Report from Oaks scorer and soon to be journalist, Billy Turner. A very good effort this, considering it is his first time as an Oaks journo.
The Sunday XI were beaten by a strong Old Basing side in a low scoring affair on Sunday. With regular captain Ian Bennett unavailable, the captaincy went to young Will Rabley, under the watchful eye of the Third XI captain, Dan Beckell. With many Sunday regulars, such as Alex Brundle, George Lethaby and Dan Jones unavailable, the selectors turned to youth, giving youngsters such as Herbie Hamilton and Harry Tucknott a Sunday game, in a team that featured 5 players under the age of 18.
Having lost the toss and being put into bat, Oakley opened with Andy Hamilton and Ravi Kancharla on a pitch that looked a bit better than it did on Saturday, but that’s not saying much. Despite looking good, Ravi departed early for 5 as a ball just kicked up and went too quickly for Ravi as he was caught behind. Billy Turner came in at number 3 and although he confidently left his first ball alone, he was then out second ball as he missed one that was heading down the leg side, which then deflected off his back pad and went on to clip the bails (idiot).
Things went from bad to worse as number 4, Josh Carpenter, was later bowled for 1 as the Oaks looked to dig in and rebuild. If you are expecting things to get better from here, then don’t get your hopes up. Noah Beckell came in next and was out caught as he tried to get the Oakley score moving along. Andy Hamilton had watched all these wickets fall whilst bravely digging in at the other end. His stubborn resistance was eventually broken after he had seen off the opening bowlers, getting bowled by a ball that just kept a little low. The Oaks found themselves 19-5 off their opening 11 overs.
Captain Will Rabley was in at 6 and was joined by Matt Clift at 7. Given the situation, both batted excellently, Will in particular lead by example, playing some great shots including a textbook cover drive for 4. Will eventually departed for 12, not quite getting enough elevation on a shot as he was caught smartly at Mid-On. Dan Beckell, batting down the order, joined Matt at the crease as Matt looked to follow in Will’s scoring footsteps. Unfortunately he was shortly out LBW for 8, but a promising innings nonetheless. Herbie Hamilton joined Dan, batting at 9 as the Oaks began to dream of a score above 50.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be as both batsman were bowled despite more promising resistance. Alan Howarth and Harry Tucknott made up 10 and 11 and looked to just hang around and pick up any more runs they could. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to add many runs, Harry departing as the last wicket leaving Alan 0 not out. Oakley finished 45 all out off 21.1 overs, in what could be considered not the best batting performance, in an innings where extras was the top scorer.
Despite their low total, Oakley went out to bowl with heads high, believing if they bowled and fielded well, they could defend their tiny total. Will turned to the young duo of Herbie and Harry to open the bowling, as the Old Basing openers went out looking for a very early finish to the day. In the second over, and Herbie’s first, there was an early breakthrough as the first opener was caught well by Josh Carpenter at Mid-Off, as he looked to take the aerial route to the boundary. The next over saw Harry take his first wicket thanks to a sharp catch in the covers by Matt Clift as he slept into the air, hung there for a while and finally caught the ball just as he started to come back to the ground.
With Old Basing 14-2, Oakley found themselves with a glimmer of hope as they looked to turn the screw and apply pressure, with Herbie and Harry bowling tightly and only giving up 1 run off the next 3 overs. Harry, bowling an excellent line was able to find the outside edge of the Old Basing number 4, which allowed Will to take an excellent low catch behind the stumps. Will then turned to Alan Howarth to find more wickets, as Herbie came off with excellent figures of 1-2 off his 3 overs. However, whilst the next wicket did come, it actually came from a run out, as Herbie quickly ran in at mid wicket and sharply threw the ball into Will’s gloves, running out the young Old Basing batsman as they looked to sneak a quick single. Old Basing were now 28-4, with the Oaks really now believing they were in the game.
Will took Harry off, finishing with great figures of 2-15 off 5 overs, and decided to turn to spin king Ravi, and he should have been instantly rewarded. In Ravi’s first over he had one of the batsman fall into his trap of hitting him down the ground. Unfortunately, Billy had absentmindedly wondered off the boundary at Mid-On coming up half way and was promptly lobbed, with the ball landing exactly where he was supposed to be (idiot). Ravi was not to be denied a wicket though, as he was able to sneak one through the defences of the Old Basing number 3, who had dug in and batted well for his 14 runs.
Despite the best efforts of the Oakley players, Old Basing were able to get over the line, chasing down their target of 45 in 14.1 overs with 5 wickets in hand. All of the Oakley players deserve great credit for their work in the field, sticking to their jobs well and giving nothing away, ensuring that Old Basing would still have to work hard to win the game. Despite being clearly outmatched, Will captained excellently in tough conditions and all the young players will no doubt have better days on the cricket pitch if they continue to play as they did. Many thanks to Old Basing for coming down and getting a game on in this freak of a season.
The Sunday XI will look to get back to winning ways next weekend with the return of captain Ian, but until then:
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