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Home » Match Reports: 18 May 2024

Match Reports: 18 May 2024

1st XI

Wolvercote 1st XI v Charlbury 1st XI

The 1s were away into the colossal settings of Charlbury in the heart of Cotswolds. A brilliant rain-dodged day of cricket happened as did the fireworks of our beloved Wolves, I am about to describe. Thanks to everyone in and beyond this team for doing everything in order and positive form to make this sport happen. A very warm welcome with much gratitude to Siddhartha (Sahil’s mate from Computer Sciences at Oxford University) who stepped in to score for us.

1st innings

Toss was won again giving us a 2 out of 2 luck. We chose to bowl first, given overcast/windy conditions and getting those 9 points in the bag first wouldn’t have harmed. Skipper Samir opened from the pavilion end against the wind up the hill, and despite good out-swing, produced 4 wides without any score. It almost seemed he was doing a warm up drill with Gus on the parallel pitch. Not an ideal start but everyone forgave him, just like the Wolves do. Our beloved Barkat Ahmed (aka BK) kept the oppo on check by bowling tightly from the far end and finished with figures 19-0-6 overs. Despite the wide saga, Samir continued with everyone’s support and got rid of the top 3 batsmen, particularly in-form James Whybrow (scored 84 n.o in the previous game), ending with 23-3-10-3 maidens. Sahil (aka Sa!) and Yatish (aka the Doctor, back from a 1200 mile EV car trip to Scotland) joined the party, and turned the game upside down with a dream spell. Sahil’s lofty spin masterclass got his first scalp N Doran caught by Yatish at gully and finished with 9-1-8-4 maidens*. Enter Yatish with his best bowling performance at the club! His crafty mix of swing and straight balls had the batsmen who had chased 226 last week against East & West Hendred, absolutely clueless. With the Charlbury batters caught up in a musical chairs of sorts, and an incredibly good fielding by Wolves, we all had the joy of witnessing the Yatish show for years to remember. He finished with 19-6-4.3-1 and the first hattrick of the season. Charlbury were all out for a mere 71 in 28.3 overs within 2hrs 15min with rest of the bowling crew of Wolves spared. Out of 71, just 38 runs were scored and 33 were extras (gosh that’s 34%). Special credit to Gus for his excellent agility behind the stumps picking up the important catch of T Lowe, the opener with the highest score of 23 as well as the variably bouncing and erratic balls.

2nd innings

We celebrated the return of the don, Mark Child who opened along with our beloved Jesus (Sam Speight). Noteworthy, Sam has received ‘Forrest Gump’ as another amongst many nicknames, but we will wait for the polls to decide. A defensive batting stance with some early breakthrough from oppo was expected, and we lost Sam early off a mouthful caught and bowled by Whybrow, at 6 for 1 in the 5th over. Enter our wild card of the day, Usman Younis aka Uzzi who looked in form already on the field. Just visualise a stellar partnership between two men at the crease in a high-octane 2nd innings at international test/ODI, and you have done well to imagine what Mark and Uzzi sustained and produced in 1hour 10min together in the middle against a mixed and loud Charlbury bowling attack. Despite Mark’s tennis elbow, we saw a brilliant partnership of 56 runs with four 4s and a six, and perhaps some that un-fruitioned due to grassy outfield. The much acclaimed Sri Lankan spinners – Bimalka and Hasulaka were now trying to contain our already cruising batsmen at the score of 55 for 1, when Mark got out finishing with 18 runs. Without much to the challenge of chasing another 17 runs, successor Richard Oliver aka the Ice Man also left cheaply, trying to sweep the spin, when our number 5, Deepak aka the big boy had a slightly different gameplan to the same bowler and batting philosophy. Deepak came dancing down the pitch to hit two back-to-back 4s over mid-on and mid-off and that sums it up for us. We chased 71 in 26.5 overs and won by 7 wickets in 1.5 hours. Uzzi remained not out at 38* with three 4s and a 6. The opposition used 6 bowlers with 5 maidens. Special credit to the wonderful Charlbury scorer who helped Sid with scoring and the friendly umpires.

Man of the Match: Dr Yatish Singh, 19-6-4.3-1 maiden and the first hattrick of the season.

Overall, 2 tosses won, 2 good shows of our bowling prowess and 2 close/low score games against top Division 3 sides with an easy win in our first away game. Watch this space as the action-packed season unfolds for the crazy Wolves in 1st XI. More match details can be found here. Love y’all!

Match Report by Samir Khan

Second XI

An enthralling match on an early summer’s day. An old foe East Oxford comes to fortress Cutteslowe for a match that promised runs aplenty but delivered blood, sweat and fears. It is with great sadness that I must report the injury to our stoic champion treasurer.  This victory goes to Mo and with it our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

It is precisely this kind of adversity that brings out the best of us and for me the best of us yesterday didn’t even play. The wonderful Gabe Farrell, denied a match for the threes as Dorchester couldn’t raise a side, accompanied Mo to various medical facilities until Barkat arrived to be with his brother. Gabe had come to have a net and support the team and whilst the net evaded him, his support for the club was deeply felt. His selfless actions ought to be applauded and rewarded. Our wolf for the week is Gabe Farrel. Thank you, Gabe.

