Colin won the toss and as usual fielded, despite Steve Yates having told him he would be turning up late. This proved none too costly, however, as Chaz and Mabs bowled tightly for the first few overs until he turned up. Both of them were keeping a tight line and length, and James was eventually rewarded when the opener miscued an off side drive to NiB at point. The Freeland number three then decided that life was too short for cricket, spurning caution and technique to aim every single one of his 7 or 8 balls over cow corner, to everyone’s great amusement. Although one connected, he was predictably caught off an outside edge at gully, and in the same over, Mabs bowled a left hander and had another right hander caught at second gully – Mongo and Chaz both taking nonchalant one-handed chances as though they were doing catching practice. Freeland were in a mess, so Colin decided to give them some respite by bringing on Barry and Steve Yates, although not before James had taken his 5th wicket.
Barry and Steve both bowled well, and indeed Barry had the Freeland opener given LBW off the middle of the bat, to which the opener displayed the true spirit of cricket by asking the umpire if he was joking. In turn, the response appeared to be that, yes, the umpire had in fact been joking. Consequently the referral system found its way to the Oxfordshire League – a fine sight for any cricketing purist. It didn’t really matter though, as Barry soon caught the opener off his own bowling with a sharp return catch. Steve Yates bowled very well too, forcing some airy shots which a number of Wantage fielders declined to take, particularly a couple in the slip cordon by Ian and Grant.
As per last week, bowling the opposition out for 70ish meant we had to negotiate a few overs before tea, so NiB and Colin meandered their way to about 25 for no wicket off some tight bowling. After the break Colin was adjudged LBW to the demon Left Arm Over bowler, and Barry showed everyone his fine form with the bat by lasting three balls – being dropped once and caught off the very next ball. Luckily Oatibix batted sensibly and although NiB and NiP were out to consecutive balls, Taylor and Mongo saw us home with some strong hitting off their second string bowlers. Mongo impressing with 30 not out and Olly signing off for the season with 15 not out.
Man of the match went to Mabs for his 5-27, meaning he got to do nasty things to Nessa for a week. Rumour has it, homemade love beads have already inflicted. With 4 more days til the weekend, who knows what other delights James has in store for our favourite sheep? Mongo was also nominated for his 30*.
Champage Moment went to a combination of Barry’s caught & bowled and Chaz & Mongo’s one-handed catches at gully.
Pig’s Ear went to Barry for his batting indiscretions.
Ian and Grant went home in the Ferrari Punto after contributing a dropped catch each.
29 more points though, and promotion is in our hands! Let’s beat Shrivenham on Saturday!