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Match Report - OUCCC vs EYNSHAM CC at Manny Rd, Sunday 12 August 2007


Where to start? A convoy of cars lounging on the verge outside the gate of the 
ground, almost the entire OUCC team present over half an hour early. [Convoy is 
a good description: we had no fewer than FIVE cars to transport ten people. 
Only Frank hadn?t appeared at that time, but he showed up on his bike still a 
fair half an hour before kick-off. Ed.] The opposition captain was there too, 
without a key but with merry stories about a fearsome minor-counties-standard 
Pakistani fast bowler who?d just arrived in the village. Did we mind ? he?d 
only bowl him a few overs at the beginning? 

Never to be rattled, we won the toss and batted. [Well, I wasn?t opening. Ed.] 
The thirty-yard run looked ominous. But Phil Dines dispatched his first ball 
from him to the boundary and started confidently with Barney Palfrey (who spent 
the day attempting to pass for his boyhood hero David Gower). [The resemblance 
IS striking. Ed.] Yorked by the afore-mentioned long-distance runner on 14, 
Phil departed to bring to the crease the ever-alert and busy Dipayan (okay, the 
relaxed and energy-conserving Dipayan). [No comment. Ed.]

Eynsham bowled fairly well throughout on a hard placid pitch (which had been 
under four foot of water just over a fortnight ago). When Barney departed for 
33, the score was 89, still going at [exactly] 5 an over. After this, Sri 
Vasudevan was out without scoring, and Smithy started scratchily. But the 
subsequent flowering of the OUCC middle order seemed to take even some of its 
participants by surprise. Smithy hit 5 fours in a 25 that suddenly gathered 
momentum, before he was bowled getting perhaps [certainly] a little too carried 
away. After Frankie?s swift departure, it was the turn of Ali Fraser to slap 
some glorious off-drives off the returning once-feared Eynsham opener. 
Meanwhile, at the other end, Dipayan?s flowing off-drives and shot-selection 
[i.e. hitting the ball at their eleven-year old] built a top-scoring 77, 
including 14 fours. On a few occasions [two] he even ran a two, the first of 
these eliciting such a chorus of applause [and howls of laughter] that those of 
us at the clubhouse forgot to register [and applaud] his fifty. Anchored by 
Elton busily pushing [scraping] singles, Fraser?s eventual 44 off less than 30 
balls propelled OUCC towards a worthy total of 224-9 from their 40 overs.

[As is customary with away matches at village grounds, tea was a splendid 
affair, so much so that the captain was a little worried about the physical 
conditioning of some of his ?pace? bowlers. Ed.]

In reply, Eynsham began slowly, though without losing many wickets ? pinned 
back by good stuff from Martin (4-13-0) and Nitin (7-19-1). OUCC bowled 
decently and fielded excellently. Dipayan (8-29-2) and Tom (3-16-2) also turned 
the screw. Elton (sporting the baggy green) schemed field-placements like a 
Ricky Ponting and handed round opportunities to bowl like a kindly old man with 
a bag of sweeties. [Since everyone apart from the openers were bowling 
liquorice. Ed.] Apart from Phil?s tidy keeping, it was only Sri who didn?t get 
to turn his arm ? though he took two quality and important catches at mid-on. 
At 144-5 off 31 overs, Eynsham looked briefly like they might have a chance. 
But an inspired second spell from Martin (4-16-2) [inspirationally held back by 
Ricky], and five overs of quality heft [?] from Frankie (5-24-2), saw OUCC 
comfortably restricting Enynsham to 189-9. 

A special and heart-felt thanks must also go to Tom Wrobel [a Manny Road first ?
 a 12th man for an away match. Ed.] ? for job-share umpiring and scoring for us.