Oxfam CC, Horsepath Sports Ground. Twenty overs.
After what seems like a ridiculously unBod-like spell of winning and drawing matches the team fell to Earth with a soggy bump last night, losing to Oxfam. Originally scheduled for Cutteslowe a water-logged pitch meant a change to Horsepath, whose only redeeming feature is that it’s closer for some of us than North Ox. A windy exposed ground with a very short boundary on one side, a slope down the wicket and a rapidly sinking sun in the eyes of any fielder on the athletics track side of the ground made things interesting, the soggy pudding of a wicket added a cherry on top of the cake. Definitely a toss to win and put the oppo in bat. Something the Oxfam skipper managed to do. Bollocks.
Matthew and Dave S open against some lively and swinging deliveries. The pitch as predicted proved unreliable, balls moving off or staying low. Both openers did well to score in this, running well between the wicket as a slow outfield made boundaries hard to come by. One of the Oxfam openers was bowling really well, getting the ball to move in the air and making it very hard to do anything over than play defensive shots. Matthew picks up the pace and gets the (non-existent) scoreboard moving on before getting out, David plays his natural game and soon retires after reaching 30. With not many overs to play with Gav cuts a few then plays on, James whacks some, Tim gives it some biff, Alec swings at a few, Andrew blocks a few and Gareth and Dave B run a few quick singles before Gareth is run-out on the last ball. Bod finish on a below-par 91, but reckon there’s enough bowling and the pitch is still a mystery so it should be close.
Bod open with a contrast of ages and styles, Dan Shaw up the hill followed by the Yorkshire Terrier Gav coming down. Dan has a good shout for LBW first ball which is turned down but then bowls a tidy over against an aggressive opening bat. Gavin proves as reliable as ever, using the slope and keeping the run-rate down before picking up the customary couple of wickets. Oxfam though, worryingly, are above the run-rate from the start. Your reporter replaces Dan and Dave S replaces Gavin, both bowl well but Oxfam have some biffers in bat now and despite good bowling from these two and then James Oxfam reach, and then score the winning runs with overs and wickets to spare.
So, what lessons to learn? More aggressive batting would have got us above 100 and a defendable total but this seems harsh to say as the pitch played its part and the oppo bowling was good. Maybe it’s enough to say that the team have had a marvellous season so far, the best for many a season, so we were due an off night, better now than next weds in the semi-final. Credit too to Oxfam, who played well and were, as last season, friendly and fun to play against.