OUCCC vs Freshfields CC - Sunday, May 7, 2006

Summary: OUCCC (232/8, 40.0 overs) beat Freshfields CC (206 all out, 37.2 overs) by 26 runs. The full scorecard is here.

The report:

Our innings: We lost the toss, and were sent in, and Darren and Rob got us off to a lovely start, putting on 60 and playing out the openers with aplomb. Rob's 17 was a stoic and solid knock, and Darren batted beautifully before drowning in honey four runs short of his 50. Tom Scriba then batted superbly, and his 91 from 72 balls (falling with only seven balls remaining) was pretty much the perfect 40-over knock. The middle order didn't start out very well - I got a lifter which I gloved behind, and Tony was strangled out next over, both of us for a duck - but Diganta (28 from 28 balls), Frank (one lovely 6), Martin, and Henry hit good quick runs to support Tom, and the total kept mounting. 232 was a touch above par, but we still had to bowl well.

The tea: Paul Collingwood knows what makes a ground: "Lord's is a massive place, it's the home of cricket...They always have great lunches there, the food is fantastic". But do our overlords at the club listen? No. 70 quid of the opposition's money bought us a few nice sandwiches (but not enough of them), two trays of chips and a nice-ish fruit cake. Compared to the wonders of the St John's tea only a few weeks ago, achieved on a fraction of that cost, I don't think we're getting value for money. An interesting, but ultimately unsatisfactory, 6/10.

Their innings: They got off to a fine start, hitting the ball to all corners with aplomb. Martin and Rory bowled well, but bad balls were mercilessly punished. However, they kept losing wickets, and when the rain came, things were pretty much evenly poised. The rain should have changed everything. The ball became cold, soaking wet, and very slippery. It wasn't a day for our wrist spinners, and Rob Mitchell, so devastating last week, was forced to resort to medium pace. There was no turn or swing for our bowlers, and fielding became difficult, which should have given Freshfields the advantage, even though the outfield was slower. Oddly enough, however, the whole game turned on two great pieces of fielding: Tom Scriba managed to cling on to a touch catch at point to dismiss a hard-hitting number 6, and Rory pulled off a direct hit to dismiss their dangerous number 5. After that, although they were always near the run-rate, Freshfields kept losing wickets at the wrong times, and Frank and Tony cleaned up the tail for a twenty-odd run win.