Pharmacology, Jack Cox group stage, 20 overs
Bodley took on Pharmacology in their belated first Jack Cox match at Mansfield Rd, the proper first match having been forfeited due to lack of players. We fielded a good side, and skipper Neely was optimistic, in a Matthew sort of way, that victory was there for the taking. Two new players were welcomed into the Bodley fold - Lee and Alan - both graduate trainees brought into cricket by burgeoning recruiting sergeant Tom Dale. After Sunday's cancelled match we were keen for a game, though the weather looked 'changeable' at best. Well, off we went.
Neely lost the toss, having called incorrectly. We were thus asked to bat first. A strange decision, we thought, with the weather about. Out strode our restored opening twosome of Neely and Shackleton, full of beans and ready to dominate the bowling. Shackleton in particular was looking very relaxed at the crease, even finding the time to sign autographs between balls. A maiden to start proceedings gave way to plenty of gentle running and the score crept up before Neely was controversially stumped having charged the bowler (not just charged, but also howled and growled at - Ed.). 18-1 off five. The languid, irresistible force that is Bodley number three Shaw rode out to take up the battle. Sadly, after two exciting runs he returned, being caught skying one. The bowling was a maddening mixture of decent quicker stuff and floaty medium pace flighters that so often pick up wickets. Webb was now in, and Shackleton was purring like a Morgan Plus 8 on a country lane. Sadly another catch was taken and Webb gave way to Burnett, who looked good for his two but after another catch gave way to Jones. Shackleton had by now reached a fine, tour-selection worthy 30 and retired to a comfortable seat on the boundary to relax and take questions. This bought Philipson out to play, having had time to finish his roll-up. After almost taking the umpire's head off thumping a four down the ground Jones too departed, bowled by some floaty stuff for six. A collapse you cry! It's like 1990s England you sob! Well, 1990s England didn't have a Philipson, did they? We do. And ours soon got his eye in and smashed 21 runs to all corners to batter the bowlers - by now giving us plenty of wides to boot - and get the score over 100. Wielding his bat like Mjolnir Tim was joined by Triggs and after a bit of entertaining running was run out in a quite comical fashion. Well played though Bubba. Dale joined Triggs and the runs ticked along, Dale picking up nine singles in a draining display of running between the wickets - these bowlers have far too much energy! So we ended up on 127-7 from our twenty. An excellent effort and one we felt we could defend to chalk up a well earned win.
After a quick stretch and a look skyward we took up positions. Shaw and Burnett opened the bowling and after six overs had only conceded twenty runs. Hmm, said a lordly Neely from behind the stumps, this is alright. Well, quite, we thought. Bloody good start with both bowlers keeping a tight length and producing plenty of play and misses. Dale came on first change and steamed in like an E-type on the straight, a terrific sight and one that had the batsman swinging at every ball without once connecting - a valuable maiden. After causing the other batter to don a helmet with one that lifted and lifted a bit more to fly over his head, Dale, with Webb at the other end, kept things fairly tight, backed up by energetic fielding and plenty of shouting and clapping. Webb then summoned the mythical Norse God Thor to his aid and bowled to a soundtrack of thunder, lightning, and darkening skies. This excited everyone immensely and we felt the first wicket was surely not far away. The score was by now 36-0 from nine overs, and all were feeling confident with some top bowlers still to come on. The by now very enthusiastic Thor then misread our attempts to keep warm as a rain dance, and dumped the heavens upon us. After a bit of a soaking having tried in vain to play on we all trudged off to seek shelter and a beer in the club bar. Blast and damnation! Rain stopped play!
Duckworth-Lewis is now used for Jack Cox but sixteen second innings overs need to be bowled for it to take effect. It looks very much like the match will be shared but confirmation will come in due course. Either way we played well, and can be rightly pleased with the total and our again excellent bowling. We next play on Sunday at Mansfield Rd against the clubs own team. All welcome.
Ps. Apologies to any classicists reading - blame Disney.