It was always going to be tricky travelling out to Sunningwell with just two cars, but it proved immeasurably more to difficult to do so with only one, thanks to one of our number (no names mentioned, but Mr Chalk should be hanging his head in shame ....) arriving a full hour late. Taxi got us there in the end, driven by someone who looked suspiciously like Barry Richards.
Sunningwell clearly aren't the strongest village team around. But they tried hard, bowled quite well, and were magnanimous in being drubbed by 159 runs. And most importantly, the produced a very fine tea, which satisfied even Raj's exacting standards.
We lost the toss and batted first, which is exactly what we would have done had we won the toss. A solid opening partnership brought up the 50 in good time. They very unfairly opened the bowling with a paceman and a spinner; and the latter managed to induce Rhodri to waggle his bat unconvincingly and thus lose his wicket. He was replaced by Sunil, who didn't waste any time in hitting the ball hard and picked off a good many boundaries - and was robbed of a whole lot more by their painfully slow and wet outfield. After Sunil and I had gone out, Chalky and Tom set about clubbing the ball to all parts of the field. Chalky's heavy bat was, however, unsuitable for blocking, and after a rapid 19 and some huge sixes, he was replaced by Rich Clark, who hung around with Tom to bring us to up 233 by tea time. Some fiery hitting from both.
As the opposition had insisted on playing a girly timed match, we declared at that point. They also served a huge tea, which should probably count as an unfair tactic ...
It was clear from the outset that Sunningwell weren't interested in scoring any runs, let alone actually try to overhaul our impressive total, so some aggressive fielding was called for. Thus at times, two slips, a leg slip, silly mid on and offs, and everyone else generally within touching distance of the batter. This generally worked and despite a slow and low pitch, we picked off wickets at regular intervals. Raj appealed for everything, including deliveries he didn't actually see, and eventually induced on of their umpires to lift his finger for an LBW shout where the ball would have been lucky to hit leg slip, let alone any of the stumps. But he demonstrated his new streamlined and rather more mobile form by taking a stinging catch in the covers. Rhodri distinguished himself by bowling beamers at their 5 year-old batsman. Chris, standing in for Tony O' Dea did a stirling job behind the stumps, and Chalky, in his role as elder statesman, had the unenviable task of keeping Raj mobile, which he did by forcing him to run between overs. Everyone bowled well, and Rich Clark cunningly bowled ther last batsman, the 5 year old who had just suffered a few overs of Lewis beamers, and thus ended with the unbeatable figures of 1 for 0 off 3 balls.
All told, a great performance. Solid batting throughout, good acceleration of runs in our innings, tight bowling from everyone and sharp fielding. We may have a return fixture vs Sunningwell at home in June.