Oxfam CC at Cumnor Cricket Club, twenty overs
Our third match in five days began under soaring skies and with the team buoyed by Tuesday's stunning victory. The team contained a fair few of the same players, and confidence was high that we could finally get a win over Oxfam, after years of being the bridesmaid. Today's skipper Stu comprehensively lost the toss but to our great surprise (at the time) we were invited to bat first. No complaints from us, as this is our preferred order of play. So, with a stiff breeze whipping up to lessen the sapping heat, another new opening partnership of Arthur Keegan-Bole and Phil Burnett trotted out.
Things got off to a decent start with both openers finding the boundary and running well. The bowling was fairly friendly save a terrific young seamer opening the innings, and before too long Arthur had retired for 32, Phil was unlucky to be caught for 27, whilst Matthew Neely and James Shaw also reached the the 30 mark to retire unbeaten. Gareth Jones lost the ball in a hedge, Dom Hewitt ran like a March Hare, and the beloved double act of Tim Philipson and David Busby were both unlucky to fall for low scores. We ended on 151-3 from our twenty overs, a very good score. Or so we thought.
The Oxfam innings began under darkening skies and the threat of rain, but with a good total to defend the skipper tossed the ball to James and Phil, and off we went. Four overs later the Oxfam number one retired on 34, having taken singles where there were none, and hit boundaries where there were fielders. Blimey, we thought. The number two batter promptly followed him to thirty odd and retired, and only when Tim took a terrific return catch to one that sat up a bit, did we chalk up a wicket for a single run to the batter's name. Right, we're back in this now. Nope. Another exhibition of superb pushing and running, and with the score past 100 by the halfway mark and even with a clatter of wickets towards the end - including a great double from young Dan Shaw that nearly ended in a hatrick - Oxfam uncharitably bundled us out of the match with ease. The winning runs were chalked up with some big hitting and more whippet-like running in the eighteenth over and we could retreat to the bar to drown our sorrows and curse the cruelness of sport.
A deflating defeat if truth be told, and one we debated into the night and at coffee the following day. The verdict? We don't much like cricket, but we like playing it more than we like not playing it, on balance. Onward to our next game! Renault F1 CC at the beautiful Sandford St. Martin, just North of regular venue Barton Abbey. Players needed, so do jump on board. We may even win.
Great Haseley CC at Great Haseley, thirty overs.
Another roasting hot day, another pitch with more brown than green. Bodley travel south to play Great Haseley, a team we’ve met once before, though games in the last couple of seasons have been called off through rain or lack of players. Great Haseley (GH) are fielding a number of youngsters in their side, as are the Bod, with Dan Shaw and the welcome return of Thomas Marsh, in the side. Both are responsible for some of the best bowling figures in Bod history and with Thomas comes his dad Chris. Two Marshes for the price of one.
GH win the toss, which was going to be decided by rock-paper-scissors but after the third go with both skippers picking the same thing the more traditional coin was tossed. GH put themselves into bat. Bod open with Thomas and James, both bowling a tight line which causes GH problems, both openers struggle to get ball away on what is a fast and uneven out-field. In what proved to be a crucial moment in the game the opener smacks the ball straight to the Bod skipper (and author of this report) who instead of catching it decides jumping over it instead (if it helps, o fellow teams-mates, I’m still not sure how/why this happened). The opener couldn’t have been on much more than 5 at this point, he went onto get 50. Bod make bowling changes, conscious of the fact that in a 30 over game GH hadn’t got much on the board and we need to make a game of it. Phil bowls well, as does Dan. Phil gets the first wicket with Dan taking a sharp catch. Bod maintain steady pressure. The GH opener keeps the runs ticking over but crucially keeps losing partners. James takes two excellent catches, one diving to his right and the other a smack out to cow which was well taken, the skipper comes on and picks up a couple, Andy Hudson and Tim bowl well and Matthew gets a couple of stumpings behind the wicket. Dave takes the penultimate over with two wickets left and manages to get both, the first the catch in the deep from James. Batsman cross while ball in air, so last bat coming in (the ten year old son of the GH skipper) is non-facing when Dave gets the last wicket next ball, so the poor lad waits the whole innings for a bat, comes in and is not out having not faced a ball. GH all out off 29 overs for 124, surely a reachable figure off 30?
