They scored 278. We were all out for 141 in 34 overs. Stan gave a terrible speech, nothing more to say except let’s never play a touring side again…
They scored 278. We were all out for 141 in 34 overs. Stan gave a terrible speech, nothing more to say except let’s never play a touring side again…
BPCC batted first and off to a good start with Bill (53) and Lee (28) leading the way on a windy, grey and cold evening. Other innings of note were a cameo from ex-skip Canham (9NO) and big hitting from current skip West (17NO). Innings closed on 139-7 with BPCC looking for a first win in recent memory.
Middleton Stoney stuttered out of the gate with an early loss but then started peppering the boundary – and some cold hands! First change strangled the oppo with Canham (0-13 from 4overs), Bethell (4-18) and yours truly (4-13) including a stumping exekuted by the kool and kalm Kerr. MS closed on 93 All Out.
Match Report from Sunday 16th June:
Rain, rain go away
After much work to ensure a playable pitch, the match started with us losing the toss and being put into bat. A fine opening stand enabled the score to move rapidly to 136 before the first wicket fell in the 24th over. A vintage batting performance ended with an unassailable score, a brilliant all-round performance and a deserved win! Well done team! Upwards and onwards.
Oh! … and the other match report follows (courtesy of Malc):
Blenheim shoots self in foot
After much hard work and anxious cover hovering we got a game on. The ten men of Blenheim against the 11men of Felix. Felix won toss and elected to Bat and we were in good control from the outset with Jake and Nigel difficult to play. Change pair of Tom Flemming and JVF also performing well and an enjoyable couple of overs of Finn bowling well against his dad. Then the Felix batting turned up and they motored from about 70-6 to 147 all out. Cox picking up a couple at the end. (Jake 2, Nigel 1, Tom 2, JVF 1, Finn 2, Cox 2). Keeper wars escalated another level with Stan conceding no byes and taking 2 good catches. Champagne moment Phil Spearman Ct Angol Bowled F Spearman/JVF departed chuntering about bloody wicket keepers who can suddenly catch.
An excellent tea was widely enjoyed and then the Blenheim chase began. Phil Boardman was confident from the off and had 30 on the board by the ninth over when Martin remembered he was also supposed to add to the score as well and started to pick off the weaker 2nd string bowling. At half way drinks BPCC were 73 for 0. First wicket fell at about 85 (Martin 30) and Phil ploughed on joined by Jake who hit a flashing 25 in short order and ran hard (and Phil into the ground). Then requiring about 25 from the last 12 overs with 8 wickets in hand the Blenheim collapse started. My therapist advises me not to try to recall it but Phil was last man out trying to steal a single off the last ball of the penultimate over to protect the drafted in spectator batting at no 11. Phil made an excellent 70 (and hobbled off the pitch as if he was indeed 70). We managed to give 4 LBWs (at least one of which had a bat involved), had a player bowled of the 7th ball of the over, had a catch given with no bat involved and didn’t have a full 11 to bat.
A match we should have Won, could have drawn and lost by 6 runs. At 1pm the BBC rain predictor said 97% chance of rain, we laughed when no rain came. At 7pm the Match predictor said 97% probability of BPCC win, 30 mins later we were not laughing.
PS: I wonder whether we can attract sponsorship from Kumon, SpecSavers, Boots Audiology etc?
All said and done: W4, L2, D1
Match report (June 2019): BPCC 152 for 9 at home to Swinbrook 82 All Out (28.3 overs)
Another BPCC win (W6, D1 and L1) in a rare match where everyone contributed – bravo! At 40-4 things looked decidedly dodgy but George (44) and JVF (33) built on the foundation, weathered the … well, weather and set up a challenging total.
