A Bit of Summer in Dummer as Oaks Win Friendly

The Oakley Sunday team traveled to Dummer on Sunday in a slightly wonky state, featuring a scattering of ‘that’s so village’ players and First XI members. Any concerns about new players not being able to find the ground were soon quashed by the plentiful signage around the village.

Quintessential Scenes as Oaks Bat First

We were greeted by quintessential scenes as the sun shone down, tempered by a cooling but not cold breeze. Veteran skippers Bob Lethaby and Steve Heath meandered to the middle, and Steve flicked the coin which nestled into his dog’s back. Heads it was, and Bob opted to bat.

Opening were Oaks new boy Greg Spires and Alex Holman, who hasn’t had much batting time. From the off, it was apparent Greg was operating at a different level, smashing it to all parts.

Greg Retires, Avi Enters, Bob Departs

Alex was slightly less assured but, with a duck avoided, he grew in confidence. It wasn’t long before Greg retired from his brutal innings, and Avi Vasant came to the crease, looking every bit the village cricketer in black trainers. Avi’s Oakley career has so far yielded one golden duck, so we did have concerns, with our welfare officer on emergency standby.

Fortunately, Avi survived and, after a scratchy start, actually started slapping it about a bit. At the other end, Alex was scratchy but happy with his 11 runs before departing. This brought Bob Lethaby to the crease looking to make a few. A couple of quick singles boded well for a stay at the crease. However, after failing to negotiate a double bouncer from Tom Barden, Bob prepared for the next one. Sadly, it was the opposite: a waist-high full toss that landed on the stumps. Goodnight Vienna.

Tuckers Rolls Back the Decades as Green Goes Golden

This was only temporary good news for Dummer as Bob’s departure paved the way for Kris Tucknott, who had spent the early season struggling to purchase a run. Kris began to roll back the decades and was soon in full flow, playing a host of what looked suspiciously like cricket strokes. At the other end, Avi went for one uncontrolled slap too many and was cleaned up by the useful-looking Matt Vickery for 31.

This brought Nick Green to the crease. Nick had pleaded to Bob for a game after his calamitous duck at Crown Taverners the day before. The result? Golden duck, cleaned up by Vickery, who maybe would have made the game more interesting as a frontline bowler. This brought run machine Josh Carpenter to the crease. Josh is far too good for this level, but his lust for breaking Oakley records is unquenchable. He’d play on the North Pole if there were 50 to be had, and he soon plundered another here.

Vickery Stars After Josh 50

Perhaps more impressive was Kris, who made a lovely 50 that has earned him a promotion to the 2s this week. Dan Jones was next up, carrying all the enthusiasm of a plumber contracted to unblock Donald Trump’s U-bend. He didn’t last long, with Vickery now making real inroads into The Oaks’ batting. Alex Brundle then came in, carrying all the enthusiasm of a man contracted to replace the plumber who couldn’t clear Trump’s U-bend. Pete Ballard put him out of his misery.

This gave Mad Alan and James Middleton the chance to make some runs. Unfortunately, they didn’t, and this left Greg to return and whack a few more. The pick of the bowlers were Pete Ballard and Mat Vickery, and top marks to Heathy who shinned a half-volley from Josh without crying. Josh also almost decapitated Bob (umpiring at square leg) with a pull shot that whistled past his nose. Bob went to tea temporarily suffering from PTSD.

Tea and a Defence of 244

A lovely tea was taken, and The Oaks went out to defend a hefty 244, with Josh concerned it might not be enough. He’s a great young cricketer, but a terrible mathematician.

Dummer opened with Mark Barden and Jack Ballard. Whilst Bardy challenged Bob to some dropping practice, Jack decided to go at the target like he was in a Chris Tavare impersonation contest. Bardy was finally stumped by an ecstatic Nick Green, who was now in full flow as someone depriving a village of an idiot. Remarkable stuff from someone studying for a Master’s Degree.

Nick’s World Cup Final

Richard Russell was perhaps unlucky to get the only LBW of the day, but not as unlucky as Oakley colts dad David Prickett. Dave somehow miscued a hideous leg-side wide full toss from Bob Lethaby that should have landed in North Waltham. Instead, it dropped into the gloves of, you guessed it, Nick Green, who appeared to have forgotten he wasn’t playing in the World Cup final.

Thereafter, there were a few cameos, notably from Guy Barden and Mat Vickery. To be fair to Jack Tavare, he did become more fluent, and a well-constructed 48 would guide Dummer to victory on another day. So, the game petered out somewhat, but no one was really bothered by the result. It’s difficult to match these games up, but if Pete and Mat had opened the bowling, the Oakley score may have been below 200, then who knows?

Oaks Win and Head to the Septic Tank Inn

Hands were shaken, and a meander to the local pub was taken. Unfortunately, this was slightly marred by the stench of raw sewage wafting from the septic tank, curtailing social time that bonds us Sunday cricketers together.

Still, the sun shone, and Dummer were great hosts. We would like to thank them for preparing the pitch, providing an umpire, and putting on a great spread at tea. We wish them well for the rest of their games.

On we travel…