Inkpen CC, Inkpen. Sunday 11th June.
New ground, new friends and Bodley get their second victory in as many days. Four wins from eight, even I can work out that’s a 50% success rate, heady days for the team. A long journey south along the A34 and then leafy country lanes saw the team finally arrive at Inkpen’s ground, deep in the heart of rural Berkshire. Inkpen are a side much like Peasemore in spirit though talking to one if the oppo before the game gave the impression of a side that has about eight fixtures a season and often struggle to get a side out, the one we played include a couple of pre-teen boys and some older players who hadn’t played in quite a while, putting us in the rare position of playing the game in the right way to make it enjoyable for all. With that in mind, after winning the toss and putting Inkpen in, Bodley open with Tim, whose three overs go for not many runs and a couple of wickets, both cleaned bowled as a mixture of straight deliveries and poor shot selection combined with the best results for the bowler. Leigh starts form the other end and from then on it’s a steady rotation of every outfield player getting a chance, with wickets falling fairly regularly. Nice to see Andy MacKinnon bowl in his first game for a while and Dan Shaw, son of James, also gets a chance to turn his arm. Wickets for Dave’s Busby and Shackleton, Phil, the skipper and two for James at the end (on a hat-trick his first ball of the next game), some good fielding and a lot of dot-balls reduce Inkpen to 112 off (about, haven’t got the scorebook) 20. All but one of the wickets are clean bowled but the other, off Dave Shackleton’s bowling was a catch from Dave 2, Mr Busby, which was one of the best in recent Bod history. Running forward and then a last minute dive Dave got to the ball just in time. A difficult catch, and considering how many we’ve put down recently all the more special. Dan Shaw should have also got a wicket, that of one of the Inkpen youngsters who was probably their top scorer but he was called back when caught off a suspected bump-ball. Mike was the only one not to have a go, keeping wicket instead.
Then tea, seems important to record these things. Usual supply of sarnies, sausage rolls, cakes and tea to drink, but then, hang on, what’s this. A box of beer is brought out and put on the end of the table, ‘help yourself lads’ says the oppo, and a few of us did.
In the spirit of adventure and with the licence that confidence in an assumed victory brings the skipper, reporter of this tale, opened with Mike. Seemed logical based on the concept of people having a go who hadn’t done much this season, despite a deserved spot at number 10 or 11 and the one previous innings this season lasting two balls. This go didn’t last much better, a brief flash at a wide one was dropped at slip, a word suggesting caution from partner than another flash immediately after is taken at square leg. Dreams of a glorious fifty, an ambition for a number of seasons now, are again put to bed. Mike builds an innings though, Leigh briefly joins him before being caught then Gav helps out before a ball that decides it doesn’t like heights and traps him plumb in front. Tim comes in (surely if ever a ground was meant for Tim it is this one?) and some is finding the boundary before another successful LBW. At the start of the innings a batting line-up as worked out designed to be as fair as possible, and with the hope of getting James and Dan batting together. In a regrettable decision the skipper, after Leigh’s early dismissal, changes this, bringing David up the order. Turns out this was unnecessary, David and Dan work well together after Mike’s innings comes to an end to see us home, a mixture of good running between the wickets and a few boundaries but James could have done this just as well, don’t panic being the lesson learned for the skipper. Highlight of the innings is a lovely 6 from Mike, who swivelled onto a leg-side full-toss to effortlessly ease it over the square-leg boundary.
A good win for the team, sure they could have bowled their best bowlers in tandem and skittled the oppo out cheaply but where’s the fun in that? Everyone has had a go and hopefully Inkpen had a good game and will invite us back again next year. Beer for tea!
Two games to go before tour, a JC then a return fixture against the Mads. How far can this winning run continue?