Rhodes House at Balliol College ground, 20 overs. Jack Cox group match.
Well, things started well enough. We arrived at the ground to discover that nobody really had any idea how to sort out the key. It seemed for a short while that our only option was to call off the game (the more obvious idea to walk around the ground to the back gate being clearly too ludicrous to contemplate). The key was brought out however, and the match was able to start only a few minutes behind schedule. Our opponents were the mighty Rhodes House. Annoyingly, they were practising hard in the nets when we arrived and were all toned, young and athletic. Words that could generally not be used to describe anyone, save perhaps new-man Hewitt (who mistakenly brought his own bat and was thus deemed a number 7 and asked to pull the innings out of its tail-spin).
Against the form book, Neeley won the toss and decided to bat. He faced the first ball without obvious difficulty before edging the 2nd behind (or missed it completely depending on whose version of events one chooses to believe). Then the innings fell apart. Save some excellent batting from Shaw who retired on 30 not out, nobody passed 5. There was the full collection of Bodleian cock-ups- comedy run-outs, top edges and a piece of electric fielding for one of the best catches one must assume anyone in the ground had ever seen. The innings petered out with 8 men down as McClenaghan and Paton saw out the final over with celebrations at both ends as Steve crunched a mighty four to his evident glee, whilst Alec notched up two of the finest to the delight of his team mates.
It was a mark of our collective ignominy that wides outscored every batsman bar one. Asked to defend 67, opening bowler Burnett set about his task with some of the fastest bowling seen from a Bodley player in a long time, taking the only wicket to fall in what was otherwise an easy procession for Rhodes. Their policy of using the middle of the bat, rather than the edges, and finding the gaps in the outfield meant it took barely 7 overs. Not the best start to our campaign, but things can only look up one hopes.
On a final note we bid farewell and good travels to Rob Triggs, eager servant of the club for a number of years now, who departs for The Other Place with family in tow and whites washed and ready, and a newly minted author to boot. Cheers Rob!