Courtesy of Malcolm West
For those in a hurry scroll down to the in brief version in bold.
In fuller form: IZ won the toss and elected to bat then raced to 60-0 in the first third of their innings and it looked like we might be looking down the barrel, in fact both barrels again as Walker and Talbot G were tortured with the new ball. Canham started to slow up the rate and a dose of Stoddart (as is usually the case) settled the nerves with a Wicket almost immediately. After some typical Blenheim fielding gave the IZ opener and top scorer a life off Canham in the deep amends were made with a great run out by Walker and the tables began to turn. Wickets fell steadily and runs dried up as the bowlers now including Gokani were skilfully rotated. Fielding was unusually sharp with confident catches taken the deep by Walker and Henman and a sharp catch on the drive by West. IZ finished their 35 overs with 142-8 (Walker 1 – 37, Talbot 1-23, Canham 1-23, Stoddart 2-9, Gokani 2-44)
An excellent tea prepared by Talbot G with additional Victoria Sponges provided by the ladies of Woodstock was enjoyed by all. The general consensus being that the total should be possible to get with the batting line up we had available.
In reply an electric start from Keys supported by Cox M saw us race to 45 in the first 8 overs. As Keys fell the rest of the upper and middle order came and went in regular order, all contributing a few but the rate slowed except for a brief injection of fireworks by Henman. By the 25th over we had crept to 90 leaving 50 runs to get in the last ten with only 4 wickets down and still looking likely to do it. With five overs to go 25 were required with five down and still it looked likely with Cox M still at the crease anchoring the innings having been joined by Stoddart. Then the unthinkable happened and a diving one handed catch at midwicket snaffled Cox for 40. An unseasonal flurry of wickets fell while Stoddart found the boundaries at the other end and as we started the 35th over 7 were required for the win Gokani facing with Stoddart at the other end, for IZ the bowling was slow and expensive from the luckiest/richest and portliest member of their team. Let me go into ball by ball mode.
Ball 1 – Gokani, LBW, hearts sink and we look around to see who is due in next…
Ball2 – cometh the moment, cometh the Stan (who was still putting has pads on during the preceding delivery). Swing Miss. Groans from the anxious benches.
Ball 3 – Swing…Hit the Stan shot of the century a lofted cover drive over the close ring field for a single. As the cheers ring in Stan’s ears, he considers coming back for a second but is strongly discouraged from doing so.
Ball 4 – Stoddart crashing drive back over the bowlers head is almost a six one bounce just inside the rope, 4. Leaving us 1 behind with 2 balls left.
Ball 5 – Stoddard squeezes it through the ring and takes a single. Scores tied.
Ball 6 – This is the moment. Stan swings… Stan misses. Scores tied.