In reply, Swinbrook were restricted by some sharp bowling with wickets split between Amir Shazad (1), Nigel (2), Raj (3) and Stan with 2 in 2 balls …. and then comes the hat-trick ball … bowled on the stumps, batsman takes a wild swing … edges it onto the leg-side … wicket-keeper Lee dives for an impossible catch … and it was an impossible catch! BPCC complete a good all-round display with sharp fielding – 6 caught and 2 run-outs! BPCC dominance saw only one opposition batsman getting into double figures.
Winning the Toss BPCC decided to have a bat as the forecast looked like it might deteriorate later in the day. Almost immediately normal service was resumed as Keys laid into the opening bowling and West was out to yet another worldie catch (this time keeper full length to leg taking it in the webbing). Joined by Cox Senior Keys continued his onslaught with Cox chipping in as well. By 20 over drinks we were 100-1 and eying a 200 score and when Keys was finally bowled in the 23rd over (72) and we were on 120 and flying. But then the runs dried up with Cox Senior becalmed by some line and length consistency and although partners Boardman and Cox Jn chipped in with some positive stokeplay we glacially progressed to a respectable if not convincing 177. (Cox Senior eventually bowled for 53).
Another wonderful tea was taken in the shelter of the tree as some light drizzle fell and the BPCC bowlers licked their lips.
Ringing the changes we tried yet another new opening partner and this one will be a keeper. Walker was tidy although unlucky in his opening spell and Spearman Jr was excellent and deserved the wicket of the opener (who had won them the game last year) in his first over. The librarians then dug in and by the time of a double change in bowling after 12 overs were just 38-1. More tight work from change bowlers Gokani and Spearman Senior including a good LBW for Gokani and at drinks The Librarians were way behind the rate at 56-2 although their persistent opener was looking like he was getting ready to finally cut loose. With the relentless Spearman Senior joined by LVP Angol (who’s recent ennoblement seems to have made a much more controlled bowler) things began to happen quickly… After an early chance (well certainty really) was dropped, Angol got one caught and 2 LBW and with the healing power of Rhino horn, Spearman Senior, 2 bowled and one caught bowled . The returning Walker also bagged himself a lupus. So with light fading and Spearman Jr and Angol unable to remove the fighting no 11 and the belligerent opener who was seemingly happy to play for red ink, West turned to his mystery spin to remove no 11 at the first opportunity (Caught Cox Senior). All out for 116 (38.5 overs).
On a near perfect May Sunday we started our home season on the South lawn the air thick with heavy expectation, midges and Spitfires. After a hard week of prep without the roller thanks to Raj, Nigel, Phil Boardman, Andrew and Stan the ground and pavilion was looking excellent and our relaid wicket about as good as it could for the first game.
As the striped army of IZ advanced across the Haha and onto the south lawn we were surprised to note that we were all at the pavilion at least 15 ins before start time, hopefully a habit to be continued. As planned we lost the toss and IZ decided to bat in this timed game. So yet a new opening partnership of Walker and Dewar (Mitch ) welcomed our guests with early session variable bounce and immediately we felt we might have something to play for. So when they quickly made their way to 33 we were getting concerned but then Old faithful Walker broke through clean bowling the opener. Then to our utter delight Mitch produced a fantastic three wicket maiden (..WW.W) inducing jag back down the slope, full on front foot LBW and another bowled and suddenly we were sniffing victory already. But with 15 overs of openers past we were needing a change. Jake bowled very tightly and Nick had the remaining opened dropped on the boundary at deep square leg but we made no further breakthroughs as the total began to build. The opener piling on the runs comfortably passed 50. Changing to Gokani and Stoddart started to bring wickets at the other end but with the opener again dropped in the deep it looked like he was inevitably set for a century…but no. Inexplicably with him on 90no and his team on 161-6 his captain declared ten minutes shy of the allotted tea time. (Yes we can’t quite explain it either).
There followed a very nice tea.
