Every hour wounds and the last one kills.
After travelling to the wrong Banbury ground (that’s why I publish the post code Bri!) we arrived at the ground, ready to take on Banbury 4s. Another hot day, another toss won, the 2s took the field first.
Opening up this week was our skipper…the returning Toby. Early pressure was applied again at both ends leading to two early wickets for Toby, putting Banbury on the back foot. Quick changes came again as the openers were replaced by Tariq and Majid with Toby finishing with an impressive 2-12 off 5. Brian also finished on 7-2-15-0. This meant at 20-2, the opposition decided to drop the anchor. Over after over passed, with the score hardly changing until a brilliant piece of fielding broke the partnership. Brian, brilliantly flying through the air with a salmon dive to strike the middle stump just in time, removed #4. Despite Tariq and Majid continuing to apply the pressure, the opener remained. After another long, but not costly partnership, the opener finally left the crease after an innings that [redacted at request of author] would have been proud of, and leaving the opposition in need of some acceleration. Tariq finishing the day on 8-3-11-0.
Changes in the attack continued as the Green Goblin struggled to remember which strip he was bowling on this week, most likely due to him partying like it was 1998 the prior evening. The next wicket fell as the club’s history teacher bowled an old timey slower ball that was met with an equally old school celebration as the bail split on impact with the ground. As the run rate slowly built, Grandad managed to finally select the right set of stumps to claim a brilliant run out from a direct hit from the boundary. Deepak was brought on as a specialist closing bowling. Majid picked up another, however Banbury survived the overs setting 146. Majid finished his day on 15-2-38-2, whilst Deepak ended on 3-0-18-0
The chase began with Tohsif and Sam Ryder’s long lost brother at the crease. Tohsif began the attack with 2 big 4s but was caught out. However, the pair had set the tone well. Dan was the next man in. The pair did a great job of seeing the shine of the ball. Sam was the next to go as he was beaten by a very good ball. Deepak fired a quick dozen before Chris joined Dan with the Wolves 58-3. With Potter’s long strides and Dan dabbing the ball round the pitch the runs piled on. Dan achieved his first 50 for the club and Chris played a fantastic supporting role, not giving the opposition any chances. A partnership of 89 saw us across the line to remain top of the 5B table.
This week the MOTM, despite many great performances, was Daniel D’Hotman with his score of 73* meaning we eased to victory.
Report by SP
Four on the bounce leaves Wolvercote 3s suffering from altitude sickness at number three in the league, just the one point shy of second-placed Vale.
The 3s bowling unit accosted Shyju before the match and convinced him that, despite dream batting conditions, we should have a bowl. I suppose, begrudgingly, that, given how things transpired, they may have had a point, and I should now shut up and quit moaning… what followed was something of a massacre.
Ajay started brightly, demolishing the stumps of Challow and Childrey opener Hales in his fourth over, and dismissing his partner, caught Scott, in his sixth, while, first, 3s debutant Miles Bratby, and then The Irf, toiled up the hill at the other end without making inroads. It wasn’t until the eleventh over, with the introduction of Jamie Scott, that the visitors’ innings fell apart. The young all-rounder is very keen for me to point out that, in the main, he bowled beautifully (2 for 15 off 5). However, proving the old adage that “s&@t takes wickets”, it was with, first, a full bunger, and, then, a rank long-hop, that the opposition’s numbers 4 & 5 were caught skying a ball to Shyju and, bizarrely, surrendering their middle stump respectively. Irfan then came to the party as the young Harkness held on to one of Kollituta’s more aerial efforts with the bat. The Challow number 3 never looked comfortable at the crease, so it is a testament to what came next that he ended by top scoring for the visiting team with 17. What came next I hear you ask? Harkness came next. Channelling the spirit of the late Shane Warne, the Wolvercote Leggy dispatched the Challow middle order before they could work out what happened. First Hill stood slack-jawed and befuddled as he was bowled round his legs, then Roache, who had just sent one delivery straight back down the ground, ran out of gorm and tried the same trick twice, only to find the waiting hands of the Wolvercote skipper. That same skipper then, wisely, brought back Bratby, but this time with the assistance of gravity, and both were rewarded with the scalp of the slightly obdurate older Westmorland, whose son had opened the batting, for 15, and a maiden 3s wicket for Miles. Challow, in recompense, were rewarded with a rare five as one of Bratby’s deliveries found the discarded helmet of Darren Jones, who was kindly standing in in standing behind the sticks. Ben then made short work of the final two – the first bowled, and the second caught in the slips by Quinn (a man over four times his senior) – to finish with the decidedly unshabby Wolf-of-the-Week figures of 4 for 6 off 2.3. A bowling masterclass.
The Wolvercote reply began with Shyju smashing a quickfire 16 (including a dismissive swipe for a maximum) before he was caught behind off the bowling of Roache. His partner, the left-handed Crouch, unaccustomed to facing genuine outswing, struggled for fluency against the same bowler. It was, therefore, a bit weird when Challow removed their opener from the attack after only four overs. Relieved of his tormentor, Crouch then drove and cut his replacement, including a brutal on-drive, and a cheeky uppercut over the slip corden, either one of which would, with all humility, be this author’s candidate for shot of the week. The occasional elegance of his stroke play was not, however, matched by his running between the wickets: There are geologists working on the San Andreas subduction zone that are now puzzled by the sudden spike on their seismographs that we know to have been caused by a “quick” single that would have been three on a different pair of legs! At the other end, Walsh rode his luck and toyed with the Challow slip array; sending not one, but three, chances their way, and picking up 9 runs in the process. With the Wolves within sight of victory, and Walsh starting to find his radar, The Chairman decided to try to wake the prostrate Ajay, who was supposed to be moving the effing sight screen, and aimed to biff Geekie straight back over his head to where Ajay lay a slumber. He missed. Geekie hit. And Symington (4) was left to mop up the final few as Crouch departed with 31, and Walsh remained undefeated on 17 or 21, depending on whether you believe the book or the batter. Either way, the damn scores still don’t add up, but nobody cares as it was obvious who had won! Next week: Harwell International.