We turned up to the home of Wantage cricket in good spirits, and good weather and an excellent looking pitch greeted us. People entertained themselves in various ways; there was a game of tennis ball cricket going on by the pavilion, where PicNic wore a tennis ball directly on the head to the amusement of all. In a similar incident later, Will threw a ball at Chaz who was hit on the ankle to the great amusement of the team. It didn’t seem to affect his ability to leap like a salmon to take some good training catches though. Nor did it affect his uncanny impression of a salmon; and to clarify, by ‘uncanny’ I mean ‘nothing like’.
Anyway, Colin lost the toss in the heat, so we bowled first. Ryan opened up and found a line, if not the line he might have hoped for. In his first three overs he gave Colin plenty of keeping practice down the leg side, including one that the opener managed to get a nibble on – which gave us our first wicket. With Duncan hitting his lines at the other end as usual, progress was sedate although without much excitement. Duncan did sneak one through number three Currie’s defences to gain a deserved wicket, and snared another thanks to a diving one-handed catch at mid-off by Ian.
Stewie got a chance at the other end and hit some good areas. He kept things tight with the exception of two deliveries which were summarily despatched over the boundaries at wide long-on and mid-wicket. At the other end Duncan finished a strong 9 over spell with 2-16 and PicNic got a rare bowling opportunity; bowling 1 over for 1 run. He was then ripped off before he could do any major damage to the Charlbury order, though, and Chaz took over. He bowled really well, being very unlucky not to take any wickets in his 6 over spell. Luckily at the other end Will forced the issue a couple of times; bowling well but getting wickets with two appalling deliveries; one a full toss well caught low down by Stewie, and one a short ball mis-pulled straight to Nordic.
A fruitless 3 over spell from Ian brought nothing but inconsistency and a tough chance for Stewie, so it was the Martins who finished off the innings. Our fielding performance was a bit lethargic and Charlbury saw themselves through to 199-7. This included a humongous six by number 8 Barry Nutt over the pavilion and into the tree, which has now been christened Barry; purely so we could say that Barry hit Barry into Barry. Hysterical. Duncan also took a steepler at mid-off. We trudged off to enjoy a very fruity tea, with melons, oranges, pineapple and grapes.
Colin and Nordic opened the batting and looked confident, scoring runs quickly before Steve mis-timed a shot through the off-side and was caught. Next in was NiB, and he was quickly caught behind for a duck to start off a procession of middle order mediocrity. Barry chinese cut one for four, hit one majestic drive and was then caught. Ian played on to be bowled, Stewie did the same before Ryan edged his first ball to the keeper. Luckily despite these four ducks, Colin was there and batting excellently. Will was able to offer some support, smashing a quick 21 including a four which hit ‘old man George’ on it’s way over the boundary.
Our run rate was considerable but you couldn’t help but feel that we would pay for our inauspicious middle order batting. Luckily Duncan had an on-day with the bat, and together he and Colin rebuilt the innings with a partnership of 63. Colin passed 50 and carried on going, dominating the bowlers with an almost chanceless innings. With around 25 needed for victory Duncan miscued a cover drive to a fielder, and Chaz joined the fray. He managed to slap two fours and take us within ten before falling LBW to Charlbury’s opener Carla Wood (who had bowled excellently throughout the innings). Colin followed this up with a hit over the top which the fielder couldn’t quite cling on to – something that would ultimately prove crucial.
It fell to PicNic to offer Colin the required support, which he did without any issues at all; playing out 8 or 9 balls from Charlbury’s opener Nutt. Colin’s job at the other end was to continue bashing the remaining runs required. He got a slice of luck when Charlbury couldn’t take a run out when it looked like he was well short, but a drive over the top took us within two. After PicNic had seen out an over Colin faced up, and smacked the third ball over mid-wicket for four to bring up a one wicket win, and his hundred! Never in doubt! PicNic with the best 0 of the season by a Wantage player and Colin with a superb innings of 100* off 114 balls.
We showered off, and said our goodbyes to the Charlbury team who were excellent sports and we look forward to seeing next year. Colin inadvertently described the opposition captain as a ‘penis’ to his face (a long story), and we followed this up with our voting. There was an exciting moment when Duncan celebrated Colin’s man of the match win by spraying him with squirty cream, as if it were a bottle of champagne. Alas it didn’t quite go to plan as he first pointed the can the wrong way, and then in a mad dash to escape a glass of beer was knocked all over the scorebook and result sheet to howls of derision from the other members of the team. Worse for Colin, he had to come down the pub stinking of gone-off cream/baby sick. At least we got down the pub though, for a rare night out where a good time was had by all and Ian got chirpsed by many for his 5th duck of the season.
Champagne Moment was Colin’s four for the hundred, and the win – narrowly beating PicNic’s 6 perfect forward defensives in a rock/paper/scissors face-off. Also nominated were Ian’s one handed catch and the 6 off Barry by Barry into Barry.
Pig’s Ear was Duncan hitting a cover drive and accidentally shouting “SHOT!” instead of “yes”. Also nominated were Ian smashing up the changing room in a rage after getting out, Will throwing the ball at PicNic’s ankle, Chaz chatting up the ladies, and Stewie running off in the middle of an over to change the scoreboard.
Man of the Match was Colin. Also nominated were PicNic for his excellent support at the death, and Duncan for a good all round performance with runs, wickets and a catch.