A day of upsets, but perhaps none bigger than was to unfold on the hallowed turf of the University Club when Bodley took on IT Services in a Jack Cox T20 fixture. A tough match against a team who have often found themselves qualifying for the Cup stage of the competition (where the good teams play). Thanks to some last ditch talks and backroom deals Bodley were able to form a coalition of 11 players. Skipper Neely lost the toss, and to general surprise, Bodley were asked to bat. With Shackleton arriving late, having been up all night analysing the swing vote, an Oxford East and West progressive alliance of Neely and Shaw was formed as our opening partnership. Adopting a laissez-faire approach, the runs began to flow quickly as the pair went on the attack against the opening bowlers. Neely and Shaw brought up their 30s in quick time to retire to the benches. Neely’s innings ending with his first six (the first of many for the team this weekend!) for the Bodleian after 11 years and 143 matches. The team look forward to another in 2028. Despite being ‘completely knackered’ from his nocturnal activities, Shackleton began building a strong and stable platform at number 3, and was joined by Tim Bubba Philipson who found the green with a four off his first ball. Soon after though, Tim found himself returning to the back benches, falling lbw to a delivery swinging to his blind spot to the right of centre. This brought Chief Whip and enforcer McKiernan to the middle and, in typical style, he was soon despatching the ball to the boundary. With Shackleton retiring on 32, he was replaced by the returning Iain Wilson, freshly recovered from his 87th hockey injury. With Iain having lost none of his aggressive approach to batting, the scoreboard was racing along. Leigh retired on 31 and was replaced by Webb who deftly rotated the strike with Wilson to leave Bodley with a total of 175 for 1 from their 20 overs. A commanding majority.
James and Leigh opened the bowling. The IT Services openers came out on the attack but Leigh struck in the second over, finding some extra bounce, to claim the first wicket with a caught behind. James and Leigh give Bodley a strong and stable start in the face of some aggressive batting. Shackleton then took over, and with his nocturnal refinements clearly having an effect, his swingometer was deployed to devastating effect with two wickets falling. Another wicket fell with Wilson claiming an lbw. With Tim keeping things tight at the other end, IT Services were forced into taking risks and Mike claimed a run out with some sharp work in the field. With IT Services beginning to look dangerous, Tom Dale, having arrived as a spectator but immediately declaring himself fit to play after injury to help Bodley field a full side, volunteered himself as death bowler. With Bodley’s paceman entering the attack, the run rate crawled to a halt and in his second over, Tom flattened the stumps to claim a deserved wicket. With IT Services needing 40 off the last over, Bodley’s victory was assured.
A fantastic effort from all of the team with the bat, ball and in the field. This must rank as one of Bodley’s best ever Jack Cox results against a strong side with plenty of batting and bowling in their line-up. Thanks are especially due to Alec, Mike and Tom for all turning out for the team at short notice. A great advert for Jack Cox cricket with both teams playing in a friendly but competitive spirit. Bodley toasted victory at the bar with beer, burgers (a double stack for reformed meat enthusiast Shackleton) and curly fries. Our next JC match is on the 20th - we look forward to another high turnout.