As suspiciously nobody else seemed that interested in opening the batting with Mitch the skipper stepped up and after breaking his bat and then creaming the perfect cover drove to the rope he was predictably caught by deep mid-off and Lee joined Mitch. However we struggled to really get away against a good opening attack who bowled 21 overs. Mitch picked up the occasional boundary including a huge six over deep wide mid on (cow) but eventually, inevitably the wickets began to fall. First Lee frustrated and then Martin LBW and Mitch (44) caught as the frustration grew. Then a flurry of wickets with only Nick beyond the top order able to break double figures and carry his bat to the end. We eventually held out for a memorable draw (for all the wrong reasons in the end) 110-9 from 39 overs. Unfortunately we couldn’t blame this on the pitch which had evened out over the day and ended up playing quite well.
Still a draw in a timed game against that bowling attack is not to be sniffed at and we proceed undefeated towards the bookworms of Bodleian Library next Sunday.
MOTM: Mitch Dewar
We won the toss and elected to bat and even generously offered the 9 men of Sydenham one of our eleven to even things up. Mitch our new Overseas player kindly volunteered. Opening partnership of Keys and West picked up where they left off last season on the road of Aston Rowants wicket, racing to 66 in 9 overs helped by some wild bowling. Before West was bowled for 14 and soon after also Keys for 44 and our innings then fell into a more sedate pace, crawling to 108 for 5 in the 25th over. At which point we were worried we might not make it to 130. But to the crease strode the colossus that is JVF. Who well supported by Stan the man and Kerr Senior plundered 60 from the last ten overs including 35no for himself to give us a competitive total.
There then followed the most impressive cricket tea known to man.
Suitably refreshed (barely able to move) we returned to the field and the opening attack of Walker and JVF found the going difficult. The very fast outfield and 10 man fielding side made it difficult to stem the flow. A difficult chance was put down by Keys diving forwards and then the Sydenham opener flicked JVF off his legs straight to Stan (the man) at square leg who clung on low down to give us some hope. To our horror though we saw Mitch (turncoat) Dewar making his way to the middle. With great timing and long levers we suddenly found ourselves alternating fetching the ball from remote boundaries and tidying up singles and it began to look ominous. A change was called for and the early introduction of Gokani, followed soon after by Stan (the man) Angol slowed things a bit. And then miracle of miracle’s Mitch feathered and edge to Kerr Senior standing up and after much hesitation from umpires he walked for a quickly and classily plundered 35. Gradually it sunk in to the stunned field Ct Kerr, Bowled Angol and an end was open. The remaining Sydenham opener continued to thrive (eventually out for 43) whilst their remaining batsmen struggled with the spin twins of Gokani and Angol. Raj joining in with the next two bowled and a catch by Keys before Angol ripped (yes that is right RIPPED) through the tail with bowled, contentious stumped and caught all featuring. Special note for the spin twins combo of Ct Gokani bowled Angol which gave Stan (the man) his fivefr… Batsman flicked it strongly backwards of square leg where Gokani took off like a cat and caught it brilliantly two handed off the ground, above his head and behind him (Kerr said it was reminiscent of Strauss). An over of Leg spin from Cox Junior and then returning Walker picked up the last man. Sydenham all out for 122 in the 24th over.
We enjoyed Stans jug of beer whilst listening to him cackling “5 for 30” on repeat. And Allan made a formal transfer approach to Sydenham for their tea lady. All in all a successful and pleasant days cricket and hoping the rest of the season pans out in similar fashion.
MOTM – Stan (the man) Angol.
Stonor provided the opposition for our last game of the season. That’s ‘Stonor’ not to be confused with tea man ‘Stoner’. One is a large country park while the other is something of an abbreviation of that.
We batted first on a very stripey looking wicket & the pacey Kavanagh in particular extracted some lively bounce with an early delivery whistling past Keysey’s nose. It must have been an early delivery as the batsman was soon back in the shed having larruped a lofted drive to the long-on boundary where the only fielder within a 3 mile radius barely had to move to take the catch. Despite this, we progressed to a relatively comfortable looking 27-1 with Malcolm playing some shots – albeit being dropped twice in one over. As Keysey acknowledged ‘hes a very lucky man indeed. And with doubtful parentage too’ (Ive paraphrased). However we then collapsed with numerous batsman claiming various shades of unlucky (some genuine, some not so) and suddenly we were looking down the barrel at 59-8 despite West’s 27.
