There were new opponents for Blenheim Park CC yesterday, but Wootton didn’t have far to come to make their debut on the South Lawn.
Malcolm won the toss, sensibly opted to bat, and Stoddart and (colonial debutant) Vasu Shah took the attack to the Wootton bowlers from the off, punishing anything wayward. Stoddart hit nine fours and two sixes while bludgeoning 61 in an opening stand of 113, and Shah contributed 63 sweetly-timed runs before an impatient Umpire Spearman sent him on his way marginally before the ball hit his pad, and well before anyone appealed.
But it wouldn’t be a Blenheim innings without a middle-order collapse, and a promising 113-0 became an unsatisfactory 178-7, until Cox jr (34*) and West jr showed their elders, betters and (most importantly) fathers exactly how to bat, guiding the home team to 214-7 off their allotted overs.
Wootton’s reply could hardly have started any worse, as Walker sent back nos 2, 3 & 4, all for ducks, with the team score still in single figures, but the portly opener and the porkpie-hatted number five showed some life and flair with a fifty partnership. Then gently they subsided; Will trapped porkpie with a floaty full-toss, Nigel took a stunning overhead catch, and Raj induced somebody to demolish his own stumps, as BPCC eased to a comfortable 101 run win.
Oh yeah, and Phil took a hat-trick.