Two’s Well Beaten on an Afternoon to Forget

Not a great day for the Second XI at a sun-kissed Oakley Park today, so let’s keep it brief and crack on with the report from a day that started with a beekeeper removing a lively looking nest from the boundary fence. Apparently, if they had been hit by a ball and it disturbed the queen, they would have completely lost their shit and stung everybody within a few hundred yards. The game might even have had to be cancelled, which in hindsight, might not have been a bad thing.

Oaks Bowl First

The Oaks bowled first with youngsters Zak Newton and Noah Beckell opening the attack. Both bowled some really good stuff, but the opposition had a delightful mix of stubborn batting and a lucky streak that saw chances and half-chances slip through our fingers like sand.

George came on after their spell and bowled a wicket maiden, giving us a glimmer of hope. The catch? A comical combination of Noah’s arms and ribcage. George then decided to mix things up with some inconsistent bowling. Despite Kalum’s efforts to save us with 3-28 off his 8 overs, everything else was a mess. Basingstoke took full advantage of our lacklustre bowling and fielding, pushing hard and hitting well. One guy, who should’ve been out three times, made a solid 41, even managing to smack Bob’s kneecap with a satisfying crack.

Alex Holman and Bob Lethaby got an expensive wicket each, but allowing Basingstoke to reach 220 from 80 at halfway is quite an achievement, especially if you’re into the whole ‘that’s so village’ thing. The last 10 overs? A delightful disaster where chances came and went amongst a flurry of sixes pumped into the crops.

The Response

Still, 220 is gettable. Well, sometimes it is. When big-hitting Nick Green was back in the pavilion for one, the signs were not promising. Mozzer and Rutty gave us a glimmer of hope with a decent partnership, taking us to 49-1, keeping us in the game. But once those two departed in quick succession, it wasn’t long before chaos reigned.

A collapse of almost comical proportions ensued, with 6 wickets falling for 7 runs. Thanks to good bowling and poor shot-making, Oakley drifted into oblivion, leaving poor Noah stranded like the bemused skipper of the Titanic. It’s a shame we didn’t have a brass band playing in the background, just a few red kites circling around the corpse of our innings.

So, we were out-batted and out-bowled after the first 20 overs of the Basingstoke innings. On another day it might have been different, but they were a good side. When you meet a good side, you need to play well throughout, and we didn’t. It happens. How we respond is what’s important. We just have to go home, kick our proverbial cats and move on to new pastures.

Special thanks to Billy and the lady from Basingstoke for scoring and the 2 very fair umpires (although taking their own bowler out of the game for no balling seemed harsh).

On we travel…

MOM: Zak Newton, who wins some onions