This bought one of Peasemore's youngsters to the crease, and after briskly taking guard the young man immediately smashed Milner back over his head for a six that almost cleared the trees. Next ball was struck even harder and again disturbed the nesting birds, this time over square leg. After a streaky skier that brought two more Milner got his revenge with a peach of a ball that turned back in and clean bowled the by now out of his ground batsmen. Meanwhile the other, uninjured opener was by now ticking along very nicely, milking the fine leg area and keeping Jones and Mckiernen very busy retrieving the ball from the hedge. The twenty sixth over finally saw the breakthrough as Mckiernen got a deserved lbw to end that innings on a well made 53. At the other end Shaw picked up a good wicket after Busby, shiner under his eye and smelling of beer, took a low catch followed up with a textbook stuntman roll. By now Brown had come on to bowl, with Neely taking the gloves. By the end of a pacey, accurate and very tidy spell the cricketer also known as Sizzla had picked up three wickets - two clean bowled and a low catch by the keeper. That pretty much saw the innings wrapped up, with some fine tickles past the keeper keeping Paton busy and a second b.Shaw, c.Busby bringing up the eighth wicket with a tall take in the covers. Peasemore finished up on 140-8 from their 35 overs. Now the real action began ...tea!
Over the many years we've been visiting the cricket has been excellent, played in the right spirit with a great bunch, but the teas have often been the highlight for many a Bodley player. This year was no different. Ample rolls and drumsticks, crisps, biscuits and tea, and best of all a scrumptious coffee cake. Delicious, and with our fielding all done Bodley were back for second helpings all round.
Anyway, back to the cricket. Bodley's latest opening pair Neely and Hadfield strode out and quickly got the score moving, with the first wicket not falling until the tenth over with 44 runs chalked up, Neely done by the two paced pitch to be well caught. Brown and Mckiernen made all too brief visits to the crease, keeping the score moving but ultimately being undone by canny bowling. After seventeen overs Bodley were all but halfway there on 70-4, a promising start but we've seen some mighty collapses before... But with Philipson and Jones nervously padded up and twiddling their thumbs our new middle order of Turner and Shaw effected a quite superb chase. Turner in particular was assured on the occasionally tricky pitch and kept the rate well within reach. At the other end Shaw hit some wonderful languid fours around the ground, and by the twenty-ninth Turner was on 36 and the score passed the Peasemore total as Shaw smashed a four to bring the match to close. No alarms, no late wobble, no heriocs. All very un-Bodley!
Credit goes to Shaw, Hadfield and Turner for batting us into a winning position, to Sizzla for a great all-round performance, to Busby for those stoat-like catches, but most of all to Peasemore for that coffee cake. That's our third win of a frustrating season, with two games in the coming week to add.