Third XI Win Again!

Report from Third Team Skipper, Dan Beckell

A second win in three for the mighty Oakley 3’s (we would have won the other, had it not pissed it down) which was built on a bowling master-class from Dave Bowers and some decent batting jug-avoidance from Nigel ‘Turncoat’ Bishop and, it pains me to say, Dave ‘Selfish’ Bowers.

Bowling first on a good pitch with pace, carry, and a lightning-quick outfield, Dave and Noah quickly settled into their usual tight opening spell.  Whilst young firebrand Noah got a little carried away with a quick pitch and got seduced by the sight of the ball flying through, old warhorse Bowers stuck to his tried and tested line and length, his first 4 overs going for just 4 runs and a wicket.  On and on the warhorse went in a steady, some might say tedious, spell of seriously negative bowling.  However, for Dave, the end justifies the means, and his return of 8-3-14-4 meant that Herriard needed to put the pedal to the metal to get some momentum.

This they did, their skipper and number 3 coming out to bat with the intent of an end-of-season-sale (everything must go).  He got some early luck, edging Noah over the slips 3 balls out of the first 4, but after that settled into his belligerent method of back-footed heaves.

Oakley’s Hoddle and Waddle (Avi and Ravi) took some early tap but settled after with Avi picking up the vital wicket of the Herriard skipper.  Wily old Ravi also gave his figures a nice little polish by picking up 2 wickets in his final over.  He was on a hat-trick after the incoming number 7 played all around a straight one to get bowled, proceeding to let out a mighty “grrrrrrrr”, chuck his bat down in front of him and stare at it as though, not only had it taken his parking space, it stole twenty quid from his wallet, and proceeded to make love to his sister.  Eyes were averted but giggles went unsupressed.

Mr Reliable Rob Wood was next into proceedings and bowled his 6 overs with his usual good flight and variations.  Chances a-plenty were now coming, and Rob was very unlucky not to add to his 1 wicket.  His pirate’s headband also drew comment from Herriard’s chatty number 8, enquiring as to whether Rob appealed with “ah-haaaaargh” rather than the more traditional “howzat”. We had the last laugh (or “ah-haaaaaargh”) though when he went caught for 8 off Rob.

It was a pleasure to introduce another one of our youngsters into men’s league cricket.  Herbie bowled a very decent 4 overs with his quick, whippy action. He picked up a good LBW and took a very good catch when it looked as though the ball was just getting away from him.  We have now had 8 of our Colts representing the club at 3’rd team level with more waiting in the wings.  This promises a good future, especially as they have all contributed.

The quick outfield and some good batting got the Herriard boys to 203 from their 40 overs.

In reply, heroic skipper Dan dropped himself down the order to 7 so that Kris Tucknott and Nigel Bishop could get some time in the middle, as well as accommodating the welcome return of Steve Savage and Rob Wood at the top of the order.  Results were, shall we say, ‘mixed’ with Steve, Rob, and Kris departing with just 10 runs between them: Steve spooning one up of the splice of his bat and Kris falling to a one-handed ‘worldie’ at gully.  When Lady Luck is against you there’s not much you can do.

However, from the crises rose two figures whose names are now etched in immortality: Nigel ‘Turncoat’ Bishop and Dave ‘Selfish’ Bowers.  Nigel showed his class from ball one, effortlessly caressing the ball to all parts on his way to a terrific 55.  (95 runs less the 40 he scored for Five Rivers against Oakley a few Sunday’s back when “making up the numbers” before not bothering to field for them and buggering off home).

On his way back to the pavilion after being given out LBW he graciously accepted that the decision was probably right, showing that class and a team-ethic can indeed go hand-in-hand.  Something which Dave ‘Selfish’ Bowers may like to reflect on when considering his, admittedly useful, innings of 46 runs.  After Will went for an energetic 17 runs, skipper Dan joined Dave with 4 runs required to win.  Just 4 runs away from a well-deserved 50, Dave’s first words were “what am I on?”  After being told “46” his next words were “can you just pat out the next 3 so I can get my 50?”

Whereas some might have taken the bigger picture of a team win, Dave seemed intent on personal glory.  This manifested in a ludicrous situation – Dan was facing, the ball went down leg side, and Dave stood stock-still.  No call, no indication that the keeper had not taken the ball, just silence.  Glancing behind him, Dan noticed that, in fact, the ball was heading towards the boundary with just one old fella lumbering after it.  Turning down an easy 2 for personal glory, Dave was not interested in getting 2 runs closer to winning for the team.

This selfishness could not stand and, next chance, Dan drilled the ball straight past the bowler, almost decapitating Steve Savage umpiring, for the winning runs, admonishing Dave all the way back to the pavilion. A good game and another good win.  Last season we would have lost this game by 20 or 30 runs, just falling short.  However, the fact that we have won two close matches shows how far the team have come.

Well done everyone.  And Dave knows I’m joking.