With an early finish imminent thoughts drifted towards the autumn and what we could now be doing with our spare time of a weekend … get the lawn mown for instance or re-acquaint ourselves with previously close family members … oh and a phenomenal hook for four from Nigel to deep backward square … probably some other sports on – F1 or Rugby maybe … Jake picking up a few runs and blocking the straight ones … must be an end of season do at some point …. what a straight drive by Walker for another boundary … pay some bills, and Christmas will soon be on us … wow what a shot from Jake pulled to mid-wicket inches short of a six … next year’s holiday to book …. and again – same place just out of the reach of the fielder ….. get the car in for an MOT … Nigel finding the ropes with embarrassing ease now… hang on a minute what’s the score?
Well yes, whilst everyone else was daydreaming these two Oxfordshire representative ‘bowlers’ had doubled our score to a much more respectable 120-odd!
With Jake finally gone, bowled for 25, younger brother Finn – not yet 11 ½ – came to the crease to join Nigel who is old enough to be his great-grandfather. Little did Nigel realise as he staggered from one pub to the next whilst celebrating his 55th birthday that he would one day be batting alongside the infant who had just made his own way home in a similarly blurry haze from the maternity ward.
Surely our plucky defiance was about to end? Well not quite. While Walker continued slaying at one end, Finn stoically defended the other and kept out 26 balls – many delivered by the prolific (6-fer) Austin. Finally as our innings was drawing to an end anyway Walker was given out LBW for 35 – the highest score any of his team mates could ever remember him getting (although this clearly eliminates anything prior to middle age).
With the pitch playing the odd trick or three there was a general consensus that our 134 could be very competitive and buoyed by his innings and well refreshed by a splendid tea, Walker returned to the field to open the bowling. In partnership with the other Spearman on show, Stonor were tied down as they themselves found the conditions bowler friendly. Keysey took two slightly better than average catches behind the stumps whilst Walker helped himself to a c & b. With first change Gokani also weighing in the hosts were restricted to 32-5 after 20 overs with just 20 left to play.
With the game clearly in the bag our thoughts again drifted… wash the car, paint the shed … well bowled Raj … might get to the cinema at some point … good effort Stan … catch up on some of those TV dramas everyone is talking about … well bowled Nick ,,,
Not a lot appeared to be happening during this passage of play except our esteemed Chairman taking one for the team in the euphemistic mid-ships whilst fielding in a very silly position which soon became a very recumbent position. We all wish the twins a full & speedy recovery Mr Chairman, Sir.
And then we came to the pivotal point of the game.
History is littered with individuals who, against all odds, have reached the pinnacle of their chosen vocation before then having the good grace to step back into obscurity from whence they came before they got found out as a fraud. Think Florence Griffiths-Joiner, Nigel Farage, Edward VIII, Syd Barret, Zafar Ansari.
Malcolm West had similarly reached some dizzying heights this season as captain, promoting as he had Rob Kerr and Spearman’s P & J to the top of the order with remarkable results. He wasn’t done there either as he had proved in our previous match by bringing himself on to bowl and taking the prize wicket first ball. Everything had turned to gold for the tactically minded one.
Thinking he could fool all of the people all of the time however, he again brought himself on to bowl at the business end of this game. A rather working class buffet was dished up (plenty of it but not necessarily of high quality even by buffet standards). Stonor batsman Powell who was well set and seeing it like a football immediately identified that the emperor (who doubles as the club s welfare officer) was no longer wearing any clothes and dealt with the fare accordingly.
SCOREBOARD PLEASE! … dum-de-dum … Jesus how many? Come on guys let’s get serious …
Bartlett did manage to keep us in the game with a two wicket burst but Stonor were closing in on victory with 7 down and 7 overs remaining to get 30 runs.