Back to the Cricket,  and we know East Oxford like a bat and as such our skipper wisely inserted them. Allowing them to give in to their own temptations was the first of many master strokes from Grandad Skip.  Saddler got the first one one driving, chance snaffled by Walshy in the covers. Then Tariq, whose line, length, pace and control was a joy to behold, sent numbers 2, 3,and 4 packing. Rahim and Saddler were rewarded with a rest and Gamage and George welcomed the chance to tempt and tease these swashbuckling batters. The pair shared 5 wickets between them and some smart work from Saddles effected a run out. The last wicket fell to the returning George due to a stunning swirling running backwards and around type of a catch that seemed utterly unlikely until the moment Waseem grabbed it is his mitts. E. Oxford all out for 103 – job half done.

Shyju and Mo strode to the middle with the Grandad Skip’s simple equation ringing in their ears “it’s 2 an over”, Easy does it. And oh so easily it started an opening stand of 20 odd rudely interrupted by a top edge into Mo’s cheek, that brought the arrival of claret (not the good kind) and a small delay in proceedings. DJ stepped in and gracefully added a wonderful 24. At the other end, Shyju fell bringing 1st Symington and then Walsh to prod about to little avail before Skip marched to the middle. Grandad seemed to forget his lines (2/over) and went about biffing 23 runs almost exclusively in boundaries to bring us home accompanied by the ever cheerful Kalpa. Brian returned from his drive to the hospital in time, to pop his pads on and see us win. Gabe was given a hero’s welcome at the pub and when Barkat arrived he was able to inform us that Mo was OK but that the medical investigation was ongoing. We await further news and stride into week 3  of the season a happy, hopeful, albeit hurt, side.

Report by Phil Walsh

Fourth XI

Another week for the 4s, another week against a team joining us from the rarefied air of division 7 in the form of Marcham’s first XI. With the slight threat of rain in the air it was a win the toss and bowl kind of a day…

Toss duly won our openers Rishi and John Paul (normally of OUP and plugging the ‘Wembley gap’) toiled without getting the reward of wickets. Chances were there but they just didn’t seem to go to hand. After 12 overs Marcham’s openers had put on 69. The 4s were then treated to that rarest of sights, a spell of bowling by A. Beaumont, a man who’s bowling action was once described as “Like that of The Vicar in a twee 1920s murder mystery”. However something was in the air and one opener was removed LBW, followed by number 3 after a leading edge snapped up by a charging Samarth. Stuart then started to bowl well from the other end, getting the Marcham number 4 caught behind with a nice catch from Hanif. Samarth ‘The Legend’ Agnihotri then replaced Beaumont to show the rest of us how it’s done! In his first over Samarth also went bang bang, removing the other opener with a beauty that clipped the top of his leg stump, before trapping N. Warne (we didn’t check any relation) LBW with a beauty that pitched on leg stump and was going on to hit the middle. At 104 for 5 it felt like we were in the game but the Marcham number 5 steadily took the game away from us with a chanceless 120*. Samarth got a deserved third wicket bowling number 7, Ramesh got a reward with a catch taken by John Paul at square leg, and JP finished the innings by bowling their number 9 off the last ball of the innings.

It was hard work after drinks but to get them 8 down was a great effort, but we were left with a tough chase of 287!

The chase started slowly with some tough opening bowlers in the form of Finnie and Palmer (he of the 120* not out). Palmer had Will Shelley caught in the slips off what looked like a bump ball, before trapping Hanif LBW. New Wolf Max missed a straight one, before fellow new Wolf Jason hit a few nice shots, including his first 4 through the covers before he was also bowled for 11. This bought Simon Palmer to the crease in the unusual role of specialist batsman (thanks Simon) to steer us calmly through with an excellent 16*. Alex had some fun at the other end, including a 6 over the long on (only his 3rd ever) and some classic drives before Marcham figured out where to put the field (“it’s all straight and through the covers for this one”). Alex was then bowled by the returning Finnie leaving Simon to marshall the tail towards some batting bonus points. A fine cameo was provided by Samarth at number 8, including an attempted reverse sweep and a great 4 through mid-wicket before being given LBW despite a thin edge. In the end we finished on 119-8 – agonisingly one run shy of a third batting bonus point.

Although a hefty loss there was much to be proud of from the 4s. Our bowlers stuck with it admirably when the boundaries were flowing in the first innings, and some stubborn defense allowed us to bat out the 40 overs without collapsing. Man of the match was ‘The Legend’ Samarth for a great spell of attacking spin bowling, and for his entertaining batting. He was also a credit to the club and an example to the opposition when taking his LBW decision in the right spirit.

We look forward to welcoming Marcham 1s back to fortress Kennington for the return fixture with some scores to settle…

Report by Alex Beaumont

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