OUCCC vs Oxenford

at New College, August 10th 2003


The day began with thunder, showers and the threat of a washout, but to the surprise of many, our arrival at the New College ground was greeted with blazing sunshine. Quentin promptly lost the toss (again!), and somehow managed (again!!) to have the opposition send us in on a belter. Watto, in his last match of the season, and Quentin saw us off to a steady start, adding 74 for the first wicket at just under 6 an over. Watto then unveiled his ?mystery? sweep shot and was fired out plumb LBW for 37 by Isaac ?The Smiling Assassin? Westwood. Enter Chalky who, having shown a liking for the quick single in a partnership with yours truly a few weeks ago, proceeded to avoid running as much as possible on this occasion by scoring 36 out of his 48 runs in boundaries. Once again he showed an uncanny ability to play absolutely any ball square on the off side, whether it be a straight one on middle or a full toss down leg. It?s really only a matter of time before we see ?Fast Off Theory? introduced to curb this square-cutting run machine. I fully expect to see 2 extra covers, 3 points, 3 gullies and a slip set for him before the end of the season. Tragically, he fell to a straight one just 2 shy of his 50, which brought Deb to the crease. Here was a man hungry for runs, and for recognition of his status as a batsman of worth. Stung by criticism of his running between wickets after last week?s run-out debacle, he was seen diligently backing up at the non-striker?s end today. OK, maybe that?s an exaggeration ? at least he wasn?t leaning on his bat soaking up rays while his partner was calling him through. After stroking an elegant 13, he hit a full blooded pull shot to mid wicket and was unlucky to be caught at the third attempt. Entering at 3/197 with 8 overs to go, I thought I might have had a bit of license, and managed a pretty scratchy 42*, all of which was scored towards cow corner bar a couple of sweeps which I thought Watto could benefit from watching. While the rest of us mugs were hoicking away at the other end, there was Quentin, our fearless leader, quietly accumulating his runs. He managed to get to 50 at a leisurely pace, then accelerated remarkably in the last 10 overs to chalk up his second century of the season, ending on 107*. After 40 overs, a fairly formidable total of 3(dec)-271 was on the board. After a splendid tea in the pavilion, we took the field with Mike and Mandur sharing the new ball. Mike bowled tidily and without luck, and Mandur, unimpressed with the offerings of seam and bounce in the hard surface, eschewed its use and decided to go the shortest possible route to the batsmen?s heads by bowling a succession of bean balls. This resulted in our first ?red card? of the season. I think the rest of the lads could look to his example of bare-faced aggression in future games. Indeed, is there a role for the ?hit man? in parks cricket? Bumby certainly took it on board, when, after picking up his usual wicket-with-the-first-ball-pie, he too was warned for bowling a doodlebug. To his credit, though, Chris largely shelved the pies, and bowled well, adding another couple to his bag, and finishing with 3/14 off 6. This proved to be an excellent comeback, considering that at one point he was offered a helmet after being blasted back over his head by a batsman facing his first ball. Matt Benson, that epitome of fitness and lifestyle choice to which we all aspire, revealed yet another facet to his remarkable cricketing armamentarium, coming on as a replacement for the sin-binned Mandur, and bowling 7 tidy overs of off breaks for 1/19. Watto, having emotionally blackmailed Quentin into giving him a bowl in his last match of the season, also bowled with good aggression and control, taking 2/4. Tom and Isaac bowled well in the middle overs, although Isaac now has the unique distinction of being the only bowler in the club who has actually managed to overtake one of his own deliveries prior to its reaching the batsman. Eventually, Oxenford succumbed for 118, leaving us with a handsome win by 153 runs. Fines for the day are as follows: Dropped catches: Westwood 1 50p Williams 1 50p Price 1 50p Deb 1 50p Fat bastard fine for slow retrieval of boundary hit: Bumby ? 50p Ducking the ball in the field: Benson ? 50p Headhunting: Mandur ? 50p Overtaking his own delivery: Westwood ? 50p It has been decided that fines will be added up at the end of the season and paid on the night of the team dinner to go towards drinks and loose women. (The loose women weren?t my idea, honey. It was Deb. Honest.) Congratulations on a brief but excellent and most enjoyable season to Watto - have a great trip and we'll see you when you return. Mandur - don't listen to any of 'em mate: go the nut every time. If you cut off the head the body will die.

Jason Wenderoth

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