The home team lost the toss and were put in to bat. That was about the only part of the day that did not go according to plan. After that, Wolvercote 3s did everything right that we’d got wrong previously: we built partnerships, we hit the ball along the ground, we valued our wickets, we used all our overs, we attacked with the ball, and defended with the field, we held our catches. We played as a team and we supported our teammates. Every. Single. Player. Contributed.
So, how did it go down? A solid start from Shyju (40 off 62) and Crouchie (58 off 88), with nine boundaries apiece, laid a foundation built upon by Symington (26), Ayyaz (18), Sprigings (14, returning to the fold), and a sparkling 56 by Abeer, including two maximums. All hall-marked with the adroit acceleration of a finely-tuned Bentley, before the skipper sent The Irf in up the order to bash out a few boundaries. When The Irf is asked, The Irf delivers: 17 off 9. The end result was a team record score of 250, with 4 wickets remaining, and using all available overs for only the third time this season.
Job half done.
The Nondescript top order were just that, and slumped to 35 for 6 within ten overs. With all hope of a win torn out the game, their gritty left-handed keeper, Smith, parked the bus and ground out a really very impressive (if painful to endure) 21 off 29 overs. The second part of the Nondescript innings was no advertisement for the Win-Lose-Bore format.
So, how did it go down? The skipper asked 3s debutant Dan Shaw and The Irf to open. When The Irf is asked, The Irf delivers: 5 for 19 off 12, and an unquestionable Man- of-the-Match all round performance, including a fourth over double-wicket maiden with a sharp catch by Bubba Khan at mid off to start the carnage. Dan’s figures of 2 for 62 off 13 belie two spells of smart – sometimes vicious – bowling, and the volume of runs against his name speaks more of the field set late in the game as everyone was pressed into close positions in search of those vital final wickets. A great find. When the opening pair rested, each bowling change brought reward; with Ayyaz and JP both taking wickets in their first overs, with stellar catches by Symington (diving forward at full stretch from point) and Spriggo (inside edge behind the sticks) respectively. Naz Khan’s return to the pack was marked by a typically miserly first spell of 8 off 5, and was ultimately rewarded when he came back on in the 34th over to finish the game off in the 40th with a delicate off-cutter to clip the much-prized tenth-wicket bail of the aforementioned obdurate left-handed keeper. It is worth noting that the visitors were still over 120 runs short of the Wolfpack’s score.
Next week: Deddington. Bring it on!