Finally the opportunity to play some cricket after some weather that could only be described as atrocious, and Colin lost the toss again. So we were put into bat on a very damp pitch under conditions that, as the scorebooks made clear, were sunny for a change. In the absence of Ben, Colin opened the batting with Nibbler, and this proved to be a masterstroke as the two of them batted and batted and batted for the first 35 overs of the game. They accumulated slowly at first, but that didn’t look to be a problem as the wickets column remained resolutely empty. Instead the two of them set about imposing themselves on the game and try to rectify the batting problems of the previous weeks.
NiB took a particular liking to the spinner when placed on about 40 and began to bat much more expansively, knocking him off his length to score three fours in an over and take him to his 50. Unusually he was scoring at a much quicker rate than Colin, but it was at this point that both of them began to play a few more shots. After scratching a few singles through the leg-side and being chirpsed by PicNic from the sidelines, Colin brought up his 50 with a hit to the car park which amusingly hit PicNic’s car and missed a sleeping old man by inches, waking him from his no doubt exciting dreams about chrysanthemums and lillies. As Ally and Stewie turned up and banter began to reach atrocious levels, the hitting became more regular as the runs began to rack up. Nick was eventually caught at mid on for 69, leading to LAD chat from Timmy Lane, until he realised he had to bat.
He followed up Nick with some big hitting too, including an epic six which hit the roof and landed somewhere in the car park. Equally epic, but not quite as classy, was the way in which he fell over when trying to hoik the spinner over the boundary, scoring only 1 in the process. At the other end Colin dominated further and when he hit 10 in two balls off the returning opening bowler it looked like a century could be on. Timmy holed out to deep mid wicket for 32 and it was up to Barry to push a few singles in the interests of getting Colin the strike. Fortunately, this year Colin made it, pushing a single off the penultimate over to bring up 100 off 134 balls and allow him the excitement of kissing the Wantage badge. We finished our innings on 227-2, Colin ending up on 102* and Barry on an unexciting 5*. Ian and Dave did a sterling job on the two scorebooks, in which everything added up perfectly and neatness was absolutely the order of the day.
We took to the field defending a big total and Ryan immediately trapped one of the openers LBW, bringing a left hander in which had other opener Will Harvester struggling with his lines… and lengths. Timmy was keeping in a public school boy red hat, which someone aptly pointed out made him look like Mario, and he kept pretty well. The slips on the other hand, of which there were two, were rather more generous, as both Grant and Ian dropped difficult chances. Grant came on to replace Ryan and bowled a full 12 over spell, getting some big swing but only capturing wickets with his more wayward balls, including a pull to Barry at mid-wicket, a snaffled chance at square leg by NiB and a drive to Colin at mid-off. At the other end, “Tourettes” Jesus of Chazereth Chazzington world of adventures Boshell came on for his first spell of the year. He struggled with his lines for most of his spell, but did force one wicket, a catch to NiB at backward point off a rank long hop outside off stump. He also later tried to run in and bowl despite the batsmen being stationed 12 yards away strapping up a pad, leading to amusement for all of us.
After drinks, Grant committed a cricketing indiscretion, by sitting on the roller and thusly being off the pitch, which, as the rules stated, technically should have cost us five penalty runs. Obviously the umpire “didn’t know who he was”, as our handbook superstar is obviously above such silly rules. However this was irrelevant as he finished his spell and Barry was taking a bit of tap at the other end from Arnold who saw himself to a handy 50. With the return of Ryan the wickets followed in healthy fashion and both he and Barry took three wickets each, including another catch for NiB and a dolly caught and bowled for Baz. The only truly dire note was an astonishing piece of fielding by Grant who somehow contrived to throw the ball past Timmy when under no pressure at all and gift Eynsham two completely pointless runs. It certainly made for entertaining watching.
We eventually ran out winners by 67 runs, and retired to the showers and the bar, where many exciting things occurred. Spurred on by the mentions of blue waffles earlier in the day, War Horse Will Harvester declared something to be on a par with a “purple muffin” to Ian and Dave’s great amusement. Colin and NiB both bought jugs. Timmy was forced to collect the boundary markers for scoring the least runs after a LOT of stalling where he had a lot of mouth but not a lot of action. Pretty big talk for someone who let through a bye and dropped a catch which he tried to get out of being fined for. Shocking behaviour! Perhaps he was bitter because his better looking brother (the team’s words) was watching him earlier and showing him up. We then discussed cinematic genius for some time, and it became apparent that over half the team were tremendous homosexuals who had happily sat through Dirty Dancing at some point in their lives. Barry also amused us by describing a cinema as a ‘movie house’.
Champagne Moment went to Timmy for his six. Colin was nominated for his badge kissing and NiB for his bullet catch at square leg.
Pig’s Ear was, again, Grant, for his overthrows. Though Mongo was nominated for a drop, as was Ian. And TPL for falling over.
Man of the match was of course Colin for his hundred. NIB got a deserved nomination for his 69.