The first round of the Telegraph cup saw us return to picturesque Charlbury, notable for its scenery both on and off the pitch. The observant amongst you may notice a number of similarities to the report from last year’s visit to Charlbury. It’s not plagiarism, that’s just how it happened…
Changing room number 2 was allocated to The Wantage (Chasing The Sun), which baffled half of the team until Ian played a captain’s role and informed us that it was another song by The Wanted, following last year’s label We’re Glad You Came. As if it couldn’t get any better than that, we were graced by the presence of Grant “Former Handbook” Summersbee for the first time this season. Grant’s many and varied recent pursuits had included filming TOWIE, working on his guns in the gym, playing football for several different clubs, getting tattoos and doing his hair.
The covered pitch was predictably hard but the outfield showed evidence of the previous week’s rain and was a good deal longer than expected. The toss eventually took place once the umpires were located and IC returned to the changing room to find the team sheet that he’d forgotten. It was worth the wait though, as he called correctly and elected to bat. Speaking of the umpires, our match at Charlbury was once again presided upon by senior figures in the OCA hierarchy with Messrs Treweeke and Standish (President and Chairman respectively) ensuring that everyone was on their best behaviour.
Our innings didn’t get off to the start the skipper had intended, with the opening pair sharing two runs between them. NiB’s barren run continued as he was squared up and caught at gully, while Colin spooned a return catch to Charlbury opening bowler Nutt. Barry ensured a mention on the OCA website with a breezy 31 including the innings’s first six before top edging a bouncer to fine leg, while Limmy Tane defied his man flu to make 11 before picking out square leg. When Mikey was bowled for 12 the score was 107-5 and a partnership was sorely needed between Vendor and IC. Fortunately that’s just what they produced, putting on 99 for the sixth wicket.
Vendor was the more circumspect of the two, keeping the score ticking over with a number of dabs behind square on the off side in between dispatching the loose deliveries, including a memorable cover drive for four to the very long boundary. After reaching his half century he became much more expansive and launched into a wild swing that by his own admission wasn’t in the same postcode as the ball, which was very much in the vicinity of the stumps and he departed for a well-crafted 60. IC once again found batting at Charlbury to be to his liking and savagely punished anything overpitched, at one point sending half of the opposition into the adjacent field following a maximum. The return of the opening bowlers couldn’t stem the flow of runs and he reached his fifty in fine style with a six before continuing to dominate proceedings and ending on 72 not out, meaning he is yet to be dismissed at Charlbury following last year’s 74*. After cameos from Mabbs and Ryan our innings closed on an imposing 241-7.
In amongst all of this and for reasons still unknown, Barry developed great enthusiasm for ensuring that all figures on the scoreboard were correct, including the batsmen’s scores. His counting proved to be admirably accurate, even after he had been busy dispensing the drinks. Less convincing was his statement that he could be Carol Vorderman – cue lots of ‘one from the top and five from the bottom’ jokes.
Tea was as impressive as would be expected from such a venue. Generously filled sandwiches, fresh fruit and an assortment of sweet treats meant the only dilemma was whether to award 4 or 4.5 teapots.
The new ball was entrusted to Ryan and Mabbs and they made rumours of the track being a road look greatly exaggerated. In fact the whole team looked “on it like a car bonnet” and runs were very much at a premium. The opening pair took turns to hit middle stump and even when Barry couldn’t cling to a sharp chance at gully off the middle of the bat, the focus was maintained. Charlbury slipped from 20-1 to 20-6 in a dramatic collapse, including two wickets in two balls from Ryan and Mikey trapping their skipper plumb LBW with his very first delivery.
As the shine wore off the new ball, wickets dried up as the solid defence of Currie and Nash meant that the afternoon was a lot longer than expected and there was no need to change the time of the table booked at Atomic Burger. The groundsman sat in his shed for quite some time watching a pretty uninspiring passage of play with the game effectively over as a contest and intensity levels dropping.
Barry’s impending house move weighed heavily on his shoulders and he had a day to forget in the field. He failed to take a routine return catch and then meticulously set his field for the Charlbury number 9, bringing a man out of midwicket into silly point and loudly declaring “that’s her shot”. These mind games proved to be less than successful as he was deposited through the vacant midwicket area two balls later, to the amusement of all on the pitch. Others failing to cover themselves in glory were NiB, who for a second year in a row let one through at point, and Colin, who conceded 17 byes, definitely none of which were arrowed down the leg side giving the keeper no chance.
As we started to get tight on time it was left to IC and Mabbs to polish off the tail in contrasting fashion, with a rank full toss from IC being helped to square leg and then a good delivery from Mabbs being spooned to Grant to seal the win.
Next round is the quarter final, where we play host to Combe.
MOTM: Ryan for 7-4-5-3
Pig’s ear: for Barry dropping his caught and bowled chance. Ryan was also nominated for appealing for caught behind as the batsman was halfway towards the pavilion, as was NiB for his now customary misfield at point
Champagne moment: Mikey’s wicket with his first ball
TFC went to Colin for 1 run, 17 byes and an ever-increasing case of man flu.