After a good tea Bod get going, with Matthew and Phil in and then out getting us started. James in next, on a run of such fine form not seen in Bod colours for quite a while. Which is why it was a shock when out for a golden, lbw to the first ball of one of those frustratingly accurate bowlers at our level who drop it down on a length. He went on to get 4 Bod wickets and caused a lot of damage in the middle order before Dan and Andy settle down and start scoring. We’re up with the run-rate while these two are in bat but after Dan is out things slow down, scoring proves tricky and Chris and I are left in at the end needing about twenty off a couple of overs. A 4 helps but then the last wicket is taken and GH win. Andy Hudson top scores with 21, closely followed by Dave with 18 and then Dan with 16 but that was about it. A great game , played in a good spirit with everyone getting a go at something on a picturesque ground. Apart from a win what more could you ask for.
Iffley Village CC at Cutteslowe Park. 20 overs.
Bodley CC, fresh from a successful tour, took on new opponents Iffley Village on the 12th. After dealing with all the hardships of playing at Cutteslowe; traffic, parking too close (dangerously so after some shots), unable to get into the pavilion (again) ‘cause the council hadn’t unlocked their bits so having to get changed round the back etc etc etbloodyc, Bod shake hands with the oppo and eye them up at same time, trying to gauge their level. Iffley look good, new Bod Dave Shorten (another from our feeder club the Mads) reckons Iffley had one of the faster bowlers he’d ever faced last season, luckily he isn’t playing tonight. Iffley win toss and put us into bat. Matthew and Asad open, both facing some pretty accurate bowling but both start to play some shots, Asad in particular finding the boundary fairly regularly. James comes in and continues his excellent form with the bat this season while others briefly flutter around him. Dan, Tim, Dom and Dave all push the total along while Gareth, three not-outs on tour but who seemed distracted throughout the match, was out second ball to a straight one. At one point a good total looked beyond us, batting through the twenty seemed beyond us as well but James and Alec saw us home, the biggest cheer of the innings for Alec, who following his highest score against the Doctors got his first boundary for the club. Biggest boo came when T***p and his fleet of helicopters flew over on their way to Blenheim and dinner with the suck-ups. There was some talk of forming a giant v-sign on the grass but not to be. Bod finish on a reasonable respectful 124.
Dan and Dave open, both bowling a tight line that Iffley found hard to score against. Dan seems to get a bit quicker with each game and got the first wicket with a delivery that the batsmen was late on. Dan then took a good catch off his Dad’s bowling and then followed this up with a sharp work in the field to get a run-out with Matthew working well behind the stumps. Iffley though look a good batting side, and steadily accumulate with a number of their bats reaching 30 and retiring. Your reporter serves up some buffet and that is enough to see Iffley over the line with an over or two to spare.
Royal Hants Hospital Staff CC at Brasenose College ground. 30 overs.
On yet another of a long line of roasting hot days the Bod CC took on the touring Doctors from the Royal Hants Hospital. With the Cowley Road Carnival turning up the sound systems to 11 the teams took to the field to a nice soundtrack. The Doctors, after a win at Inkpen the day before, had sampled the delights of the city and a few of their number were looking a little the worse for wear. Bodley, with their own tour the following weekend, have a great deal of sympathy, we’ve all been there before.
With this in mind we forget about a toss and the opposition are offered the choice, and surprisingly put us into bat, their reckoning being that in their present state they can’t guarantee batting through the overs. Phil and Arthur open, facing some surprisingly quick and accurate bowling. Arthur gets a few then nicks one behind, Phil scores a few boundaries before bowled for 17 by the nippy opener. A few other Bodley batsmen come and go before Tim swings the bat against change bowlers and put a few more on the total but by 7 wickets down we’re 86 off 20. Bodley look to be a bit short until a late partnership between Andy Hudson and Alec add 37 to the total, pushing us to a respectable 122 off 30. Andy top scores with 21 will Alec gets a personal best of 6. Andy puts away the forwarding defensive for most of his knock while Alec scores in twos, much to the pleasure of his cheering team-mates.
Tea, and a welcome plate or two of water melon, and a chat with the oppo, friends now after playing them on the Winchester tour and hosting last season. Then back on the field, with hardly a drop in the temperature. Gareth, skipper for the day, sets an attacking field and gives the ball to Phil, who starts a spell which continues through each successive bowler, supported by a strong performance in the field. Wickets fall on a regular basis, with Phil, James and Leigh in particular keeping things tight. Things go well until the Doc skipper comes in and starts to score, suddenly our total comes under threat. A couple of overs go for quite a few until a skied whack to cow is caught on the boundary by a (very) grateful fielder. The last wicket is taken in the penultimate over when the Doctors take a risk needing to score big to stand a chance.
A Bod win then just before the tour, perfect preparation but crikey it was hot.