Summer White-Out amongst the shadows at Middleton Cheney

The 2019 Originals season drew to a close with another inauspicious defeat at Middleton Cheney as Barry White (not The actual Barry White) took 5 Marsh wickets and restricted Marsh to just 117.

Earlier, at 30 without loss after 12 overs the Marsh openers of Chambers and Needham had taken some knocks from the unpredictable track yet seemed to have calmed the strike pairing of Nadin and Denison.   But this was not a track you would ever ‘be-in’ on and both had gone caught to mistimed shots by the time Marsh had posted 50. 

52-2 off 18 became 52-3 with White’s first ball as it landed and rolled into Skippers off stump.  Never mind, the ebullient Lofty was determined to finish his excellent year with a flourish and picked off boundaries whenever the bowlers strayed, before also falling to White on 39 from just 40 balls.  Timdog who had been gritting it out was also a White victim and decided he prefers pace to spin after all. 

For a brief moment the Fox Cranes were in bat together and the wicket was cast in partial darkness from their shadows. The half light that returned when Luke fell, became a blaze next over as Seb snicked behind for nought and returned to the pavilion for family consolation (Unlucky!) 

And so began the procession In and Out as Marsh slumped from 86-3 to 117 all out, despite a couple of glorious boundaries from John….Who’s John, Grant?

A very pleasant tea followed and Marsh took to the field revived in order to defend their puny total – minus wicketkeeper (who was down in Brighton with some chums…say no more) and opening bowler.  Never mind, hope springs eternal and when stand-in strike bowler Lofty lured Merry into a false pull and a thin edge on to his stumps, and then the Oxfordshire Veterans trialist trapped Cox in front, Cheney were 7-2 off 5 overs.

Needham struck again bowling the King of the swingers and Cheney were 31-3.   The pace(ish) of Needham and Fox was replaced by the The Twirling Tweaking Triplets of Vadivale, Leonard and Cross.  With the exception of 3 tight overs from Crossy (there was only ‘the one’ in all 3 overs), the plan seemed to be to wear the batsmen out from them hitting the ball into the trees!  It didn’t work though and despite a wicket a piece for Vadivale (Seb catching on boundary to avoid TFC award) and Skipper (Needham demonstrating how you actually catch the ball for the Skippers benefit) the runs came at a canter.  Cheney reached the target of 117 for 6 in 34 overs.       

Thanks to Seb, Sykes and Sammy…and their mate John(?) for banter and performance…See you next year lads!   And our ever present travelling fans.

At least the early finish meant we got back to The Dog before it closed!  And a good few beers were sunk under the Chambers Grolsch Command, before the Fox boys went to stalk the clubs of Oxford with their combined assault weaponry of Seb’s looks and Luke’s chat…..oh dear….

End of Term Report:    Room For Improvement next Season…..