Sunday 15 June 2008
Edited from the original report by John Simpson
We approached the game against Wytham with some trepidation, as last year we’d beaten them convincingly by ten wickets (it was the game in which Andy Small scored over 200 for us). There was little doubt they’d turn up with a super-strong side to pay us a lesson. And sure enough I didn’t recognize many of their players, who were warming up in the nets as we arrived, and generally looking threatening.
With Alan Clark unavailable this week, we were captained by Neil Robinson. The weather was sunny, and (this week without the promise of a million-dollar bonus per player) we got ourselves ready for the game.
Neil lost the toss, and Wytham decided to bat. Ominous, we thought – they must have a very strong, confident, and largely helmeted batting line-up. Neil’s first trick was to surprise them with a mixed fast/slow attack, so he alerted Guy and me that we were opening the bowling in order to restrict the run rate (?).
But the trick seemed to work. In no time Guy had dismissed one of their openers, to a chance behind to Simon Switala (5-1) and an over or so later I trapped No 3 lbw. Guy continued to bowl in extremely miserly fashion (as far as runs were concerned), and finished his first five overs conceding only two runs. Overall, with ten overs down Wytham stood at 22-2, and we wondered if they’d finished their innings with under 100 runs.
That’s always a dangerous thought, but Neil had cleverly held back Mike Jackson to first change, and when he took over from Guy he continued in miserly strain, conceding only nine runs and picking up two wickets.
Tea was provided by the Cowdrey family, and it set us up for the task ahead. We opened with me and Simon Switala. Wytham’s opening bowlers are always tight, and this was no exception. Nevertheless, the score moved on satisfactorily, and with ten overs gone we stood at 31-0. But soon after I cut the wrong ball to gully and retuned to the pavilion (35-1, and over a third of the way to a winning total). Next up with Alan Banyard. I’m afraid I missed his dismissal next ball, as I was removing my pads, but sad to relate we were then 35-2.
But that was our low point. Simon Switala is having a golden June, and he and Peter Cowdrey settled down to knock of the remaining runs with assurance and conviction. The score reached 63 at the twenty-over mark, and gradually rose to 88 at thirty overs. With the Wytham attack remaining tight, runs were hard to come by, but we were ahead of the rate throughout, and victory looked likely. A couple of firm fours from Simon and some excellent play around the wicket from Peter saw the hundred mark passed and we recorded our second win in a row in June. We retired to the Cricketers in Littleworth with the opposition to celebrate our success over beer, chips, and rolls.
Wytham 100 (36.2 overs)
Guy Burford 6.2 3 2 15
John Simpson 8 1 25 1
Mike Jackson 8 3 9 2
Graham Hawkins 6 1 21 0
Neil Robinson 4 1 16 3
Alan Banyard 4 0 18 2
Catches: Simon Robinson, Simon Switala (2), Mark Deacon
Stumpings: Simon Switala (2)
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-12, 3-54, 4-54, 5-73, 6-73, 7-78, 8-94, 9-95, 10-100
Run rate: 10 overs – 22; 20 – 54, 30 – 64
Holton 102-2 (32.1 overs)
John Simpson caught 13
Simon Switala not out 46
Alan Banyard bowled 0
Peter Cowdrey not out 12
Did not bat: Simon Robinson, Guy Burford, Mark Deacon, Graham Hawkins, Mark Williams, Neil Robinson, Mike Jackson
Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-35
Run rate: 10 – 31, 20 – 63, 30 – 88