Third XI Beaten But With Many Positives

The Oakley 3’s enjoyed a slightly delayed start for this fixture as some Ashford Hill players had to complete their work shifts. Upon arriving at Ashford Hill, we found the ground to be quite pleasant despite a dog-legged boundary, a pair of trees in the outfield, and an undulating pitch.

Oaks Field First

Our skipper, Dan, won the toss and opted to field first, confident in our solid bowling team. The Hill, undefeated this season, presented a stern test, but their recent scorecards indicated potential opportunities for us.

The opening pair from Ashford Hill began their innings, with our bowlers maintaining a steady start. Joby and Will, bowling down the slope, had slightly below-par first overs but soon found their rhythm. A gloved effort from Savage behind the stumps drew some spirited but unnecessary comments from the Hill supporters. Dave promptly addressed this, reminding them to focus on the game.

The game took on a more intense atmosphere, with the Hill becoming more aggressive. By drinks, they had lost a few wickets for not many runs, putting us in a strong position. Post-drinks, the Hill attempted to accelerate their scoring but continued to lose wickets. A sharp one-handed catch in the slips by Dan dismissed their captain, who had been quite vocal.

A contentious LBW decision, later overturned by the umpire after consulting the batsman, added to the tension. Despite this, Dan trusted the batsman’s integrity and allowed him to resume his innings. A disputed runout of their dangerous batsman, Sunny, was a turning point, rightly given out. Alan and Ravi capitalized on the situation, taking crucial wickets.

Avi came into the attack towards the end of the innings, with Savage taking a good catch off his bowling. Jeff, though not at his best, managed to take two important wickets. The Hillbillies were all out for 182.

Chasing 182

After a break for tea, the Hill took to the field. Their skipper’s passionate rallying cry aimed to motivate his team. The opening bowler, despite his best efforts and enthusiastic demeanor, failed to take a wicket. The bowling from the other end was more controlled, but unfortunately, Tall Jeff was dismissed without scoring.

Savage, batting at number 3, partnered with Dan to stabilize our innings. At drinks, we had rebuilt well, positioning ourselves to chase the target. A runout appeal against Savage was declined, leading to a brief discussion between the Hillbilly captain and the square leg umpire, which ended amicably.

Savage was eventually trapped LBW before the interval, bringing Adam to the crease. Dan, who had been set to anchor the innings, was soon bowled by a great delivery, followed by the dismissal of Will without scoring. Joby, making his senior batting debut, joined Adam at the crease. They worked well together, with Adam eventually playing more expansive shots. Despite their efforts, the required run rate continued to climb.

Adam scored a respectable 22, while Joby top-scored with 37, finishing the innings with a run off the last ball. Although we fell 40 runs short, the team fought valiantly until the end. The Hillbilly team offered begrudging handshakes, still discussing some of the match’s contentious decisions.


Despite the loss, the Oaks showed resilience. The key takeaway is the need to recognize when to accelerate our scoring to prevent the game from drifting away. Everyone gave their best, and there is undoubtedly more to come from the team.

Congratulations to Joby on being awarded the Man of the Match for his excellent bowling, solid fielding, and mature batting. Onwards and upwards.

MOTD Joby Beatty