FFTMCC, Cumnor Cricket Club, 20 overs
Thwack! Not the sound, unfortunately, of the ball finding the middle of the bat but the ball finding the chest as Bodley let three catches go through their hands and smacking into bone.
A spirited performance against our oldest rivals, Far From the MCC, saw Bodley come within 5 runs of winning on Friday, with a swash-buckling 32 from Gavin nearly seeing us home. Needing a 4 off the last ball to draw the match Gav was caught in the deep. Others chipped in with the bat, Leigh a quick-fire 19, James a 12 and Rob a 10 but we lost wickets at key-times, the main difference being the Mads held their catches when the Bod didn’t.
The game was played at Cumnor, a peach of a ground with a bar. As both teams turned up they were surprised to find the out-field brimming with youngsters going through coaching drills and practising skills, most impressive. This meant a delayed start to the game, and along with the traditional toss to decide the order of the game a brief discussion was held as to whether the game should be shortened in case of bad light towards end, nah, balls to it was the collective decision, but let’s not hang about between overs/innings, ok.
Mads to bat first, Leigh opens the bowling with James at the other end. Leigh’s first over goes for two, James’s first is treated with less respect. A 4, then a 6, a dot and another 4 causes a mild panic out in the middle and in the Bodley hearts but things soon settle, James gets a cleaned bowled and then gets some revenge on the opening big-hitter with Gav taking a sharp catch in the slips. Mads lose their first wicket on 34, then Bodleys bowling starts to tell, with Mads losing next lot of wickets at 35, 41, 45 and 57. Bodley manage to slow down the scoring while taking wickets but are aware that there are still some big hitters to come, but then a crucial partnership develops between 5th, 6th and 7th bats for the Mads, who go from 57 for 6 to 108 for 6, helped on by a couple of wides and those dropped catches. The Mads finish on 116, which considering their start is not a bad performance for the Bod bowlers, who have some tidy figures for their efforts, Tim goes for 3 an over, as does the skipper (despite the usual expense of the impossibletoresist slow-ball at the end). Two wickets for Leigh and James, one each for Gav, Tim and David Shackleton.
Dave S and Matthew open, Matthew finding the boundary a couple of times before finding the hands of the square-leg fielder, who hangs on to a fiercely struck shot. David is then well caught in the deep before James is caught and bowled and then Leigh bowled. A tumble of wickets but crucially not before each had put runs on the board. With Leigh’s departure Bod are 69 for 4, well above the Mad total at a similar stage. Rob and Gavin get us almost there before Rob is out, Tim can’t get enough of the strike to hit some much needed sixes and then Gav needs a four of the last ball to tie, six to win before James Hoskins takes the catch in darkening conditions to win the match for the Mads.
An excellent game against a team that have been friends and rivals for years. Again losing wickets at key times has cost us dear but considering the results against the Mads recently to come so close against a strong team is a creditable performance. Return fixture on the 23rd, here’s hoping we can get revenge.