Report from 3rd XI Correspondent, Oliver Rabley
The 3s finally got back to winning ways in an enjoyable encounter with local rivals Overton. Will Rabley stepped up for his first game as captain and started off in typical Oaks fashion by losing the toss. Overton appeared to have struggles similar to the Oaks in getting a team together, with the start delayed a little as neither side had thought to bring along a score book or (possibly more importantly) a match ball. Both were quickly sourced from the surrounding areas, and off we went.
Asked to bat on what looked like a difficult pitch to score on the omens perhaps weren’t great. But Will had plans in place to give Oaks control. Kris and Will opened the batting, and were quick to put away any bad balls. An opening partnership of 50 arrived in 9 overs. Will then holed out and was quickly followed by Kris.
That brought together Phil “the Chippy” Carpenter and Avi “chippy on Friday night when he saw the 3s line up and thought there was no batting” Thakur together. Promoting Avi up the order proved to be Will’s master stroke. The start of the partnership coincided with a seriously miserly spell of bowling from Andy Regan. Remarkable figures of 8 overs for 4 runs included a run of 36 dot balls. Phil and Avi decided that that only way of handling Andy was to do everything possible to avoid getting out. There were certainly no easy deliveries to release the pressure, but in the end they saw him off.
79-2 at drinks looked like a useful platform, and so it proved to be. These two experienced batsmen gradually went through the gears and were able to get the 3s to a maiden 200+ score. Avi decided that he didn’t want to share the limelight by walking off together with Phil after an unbroken stand. He lobbed a catch up in the air, so that he could receive the crowd’s appreciation alone. Phil then had the pleasure of watching as Sav and Ollie put together the ingredients for a hat-trick from the last three balls of the innings for Harry Hensman. Phil finished unbeaten on 84; Avi’s first 50 in the 21st century gave them a stand of 141.
Will rallied the troops at the break, preparing to make sure Oaks continued to play the game in the right way. Harry started out with his customary wheels and was well backed up by Mohan, with both picking up wickets in their opening spells.
By now Phil had got bored of being out of the limelight and decided to offer up a fielding masterclass to complement his batting heroics. He leapt to the left; he leapt the the right…. Nothing was getting past him in the field.
Sav Sappumanage then got into the action, taking the key wicket of Regan. A couple of rain delays slowed things down a bit, and Overton’s young middle order dug in well, showing plenty of potential. Will turned to his old man as the enforcer to get these young tyros out. Ollie duly obliged, with cries of “well bowled Dad” ringing around the ground (including from the Umpire!).
Will made sure that Alan and Ravi then had the chance to get into the game and they were able to pick up a couple of wickets apiece with some nice tight bowling.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day at the cricketing office. It’s nice to be on the right side of a relatively one-sided game, but it was played in a great spirit, with plenty of chat between the sides. It was great to see so many youngsters on both sides getting the chance to contribute in a league cricket match.