Bladon vs Holton & Wheatley
Sunday 15 May 2011
Original Report by Hugh Kitchin
Holton Make it two in two
Match report coming soon!
Some days before this fixture, your correspondent, consulted his email with trepidation. The first two games had brought resounding defeats. Now, skip was bringing news of the third. “Squashed ‘em like bugs,” he reported! Slight hyperbole for a four wicket win maybe, but surely the bandwagon was now unstoppable.
So on yet another chilly, windy afternoon, said bandwagon rolled into Woodstock. Guy was absent, as was v-c Graham. So John rallied the troops as stand-in for the stand-in (if it’s any consolation John, that’s how Strauss started). Meanwhile, star tearaway Arpit was playing his last game before returning to India. Surely we weren’t going to let him down.
Bladon batted first and looked steady early on. But then came a clutch moment. Binoy at extra cover couldn’t hold a hard chance above his head, but grabbed the rebound as it fell. And then Mahesh, coming on as first change, seized the moment and ripped out three more of the top order, two to caught behinds and one a first-ball lbw, the recipient of this decision leaving in a barely concealed fury. Why did Mahesh run in so hard? Probably because he was shivering in the field in just a tee-shirt. We can lend you a jumper Mahesh!
After that wickets fell steadily (although we felt the umps missed a couple of fine nicks) and Bladon failed to establish any lasting partnerships before being bowled out. Mahesh wound up with a sparkling 4/12, Phil Wood grabbed 3 late ones for 23 and Arpit a highly respectable swansong with 2/12. Just 129 then for us to chase in a 35 over game.
John (the club’s record run scorer no less) now showed undying faith in his batsmen, relegating himself to number 9! Or did he think he was saving himself for the key moments, as we slumped to 6 for 2 in the early overs? But now Binoy strode to join Hugh (yes, that’s me) and a partnership of contrasts developed. I played the “John Simpson role” (not my words, and definitely taken as a compliment!) and tried to calm Binoy down after a bowler riled him with a stare. Binoy, meanwhile, sensibly ignored me and set about smashing the bowling to kingdom come. The drinks break broke his flow and he was out straight afterwards for 38, but by then we were cruising with 73 on the board. After a silly run out (sorry Mark, my fault), Arpit with 31 not out and Mahesh saw us home, but not before the silly season set in. Did Arpit glove one? Whether he did or not, the bowler didn’t see the funny side. The match chuntered to a close with Arpit shaping for a switch-hit and the aforementioned narked bowler chucking the ball to square leg for the winning wide.
However, despite this nonsense, it was a good game, and Bladon’s fixture manager apologising for the shenanigans, confirmed they had enjoyed it too.