With the penultimate throw of the dice West decided to flog the dead horses that were the opening bowlers; Walker & Spearman (P). These two had by now bowled over 400 overs between them in the season (in all forms) and had both royally seized up like a Blenheim roller. With the field now doing a passable impression of the okey-cokey the results were predictable and with just 4 to win, Oxfordshire U14s District leading wicket taker & opening bowler Jake Spearman was let loose on the opposition with just a hat-trick required to claim glory. 3 balls later the game was indeed over although alas, not in our favour.
So, genius one week, jelly bean the next, the skipper had done himself up like a kipper. If only he’d taken a leaf out of Flo-Jo’s book and quit whilst ahead.
We retired to Pishill to lick our wounds where predictably Keysey didn’t put his hand in his pocket but rather more surprisingly kept it up in the air as he nominated himself for the captaincy role next year (note to the committee to check the constitution to see if one can nominate oneself for office).
Personally I’ll be voting for Nigel Walker – the man can do no wrong.
An interesting winter awaits.
So, with the late, but predictable withdrawal of Great Tew from our fixture, The Barbarians filled in for our last battle of the season on the South Lawn.
Stan & George Kerr turned up, took one look at our team and decided instead to play for the opposition. The predictably late Raj & Coxy also eventually turned up too.
As is obligatory in any match report, the toss must be mentioned. So it took place and we bowled first. The innings generally went well from our point of view with Nigel finally getting some justice for his hard yards opening the bowling week after week. He managed an economical 3–fer, as did first change Spearman (P). Wickets fell at irregular intervals and the score progressed slowly but with the Barbar’s opener still at the crease there was always some hope for the visitors-cum-turncoats.
In a move of sheer incompetence and self-indulgence though Captain West brought himself on to bowl his usual utter filth – presumably to make more of a game of it and to give our side – evidently packed with prolific run getters – something to stay awake for. But what was this? Such was the openers glee at being gifted a ton so easily that he completely missed a straight one first up!
Spearman (W) and Spearman (J) both weighed in with a wicket a-piece – the latter as a result of a superb catch by the former on the square leg boundary (Stan please note –catches are allowed in this position). The innings closed at 178 -9 off the allotted 40 overs including a creditable 13 from a late order ‘S Angol’. A good effort from all concerned especially with the distractions of boorish hooray Henrys giving it some from the fine leg/long off ‘Eric Hollies’ marquee and naked bitches on all fours regularly invading the pitch.
Over tea, thoughts then turned to our own batting. Or at least some thoughts did. Our captain however, randomly picked out newcomer Matt – who, by his own admission, hadn’t batted for 2 years – along with Spearman (P) who never bats, to open the batting. Thoughts that our captain may have finally lost the plot were therefore crystallised.
But this is cricket and anything can happen. And at 110-0 off 22 overs we all suddenly realised why Malcolm is the genius he is and why we keep re-electing him as captain (apart from the fact no-one else can be arsed of course). The game was therefore, by this stage, well beyond the visitors reach.
Or was it?
This is Blenheim of course and anything can happen. Matt perished (for 70 odd) going for one big shot too many and the middle order ‘engine room’ of Keyes, West & Cox badly misfired. Gokani & JVF also didn’t last long and with Spearman (P) having also succumbed agonisingly short of a maiden 50 it was left to Spearman’s J & W to see us home with 7 down and 2 overs to spare just as we’d entered into squeaky bum time.
We then all retired to the usual hostelry to marvel at the miracle of Malcom’s genius.
A big thanks to Simon Parker for gathering together a team to fill the void at very short notice. And thanks to Stan & George for agreeing to play for the oppo.
So yesterday we clutched defeat from … well the jaws of defeat really. In a game that was, at times, as bumpy as the track that led to the pitch at several thousand metres above sea level (at the pavilion end at least), we lost by about 50-ish.
Full match report is available to anyone who wishes to write it.