2's make valiant effort, but Didcot just too strong
Didcot skipper and spinner Morrison takes 7
A team of teens, thirties and fifties, and nothing in between, assembled at the rather damp Didcot Cricket Club, overlooked by the chilling scene of the collapsed Didcot Power Station, where three poor souls are still to be recovered. A minute's silence was dutibly held ahead of the game.
Skipper Paul Hemming, leading the side with Ian Lewis in the first team, won the toss, and elected to bat with blue skies and a flat looking track beckoning. With the boundaries reduced because of their drenched nature, it didn't look to be a day for the bowlers.
Shipton begun strongly with 13 off the first over, Russell Hayes and Jerry Senior both stroking full balls through the covers and an overthrow going for 4 to a quick-run single by Hayes adding to Keat's obvious frustrations. The two Oxfordshire Over 50's veterans put on a solid 24 for the first wicket, with Hayes falling for 14. Yours truly wandered to the crease and played a part in Shipton's highest partnership of 52 for the second wicket, a dashing uppercut/flailing top-edge* (delete as appropriate) over slips and the short boundary for 6 off Keats the highlight. MIssing a straight one from Elliot Matthews and falling for 17 with the score on 76, Didcot Skipper Jordan Matthews came to the fore, bamboozling the middle order, prising Jerry Senior from the crease for a valiant 43 along the way. All batsman showed flash of promise and ability, Ben Norgrove was unlucky to somehow ricochet the ball onto his stumps after keeping out a yorker, Davies was unlucky to fall to a well-hit caught & bowled chance, and Peter Dickinson not quite able to replicate his massive six over the fence to mid-wicket and being caught.
Still, when Jon Hartley joined Skipper Paul Hemming at the crease at 124-6 with plenty of overs to go, there was hope of a score of around 180, which would have been very competitive in the conditions. Alas, after a composed start the Skipper was plucked at Gully for 13 and Big Jon was left with the tail. Emily Day battled hard and saw off 21 deliveries, before Joe Cockroft couldn't quite clear mid-wicket and Rob Panting missed a straight one, leaving Hartley high and dry, 14 not out from 21 balls and wondering what might have been.
Still, our 144 runs were on the board, and Panting had bowled very well in the previous week, and Cockroft's added pace and venom were a potent threat. The two opening bowlers started well with a maiden apiece before a snorter from Cockroft found Karl Johnston's edge and was collected with ease by Emily Day behind the stumps, with the score still on 0. Unfortunately this wicket seemed to wake up the other opener, Simon Pritchard, who now attacked the bowlers with seemingly no plan or guile, and another would have been out 2 or 3 times. His 35 came at a lick before Panting ended the innings, the Didcot number 3 only able to score 6 runs in the meantime, but their partnership of 53 took the shine off a wonderful start. Still, at 53-2 we still had hope if we could find 2 or 3 more quick wickets.
With Cockroft losing his line a little, costing a few wides, the Skipper brought Jon Hartley on to bowl, but despite a couple of play-and-misses, and a difficult chance swerving away from Cockroft at deep mid-off, was unable to find a breakthrough. Panting perhaps bowled an over too many, 10 coming from his last over, turning good figures of 7-1-32-1 into 8-1-42-1. Hemming brought himself on and a tight spell brough the wicket of Elliot Matthews (26), who had quietly accumulated a 48 run partnership with Thame's top scorer from the previous week, Ian Demain. With the score on 101-3, the finish line in sight and the solid Thamindu Wedatilake the other end, Demain started to play with a little more freedom and despite the best efforts of Dickinson, Norgrove and Davies, knocked off the remain runs without too much further alarm.
A valiant display from the team, outclassed by a good, young, hungry outfit, but plenty of spirit shown and promise for the rest of the season!
Full scorecard here: http://www.cherwellcricketleague.com/scorecard.php?Match_ID=4189