Twos Win to Keep up Good Form!

There were a lot of unknowns as the Oakley 2s made their way towards Bramley on Saturday afternoon. The weather forecasts ranged from arctic to tropical, the team ranged from 1st team potential to 3rd team regulars, and the opposition were 0 from 4 – always beware the wounded beast.

Oaks Bowl First

One thing that was never in doubt was that the Oaks would bowl first. The skippers had basically decided this before the coin was flipped, but nevertheless, the formalities were undertaken. Noah and Zak took the new ball, looking to make early inroads. Early on, Zak was metronomic but regularly met with the full face of the blade, while Noah was a little more erratic but also beat the bat on plenty of occasions. In the end, it was the patient approach that paid off as Zak made the breakthrough courtesy of a good take down the leg side from Ian.

The Old Basing opener didn’t seem too keen to go, but this was to be a common theme. Alex Rogan, on debut, came into the attack and “attack” is certainly the correct word. Heads and toes alike were in danger, both for the batsmen and the slip fielders from the occasional loose one. The pace paid off and the edge was found, Ian taking a smart catch only for the umpire and batsman to curtail all celebrations. Apparently, the noise was glove on helmet, in which case the batsman should be giving Usyk a run for his money having managed to move glove to helmet and back without anyone noticing. Anyway, Zak found a proper nick in his final over with the umpire raising the finger despite the batsman claiming it had hit his pad (which is presumably made of wood based on the noise).

At this point, it is probably worth noting for fairness that the game was generally played in good spirits. A few moments may not have gone our way, but this is the nature of amateur sport, and we love it either way. With 2 wickets down, Kalum and Sharan tightened the screw prior to drinks with Old Basing on 80-ish. After drinks, the pressure of a few tight overs began to tell as Old Basing looked to up the scoring rate. However, this only resulted in a succession of deliveries being sent skywards, mostly into the grateful hands of Benjamin at mid-off. Sharan made the initial breakthrough before being replaced by Ollie Rabley who took the prize wicket of the Old Basing opener who had stuck around nicely.

Kalum then picked up a deserved wicket at the other end as the runs really began to dry up. Ollie continued to hit a consistent length on a pitch where timing was difficult. Batsmen 6, 7, and 8 fell to him in quick succession courtesy of two more skiers and a smart caught and bowled. In the final over of his spell, a golden chance for a fifer was presented but Nick Green didn’t quite get in the position he wanted and the ball went to ground, saving Ollie a jug. Instead, the 9th wicket fell to the final ball of the innings as Ian claimed a stumping off Sharan’s bowling, leaving Old Basing on a useful if not daunting 150.

A 150 Run Chase

With a smallish total to chase, Kris and Benjamin were sent out to open – removing any chance of a quick victory. The start was steady as required and plenty of 2s were needed on a slow outfield as the Oaks moved towards 30 in the 9th over before Benjamin was yorked. Then ensued a slight collapse, Jack was cleaned up by a full one before Ian nicked one to slip, who caught it at the 2nd attempt. At 36-3, a counterattack was required and that is exactly what Nick provided. In a game where boundaries were hard to come by, Nick found 3 in quick succession including a big six over long-on/cow. Kris remained solid as ever at the other end, ticking along nicely as Nick’s cameo came to an end on 25 with the Oaks about halfway to their target.

Alex came in at 6 and initially struggled to get off the mark. Good balls were well defended and loose ones continued to find fielders, Alex regularly grunting and smashing himself in the pad like a man on day release. Nevertheless, this was the partnership the Oaks needed with Kris’ calming influence at the other end. Once Alex was off the mark, he also started to find the boundary with considerable ease as the Oaks passed 100. As Kris closed in on a fifty, Alex fell for a well-made 30 as the target became well within reach. In came Kalum to shepherd the Oaks home and Kris to a fifty, although some initial lusty blows threatened to derail the second of those objectives. Kris did manage to reach his milestone, the perfect opener’s innings in a small chase, holding the innings together in the face of a collapse. Kalum then hit the winning runs, the Oaks winning comfortably by 6 wickets in the end.


The win was a testament to the team’s ability to remain composed under pressure. Each player contributed to the success, whether through tight bowling, sharp fielding, or sensible batting. Zak and Ollie were standout performers with the ball, while Kris’s steady hand with the bat ensured that the chase was managed effectively. Alex’s gritty 30 provided crucial support at a vital time, demonstrating the depth and resilience of the team. Looking ahead, this victory will boost the team’s confidence as they prepare for their next match against AWE Tadley. The lessons learned from this game, particularly in handling pressure and maintaining composure, will be invaluable. The 2s are showing promising signs of a team that is not just competing, but thriving.

In conclusion, the Oaks’ performance was not just about individual brilliance but about teamwork and determination. As the team continues to build on this momentum, they are well-positioned to climb further up the table. With each match, the team’s cohesion and understanding of each other’s strengths become more apparent, making them a formidable opponent for any team in the league.

MOTM: Kris Tucknott