Oaks Edged out in Village Cup Opener


Oaks Bat First

The Oaks kicked off their season at ‘The Theatre of Scenes’ with a traditional Village Cup defeat against Cadnam yesterday. On a day that was warmish in the sun but Baltic under cloud cover, Oakley batted first, with Matt Burrell and Paddy Saines opening. It was a steady start in tough conditions, with The Oaks reaching 24 before the first wicket fell, with Matt Burrell going LBW on 11. 24-1 instantly became 24-2 when Dan Jones played a stylish-looking leave to one that removed off stump. A first day golden…oh the joy of cricket.

Josh Carpenter came to the crease and looked composed as ever until he hit thin air for six just after a break in play due to an opposition dislocation. Josh was on his way back to the pavilion for 4; a key wicket. Will Cheyney joined the stoical Paddy Saines and upped the tempo with a lusty-looking 27 that bodes well for the season ahead. Then Paddy eventually went for a gutsy 13 off 40 balls while trying to press on. A good little knock from Paddy. Ian Bennett added 9 and briefly looked dangerous before departing LBW to a low one that, like any other batsmen out LB, he thought was missing the stumps.

George Lethaby, in at 7, demonstrated solid defense previously not associated with him. A winter of indoor nets appeared to be paying off, but while concentrating on becoming better facing a good ball early on, he appears to have forgotten how to play a looping full toss. This resulted in a splayed heave, and George was easily caught for 5. Graeme Ridler came in and smacked a belligerent 6 and two 4s before nailing one to square leg, and the innings was nearly up as he left for 14. Jack Brundle got some batting practice during a  typically tedious 27-ball 3.

Alex Rogan tried to have a late-order whack but got bowled for 4, leaving The Oaks on a not-too-mesmerizing 122 all out. The unfortunate man stranded was Harry Tucknott on 2 not out. Harry can take solace in the fact it will be a good start to compiling a decent season average. He’s no mug with the bat either and will be looking to creep up the order.

Cadnam’s Reply

Cadnam’s innings followed an almost identical track to Oakley’s, reaching 26 without loss before a smart run-out by George Lethaby and a brilliant catch by Dan Jones off Harry Tucknott made it 27-2. Game on.

The Foresters recovered to 48-2, but Josh Carpenter snared Taylor, caught by Ridler, and the chaotic Alex Rogan removed Cooper with an LBW that stayed low. Dan Jones removed George for a handy 24. The excellent Josh then got rid of Stephens courtesy of another combo with Ridler, who caught well. DJ picked another wicket courtesy of a third catch by Ridler to keep The Oaks in it, but Extras weren’t to be denied, leading Cadnam to victory.

The conditions were hard, and with Oakley’s faulty bowling radars late in the innings, Cadnam were able to ease home 7 down in a good contest. Oakley’s 49 Extras to Cadman’s 23 tells its own story to save me telling it for you. Still, it was a good contest by two teams shaking off the rust from an exceptionally wet winter. There was plenty to be encouraged by, notably the bowling of openers Harry Tucknott and Josh Carpenter. DJ also captained well in what is likely to be the long-term absence of James Bayliss, so it was well worth getting the game played.

Thanks to Cadnam for coming and supporting our bar afterward, to the players from other local clubs (Ramsdell, Overton, Odiham, and Hook) who came down to see a bit of cricket, and of course, scorer (Billy Turner) and match umpire (Kris Tucknott) who looked like he hadn’t had so much fun in years.

We also had two pitch baggers. These, would you believe, are chaps who travel from around the region (and in ones case from Leighton Buzzard) to collect cricket grounds they visited. Nice chaps and confirmation, if it were needed, that us cricket types are an odd bunch.

On we travel…