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.