Nick in Great Nick as Oaks Nick Victory

Report from Benjamin Robinson 

A once again much changed 2s side turned up at Newfound nervously awaiting a first glance at the infamous pitch. However sight didn’t prove to be the issue – the deck looked pretty good. It wasn’t until you planted your feet on the pitch and left a large dent in the play-doh like ground that the true nature of the pitch became apparent. The pitch was clearly going to play very slow and low throughout so the toss was probably slightly irrelevant.

Oaks Bat First

Nevertheless St Mary’s won the toss and put the 2’s in. On a questionable pitch with a slow outfield, the ideal batting scenario would be to play a form of baseball. Luckily St Mary’s obliged with what must have been a record for most full tosses in an innings. Nick Green and Steve Bown opened up and got of your a steady start, putting away the aforementioned full tosses and seeing off the dangerous surprise straight one.

Bown was the first to go for a well made 20 odd, bowled by a length ball which kept a touch low. Jack Brundle was the next man in and was welcomed to the crease by three friendly beamers which where each comfortably put away to the boundary. The runs then dried up a bit for Jack but not to worry as Nick was starting to fire on all cylinders at the other end.

Nick in Great Nick

Having started to effortlessly flick the ever-present full tosses into the trees, Nick now started to take apart the St Mary’s attach even when they pitched it and he raced past 50. This culminated when the St Mary’s ‘keeper stripped off his pads to have a bowl. After a couple of tidy overs, the first 4 balls of his third were all dispatched over the ropes. Excitement was building in the crowd – could we see Nick Green join the likes of Yuvraj Singh in an exclusive club? Unfortunately Nick didn’t get the memo and left the 5th ball of the over.

Jack soon left the arena bringing Ian Bennett to the crease, and he started slowly. I’m fact the subsequent 50 partnership only included a single contribution from Ian. Nevertheless this was enough a shepherd Nick to an impressive second ton in a row for the 2’s. Nick continued to cut loose before understandably tiring slightly and falling for 139 off 80 odd balls with 12 sixes.

With a severe dose of pad rash, Alex Ogden came and went bringing Will Rabley and Ian together for the final 10. Ian began to cut loose, punishing the tiring bowlers on his way to a 50. Will at the other end rotates the strike well and chipped in with a couple of boundaries to take the Oaks to an impressive 347 at the close of the innings.

Oaks Shit Themselves After Impressive Tea

Following a rare but impressive tea, the Oaks set out to defend the total. The 2’s bowling has probably been the weak point this season but surely this score was beyond reach? Well by the time we got to drinks, most of the Oaks were starting to sh*t themselves.

It all started so well – Zak picking up a wicket in the first over. Jeff at the other end also looked solid. However the other St Mary’s opener didn’t take long to get his eye in and started to blaze the ball around the park. Once again the crowd consisting of 8 and 80 years olds were treated to a fine display of six hitting, this time without as much help from waist high full tosses.

Another Ton then Jack Strikes

However the St Mary’s opener was getting little help from the other end so chances were bound to come our way. A number of half chances came and went – by definition you’d hope that one would have stuck – as the batsman passed 50 and closed in on a rapid century. A simpler chance was then presented which Nick put down – there were no complaints given he’s earlier contribution!

The opener passed 100 in little over 50 balls and drinks were taken at 160-1 with the game still very much in the balance. However we knew that one wicket would really open up the game and after building up some pressure with Kallum at the other end, Jack finally made the breakthrough with Tom holding onto a nerve-wracking catch at long on.

Zak Steals the Show

Wickets now began to fall at regular intervals as the St Mary’s challenge faded. Kallum and Jeff both picked up a deserved wicket and Jack added another to his tally. But it was Zak Newton that stole the show. A spell of accurate bowling ripped through the St Mary’s middle order leaving him with excellent figures of 4-46.

Alex then came on for a spell and ensured that the tail could not wag as he picked up two wickets to leave St Mary’s 110 short of their target. An entertaining game played in good spirits and thanks to St Mary’s for inviting us to their end of season beers and BBQ after the game.

On we travel.