Report from Patrick Saines
It was back to Saturday mornings with everyone eyeing local and national weather reports and frantically hoping the rain clouds would disperse in the hope that to, mis-quote Jarvis Cocker, we could spend an afternoon “Somewhere (somewhere) in a field in Hampshire”.
Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, she couldn’t dampen the spirits and positivity of a keen and rampant 1st XI who turned up at Old Basing. They were to be confronted by cloud cover, Archers, a squelchy wicket, and no opposition (despite a promised pitch inspection at 12).
Once our opposition turned up (and Stef Kaltner) the result was a 30-minute delay to the start and a reduction in overs. Skipper, James Bayliss, won the toss and elected to field.
The positivity shown to beat the weather flowed into the opening exchanges of the Old Basing innings. The rhythmical Stefan started proceedings by producing a stunning double wicket maiden. He removed one opener courtesy of a sharp catch at slip by Matt Burrell and then Old Basing’s number 3, bowled by a ‘Kaltner Classic’. A perfect start with the hosts reeling at 7-2.
Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Oaks Stalwart Alex Brundle claimed the scalp of the other opener who nicked off behind to a grateful Paddy Saines. 9-3!
Tease me, tease me, tease me BABY…
The new batting pair and the rain frustrated the Oaks until a resurgent Stef claimed his third wicket aided by a decent pouch by skipper, Bayliss. This brought the sunshine, clearly orchestrated by the arrival of the sunny disposition of the OB skipper. He was eventually “teased” out of his crease by Will Cheyney to be stumped for 9. Another quick wicket for “medium pace” DJ saw the score at 96-6.
Old basing then rallied to 166-7 setting a revised target of 163 from 38 overs.
The Chase (no nothing to do with Bradley Walsh)
A tricky small total, reduced overs, and the threat of further rain always ask questions of the batting team. This has been especially apparent this season as we seem to make run chases harder to watch than Noel’s House party!
Not today, openers Matt Burrell and DJ set about the total imperiously, with the usually Boycott-esque Burrell clearly having prior post-match plans to climb into the OB attack and putting on 50 for the first wicket. With DJ departing for a decent 19, in walked Oak’s legend Michael Wood to the advice of Mr. Burrell, who informed him, “it’s difficult to score 4’s out here”. The Happy Hammer then hammered his first ball for 4.
As The Oaks steadily knocked off the runs to the dulcet tones of early 90’s reggae duo’s, and the threat of rain halting our advance before 25 overs rescinding, Woody on 33, chipped the ball down square leg’s throat to cause the minorist of minor panics among the Oakley batters. However, a calm Josh Carpenter aided by Matt, saw us home to a crunching 8 wicket win in under 32 Overs. Matt finished unbeaten with a magnificent 88 not out. What a season he is having.
An outstanding performance from the Oaks showed the league how ruthless we can be and how tough to beat we are on our day. It was also very pleasing to see the opposition skipper leading his team off to congratulate us on our victory.
Oh hang on……