Ah well, we ain't going up, and we ain't going down, but with a strong side we were hoping for much more against second-to-bottom side Old Owens.
A bone dry pitch looked like it would rag square later on with our array of spinners, so Neil, on changing his 'tails' routine won the toss and chose to bat. 'X', aka Eklavya, played with freedom and dominated the early scoring. We went to drinks at 75-2 with X already past 50, Ahsan and Bobbie having fallen to wily senior left-armer Rick(y) Martin, but drinks accounted for the half-centurion very soon after.
Neil was in his 'they shall not pass' mode and accumulating very reponsibly , though Charlie, Arjun (after a big six straight down the ground), and Sathees did not contribute meaningfully. Neil and Krunal made the other major scores, and a minor lower-middle order rally (Ket 14) took us up to 159. Neil finished on 42 and Kru 31, but only 3 batsmen can really be satisfied with their efforts.
Steve took the new ball and was treading a bit gingerly after his injuries, but on locating the correct length soon had a trademark early wicket, skipper Battersby pinned in front for 1.The no.3 bat was essaying some outrageous shots by this stage, many not connecting, and after Steve and Sathees' new ball burst OOs were well behind the asking rate.
Then the rain came and off we trooped. Losing 6 overs the target was reduced pro-rata to 138 from 39 overs, and of course we had a soaking wet ball to bowl with. However X with a smart C&B removed the danger man, and Nikeal began to make inroads with his big turning left-arm spin. 5 down, 6 down, we looked to be right amongst them, but some sensible hitting picked off the bad balls, and we must be honest and say some of our fielding was not up to scratch. Nikeal's 3-24 was a decent effort, Charlie bowled nicely and had some strong LB shouts turned down, but in truth our score was sub-par, and the target, reduced as it was by the overs reduction, was always looking attainable. While Kru mixed it up by bowling some sharp seam-up, showing what might have been, so it proved.