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Blenheim Park CC vs I Zingari – 12th May 2019

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


BPCC V I Zingari 2pm 15th May 2016

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.