Report by Billy Turner
The Oakley III’s ensured that all 3 Saturday teams lost this weekend with a 123 run defeat to Old Basing IV at Bramley on Saturday. With the end of the season rapidly approaching, and availability rapidly decreasing there were a few changes to the side. Notably, opening bowler Dave Bowers was unavailable, which allowed Harry Tucknott to make his Saturday men’s debut at just 12 years old. Meanwhile Deano James was too busy still writing last Saturday’s match report to play this week, which gave Billy Turner the chance to play, and be designated reporter (we are still waiting for that report Deano).
Captain Dan Beckell lost the toss and was put in the field, opting to give young Harry the new ball, alongside Noah Beckell. The pitch was a bit of a road, and the Old Basing openers cashed in, racing away in the early overs before Harry picked up his first men’s wicket, bowling an excellent probing line that found the edge and was smartly caught by wicket-keeper Ben “The Cat” Coulter. Despite breaking the opening partnership, Old Basing continued the charge for runs as their No. 2 and No. 3 batsman both reached 50. Dan changed up the bowling and gave young bowlers Tanner McEwan, Herbie Hamilton and Reuben Hamilton the chance to bowl. Tanner especially bowled very well and could have easily had 3 wickets, but unfortunately some of the Oakley fielders forgot how to catch the ball.
Reuben eventually found the breakthrough, bowling the No. 3 batsman shortly after he passed 50. Phil Carpenterand Kris Tucknott came on to bowl some spin as Oakley tried to find the score down. Phil bowled well but then thought “sod this” and decided to throw a full toss at the Old Basing No. 4 who was so shocked he skied it into the air and Dan gratefully caught it. Somehow, it wasn’t signalled a no ball and Oakley had their third wicket, but still the big runs continued. The Old Basing No. 5 was a batsman who genuinely could only play leg side shots, which inspired Dan to put all the fielders on the leg-side, leaving the off-side completely open. It was one of the most bizarre fields I have ever seen on a cricket field. Inexplicably, he still hit it into the leg-side constantly, and was soon caught well by Nigel Bishop off the bowling of Kris.
Nigel then decided he would field like Jonty Rhodes, sharply running out the Old Basing No. 6 and then catching the Old Basing No. 7 with a sprinting catch on the boundary off the bowling of Phil. The damage though, was already done as Old Basing posted 240 off their 40 overs. Special congratulations should go to the Old Basing No. 2, J. Parker, who batted all 40 overs scoring an unbeaten 91. There are not many bowling figures to write home about, but all of the bowlers deserve credit for sticking at it despite the runs being scored. Harry Tucknott in particular should be proud of his bowling considering it was his first men’s game, but I can’t tell you his, or anyone’s exact figures because we forgot to take a picture of the scorebook. Ben Coulter also deserves credit for keeping wicket exceptionally well, giving up 0 byes and just 1 leg bye to ensure the score was only 240.
Needing 6 an over for victory, Oakley opened the batting with Kris and Dan as the Oaks looked for a fast start. They didn’t get one. Kris just looked like he was starting to get going, as he hit 3 4’s in the space of 5 balls, but was then unfortunately run-out. I won’t say who was to blame for the run-out because I don’t want to criticise the captain. Dan departed shortly afterwards, with the Oakley openers scoring 19 and 18 respectively. Nigel, who was batting at 3, was joined by Noah, who was batting up the order at 4. Despite his promotion, Noah soon followed Kris and Dan in getting out as the Oaks realised the game was slipping away.
Ben joined Nigel at the crease, and Nigel decided now was the time to play some shots. After smashing a pair of boundaries, he soon skied one and was caught out. Phil came in at 6 and batted well with Ben, as they were able to run some quick 2’s. Ben dug in but his defence was eventually broken. Tanner came in at 7 and took up Ben’s role of digging in as Phil looked for more runs. Phil eventually departed and incoming batsman Reuben was out shortly after as Old Basing sensed a chance to take the remaining wickets quickly. Reuben’s older brother Herbie came in at 9 and hit a lovely cover drive to the boundary, before then also getting out.
Billy was down to bat at 10, but with the game clearly gone he decided to let Harry go in next so he could have more time at the crease and a longer experience of batting in a men’s game (and he wanted to keep doing the scoring). Give that man a statue! Harry unfortunately got out quickly, but the good news is the next time he bats he won’t be able to score less runs than he did this time. As Tanner saw Billy come out at 11, he realised he might as well have a swing, picking up some useful runs before edging one to slip, bringing the innings to an end. Oakley finished 117 all out with Kris’s 19 being the top score.
Clearly Old Basing were too good for Oakley in this game, but Oakley should still be encouraged that many young players are gaining valuable experience at men’s level in preparation for next season. Thanks to Kris and Nigel for coming back to the club for a beer despite the defeat. Billy also went back to the club for a beer to celebrate his epic contribution to the game and was easily convinced to go on a night out. It turned out to be an awful decision on his part. I can’t tell you what happened to him/ I don’t want to tell you what happened, but just know he described it as ‘mentally scarring’.
Anyway, thanks to Old Basing for giving us a game and happy birthday to their opening bowler, Sammy Williams, who celebrated his birthday during the match. Meanwhile the Third XI will look to find a game next week as the season winds down and hopefully they can end it on a high.
Until then; Up The Oaks!