“It’s hot! Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it.” Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
The longest-standing fixture in the Blenheim Park calendar is the visit of Islip every July. Younger and more energetic this year than previously, they won the toss and opted for first dig on a day that hit ninety degrees in the shade. Goodfellow and Crawford opened up, and when the former departed to a questionable LBW decision, Black entered to play the dominant knock for his side. But Islip found partnerships hard to amass, and were bowled out for 149 in the 34th of their 40 overs. Two wickets each for Deller, Kelley, Jake and Finn Spearman (whose two came in consecutive balls). Stan and Papa
Smurf Spearman nabbed one apiece.
Islip is best known as the birthplace of Edward the Confessor, who ruled England from 1042 to 1066, having succeeded Cnut the Great, a moniker suspiciously close to the nickname of a BPCC regular.
Keyes and Boardman are now the regular opening partnership, but as yet have failed to both catch fire in the same game. This time it was the newly-auburn Keyes that went early, promptly despatched LBW by juvenile umpire Jake Spearman. The departing batsman was overheard muttering that umpiring should be left Just for Men. Some members of the opposition later confessed (appropriately enough) that the ball would have missed leg stump, which unsurprisingly did little to mollify the great cnut.
Boardman took a while to find fluency, before unfurling a trio of boundaries in one over. Parker also struggled for timing, until he hoisted one to mid-off. At 42-2 in the 15th over, with the Captain striding to the wicket, the match was in the balance. But not for long.
Some may remember the fresh-faced, short-haired, clean-shaven youngish buck whose clean hitting (mostly towards mid-on) showed the pedigree of a man whose close relative may or may not have played first-class cricket in the colonies. It had been a long while since we’d seen West Biffing (not a village in Wiltshire) of such sustained brutality. All it needed were temperatures reminiscent of his Yorkshire childhood for those heady days to return. Eleven boundaries, two of them maxima, (and, wonder of all wonders, a three!) in his 66*, in a partnership of 92 that took the visitors’ chances from reasonable to (in tribute to Islip resident Kenneth Cope’s most famous character) deceased. The target was reached with five overs to spare, for the loss of only four wickets.
Thanks again to Megan for another great tea, and to Stan for securing the very welcome use of a gazebo, without which this report might have required dictating from a hospital bed.
Islip 149 (Black 62) BPCC 150-4 (West 66*)
BPCC won by six wickets