We arrived late as usual, but in style, as Quentin decided to splash out and spend all the subs for the year on hiring a minibus instead of buying much needed new bats. We were also down to nine men after a couple of no shows but spirits were lifted with the discovery that not a single one of us had Matt's number in our mobile phones. Things got even better when we saw the relationship between the wicket and the boundary line. Moreton has managed to outdo even their neighbours Brightwell in offering the tantalizing prospect of breaking clubhouse windows or losing balls in fields. The challenge was definitely going to lie in not hitting the ball over the roof. Deb, never a man to shy away from a bet, offered another challenge with a pint too anyone who could run two on the clubhouse side of the field.
Well, Quentin finally managed to win a toss and quite rightly chose to bat. I was within earshot of the great moment so here is an accurate transcript of the event:
oppos captain: "Okay then Quentin, you call"
Sound of flipping coin going thwack thwack in air and hitting ground.
oppos captain: " No, you have to call before you look at it"
Quentin " ahh right"
Sound of flipping coin going thwack thwack in air
Sound of coin hitting ground.
oppos captain "Its heads"
Quentin: "Okay, we'll bat"
oppos captain " Ahhhh, but I won the toss"
Quentin: "Ohhh! But you called tails. I thought you said it was heads"
oppos captain "Errrrr....... it is heads........"
Quentin: "Don't worry its an easy mistake to make. Good luck mate"
Captains shake hands and walk off.
Quentin " We're batting Sam. I'm going to make a fifty today without running more than a single."
Now the thing is this is REALLY what happened! Ask Q if you don't believe me.
Almost true to his words Q made 45 and Graham 53 as the opening partnership put on 93 runs in 14 overs. An unusual top order collapse then saw us lose Graham, Tom, Watto and Jason for the addition of only 32 runs. Deb contributed a dashing 21 but then he and Q both departed with the score at 149 to leave us 6 wickets down and unusually for OUCCC in a little trouble. Tim and I then put on a conservative but unbeaten lower order partnership of 73 off nine overs too see us through to what seemed an adequate but disappointing 222 off 35 overs. Meanwhile Matt, having completed his quest to visit all the Moreton's in Oxfordshire (4 - apparently) and destroy the one ring, arrived to take his rightful place at number 10, but was not needed to bat.
Some excellent sandwiches and cakes saw Watto steaming into bowl with the sort of control and pace we haven't seen for a while and deserved three wickets, but unfortunately only got one. While we were 'fielding' in the slips Q confided to me that he loves to watch Matt bowling, which probably explains the nine over opening spell which saw 2/39. For the second week in a row I bowled complete rubbish but thankfully Julian came of age as a bowler to take an absolutely fantastic 5/29 off eight overs with a mixture of skidders, spinners, straight ones and swing. Special mention must also go to the 'freak' catch taken by Graham on the boundary after running from his starting spot behind the stumps. Victory was achieved when the opposition was dismissed for 123 in the 31st over.
Watto insisted on keeping a near side/ far side boundary count during our innings. For the record there were 25 near side boundaries and 10 far side ones. Pints went to Tim and Quentin for running twos.