Rampant 3s Make it Two on the Bounce!

Fresh from a comprehensive victory last Saturday, the Oaks made the short journey to Overton for the eagerly-awaited B3400 derby with a somewhat changed line-up after half term, holidays, and other commitments lessened the pool of players available. However, it shows the strength of the club that we were able to field a full team with a couple missing out as well. The old band was back together with Avi (Hoddle), Ravi (Waddle), Deano (The Skipper’s Dream), and Alan (Mad Alan, ‘The Bull’) Howarth making their first appearances of the season. Regular Colt, Will (Macca) McCarthy, Jeff (Biscuit Knees) Triner, DB (Dan), DB (Dave), Kris (Yer Tuckers), Steve (Sausage/Merlot), and George (Safe-ish Hands) Rowley making up the rest of the team.

Oaks Lose Toss But Bat First

Useless tosser Dan lost his third toss in a row and Oakley were asked to bat first on a nice-looking wicket in lovely, warm sunshine. A mistake or did the Overton skipper know something we didn’t? Any subterfuge was quickly laid to rest after a rapid start by Jeff and Dan with 38 runs coming off the first 5 overs with singles or boundaries being the order of the day. The runs kept coming and, with drinks an over away and between-over discussions centring around not “doing anything daft” before drinks, Dan did something daft and called ol’ Biscuit Knees through for a single which was ‘optimistic’ to say the least. I couldn’t attest to how far out Jeff was as I was looking the other way, desperate to avoid eye contact. However, Jeff is nothing but magnanimous and the skipper’s error only cost him a beer and apology.

Still, an opening partnership of 95 put us in a strong position, Jeff departing for a good (if curtailed) 32. Dan, who had by now passed 50, was joined by Kris. Dan didn’t last all that much longer but constructed a pleasing 75. Will was unfortunate to get a leading edge and get caught and Kris departed for 4. Dave played some nice shots before giving the Overton keeper some gentle catching practice by hanging his bat out to a wide one. Steve, George, and Deano hung around to add a bit of momentum and Avi provided an entertaining little innings of 16 with nudges, nurdles, and boundaries whilst in the process running out both Deano and Ravi with some exuberant running.

Quite what the Overton players thought of this was unclear but, from overhearing their conversations, they were (rightly) pleased to have dragged back what was looking like a big score. Alan and Avi were not out at the end (16 and 3 respectively) and we had posted 195-9 from our 40 overs. A word here for the Overton players who are a great bunch and who we always have a good-natured, competitive game against. Their team consisted of 4 colts and, like us, are committed to developing their young players into the adult teams. It is pleasing to report that all 4 bowled well and, in particular, Sam Davies and Tom Smallridge who should develop into fine cricketers. No doubt we will come up against them in the future.

The Defence of 195

Whilst 195 is a good score, it is also one which means we had to bowl well to ensure the win. Dave and Will opened the bowling again and, once again, got us off to a great start. Dave continued his miserly form with 8 overs straight through (3-8) and Will battled back well after being hit for two 4’s in his first over with another 2 wickets to add to the 4 from last weekend (2-17). Hoddle and Waddle (Diamond Lights) picked up where they left off last season by bowling in tandem (and very well) to grab a couple of wickets a-piece with Avi, a ball of near-the-surface rage, grabbing 2-16, and Ravi smiling his way to 2-16 as well. The same figures but remarkably different characters, which is what makes team sport such fun.

There was enough time for Alan to follow up his useful not-out with a couple of overs of his own (1-2). After shaking hands it was back to the club for some beers and a catch up with the 2’s.

MOM – Dave Bowers – exemplary bowling and a good voice on the field.