The day started well, with promising sunshine and happy Wantage players, the only sour note being Ian mistakenly giving Tim’s brother the finger, believing it was TPL himself. That aside spirits were good as Colin again lost the toss and we were sent out to field first. Mabbs had unfortunately forgotten the correct pair of pants, and was forced to wear some genuine budgie smugglers which by all accounts cut most of the blood supply to his nether regions and made him exceedingly uncomfortable. However no such problems were facing Grant and Duncan who opened the bowling. Grant struggled a bit for rhythm but Duncan was on his usual lines, but the opening batsmen were both watchful, apart from the occasional flourish from Verma, who advanced down the wicket once or twice and dispatched a couple over long on. He was fortunate to survive two dropped catch chances, one by Matt Noonan, who was making his Saturday debut, and one by TPL behind the stumps.
Matt took another later on, however, after Verma had brought up his 50. At the other end, vicar White was playing carefully from right under his nose and we were struggling to find a breakthrough. There was some brief excitement when the bails fell off as the batsman played a shot and the bails fell off, leading to appeals from one or two members of the team. To the more visually gifted, however, it was clear the wind was to blame and we carried on as if nothing had happened.
Duncan finished his spell with 1-32 from 12, and Colin tried an experiment, bringing Ian on to bowl his leggies. Unfortunately it was not a good day and he went for quite a few, so it was lucky that Barry was bowling tightly at the other end, bowling a full 12 over spell for just 35 runs. Around this point the frustration of not getting a breakthrough began to tell, as Duncan and Chaz had a little tiff over Duncan kicking a ball, and Ian dropped a stinging chance at mid-on. Luckily star fielder Barry took an excellent diving chance off the very next ball, and Mabbs took the first of his three wickets. Mabbs also somehow managed to break his boot entirely in half in the process of twisting his ankle when bowling. It was a particularly impressive effort, and he had to swap one boot with Barry for the last 5 overs of the innings.
A few more wickets fell as Deddington saw themselves to a competitive 178-6 from their 45 overs. Mabbs bowled two middle order batsmen who were playing outrageous swings in an effort to get the scoreboard ticking, and Duncan provided some after-match humour by backing up like a remedial, letting the ball through his legs despite getting into the perfect position for the long barrier. Grant suggested he should have “closed his legs, the slag”. Truly it was the sort of form which could have even got him dropped from the Filipino national team; if Duncan happened to have a far-eastern relative, or indeed if the Philippines actually had a cricket team. (Edit: The Philippines have 2 cricket clubs but alas have never entered an international competition).
Colin and Mabbs opened the batting, with the intention of keeping things tight and not giving away wickets. It was therefore a shame that Mabbs scooped one to cover for a duck. He specially requested that no more was said about it, so no more will be mentioned. Luckily Timmy Lane was having an on-day with the bat, pulling and cutting his way to 48 before getting a leading edge to cover. Colin in the meantime was struggling away with Chief’s heavy bat, having broken his own at training on Thursday. He saw himself through to 35 before getting yorked by Deddington’s left arm spinner.
Run rate was not an issue, particularly with Barry in decent form and racing to 20 off about 10 balls, and he and Ian stuck together for a time, to see us to within 50 of the target. However Ian committed the indiscretion of launching a ball about twice has high as it went long, and was caught on the boundary for 15. Nordic quickly came and went, but Grant, promoted to number 7 in the order, saw us home, stroking two fours from two balls. At the other end Barry ended on a workhorse 55 not out, although he felt he hadn’t batted too well. As is customary, there was plenty of terrible chat on the sidelines, with TPL asking whether “Thundercats was the one down the alley”, and Chaz making a number of statements of questionable standing. One of which was definitely not repeatable, but he also managed to postulate that sucking one’s own penis would probably be a good idea, at training on Thursday.
Dreadful banter aside, it was another win, and 28 more points. The fielding performance was again below par, but the batting was strong. Hopefully it will put us in good shape for next weekend’s crunch tie with close rivals Cairns Fudge.
Champagne Moment went to Barry for his catch, although a seriously good diving stop by Grant was also a worthy nominee.
Pig’s Ear was Duncan for his backing up fails. Chaz was nominated for plenty of terrible chat, and Ian for giving TPL’s brother the finger, and so extending the feud into a family-wide affair.
Man of the match was Barry for 55* and a tight bowling spell. Mabbs was nominated for his three wickets, and Timmy for his 48.