3rd XI win at wild, wet and windy Withymead!
Mother Nature’s ongoing battle with the Cricket Gods continued this Saturday with the 3rd XI at home to Devizes 3 in an important bottom-of-the-table clash. Weather at the outset involved gale-force wind, a balmy temperature of approximately 13°C, and occasional, horizontal rain showers, with worse predicted after tea-time. Devizes turned up with only 8 players… had they followed our performances thus far this season and decided that no more would be required? In any event, the Skipper called correctly for the 5th time in a row  and invited the opposition to have a bat.
To cut to the chase, 22.2 overs later, we were back in the “pavilion”, having dismissed the requisite 7 Devizes batsmen for a miserly 33 runs. Only two bowlers required: the Captain down the hill into the gale, and ‘young’ A.Pierce uphill with a tail wind that would have given the Jet Stream a run for its money. Wickets were unevenly shared with Dicko snaffling 5-11 (yes, and a trophy, we know) and Piercy 2-18. The Skipper’s flattering figures, while sprinkled with all those “w”s also included 4 other ‘w’ words, namely wides, contributing an embarrassing 12.1% of the opponents’ total score (one doubts if there’s a trophy for that…). Fielding highlights included two comfortably taken catches by Rob Redman, one after an inspired fielding change. It’s unclear who was most surprised by this wicket: the batter for lobbing a catch to the fielder off a rather innocuous delivery, Redrum for realising at the last possible moment that he really ought to take the catch, or Dicko (and, it must be said, some elder, sceptical senior citizens in the side as well) that an adjustment to the field came off so spectacularly well!
Given the early hour, tea was not taken and the Marshfield 3rd XI’s innings was to start right away. Having acknowledged the roars of the crowd as he led the team off, Captain Dixon announced, “OK, Rimmer and Redrum, pads on, you’re opening”. Five minutes later as he joined his teammates in the dressing room, Dicko glanced at the already-padded up Rimmer, and the puzzled and clearly unpadded up Vice-Skipper, and inquired, “What the hell are you two up to?” Rimmer’s response, not unreasonably, was, “Well, Boss, this is how batsmen normally get kitted out before going in”, while the VC pointed out that the instructions given just a short while before were being followed to the letter. Much to the chagrin of poor Rimmer, the Captain explained that if, in fact, he had said ‘Rimmer’, he obviously meant ‘Richard’ and that everyone was to stop being so bloody silly. Thus, it was that VC and Redrum went out to chase down our modest target just as the wind and rain increased in intensity and increased the urgency with which we needed to reach it.
The meteorological conditions, coupled with two wily opening bowlers who achieved some prodigious movement, made batting a less than straightforward exercise and progress towards our goal was slow and not without incident. Redrum contrived to be run out in inauspicious circumstances; James Roper, having hit the only 4 of the day (a straight drive, which rocketed through the non-striker’s legs perilously close to his cojones – not funny), then mishit a repeat attempt to be easily caught and bowled; Bishop Snr., on his season debut, steered a firmly hit square cut into point’s grateful hands; and Rimmer (at last!) managed to get himself caught behind off a flapping bit of bat tape and then sportingly walked when no-one else, except the Devizes’ ‘keeper, had heard a noise. Willsy joined the VC with 8 runs still needed; Threaders, who was umpiring, kept muttering something about “3rd XI batting collapse, it’s happened before”, while the word ‘doomed’ could clearly be heard from the general direction of Mr. Pierce. Despite the naysayers, however, the job got done with the winning run coming from a Willsy skier which one of our loaned fielders (whom I won’t name to spare Terry’s blushes) declined to catch.
Victory, then, and the first of the season, by 6 wkts, allowing us to move out of the relegation zone in WCCL Division 6. While we would have looked pretty daft to have failed to win this week, the clinical performance in the field ensured that the notorious 3rd XI batting fragility was not unduly exposed. Champagne (or better still, Cinderella) moment has to be the devastated look on Rimmer’s face when the opener’s slot was snatched from his grasp at the 11th hour. The man-of-the-match award provoked some heated debate in the bar after the game: should it be the Captain for his 5-for, or the Vice for steering the side to victory with a chanceless 10 not out? While it was agreed that the latter was a far more difficult task than taking 5 of the Devizes 8, who eventually showed up, Dicko was, in the end, given the nod when it was pointed out that his tea was absolutely excellent. Next week, a sterner challenge cricket-wise, I suspect. Probably a good idea to pack thermal underwear and snow-shoes, just in case.
|Type :||League: Wiltshire League - Division 6 - 2012||Date :||Saturday 16th June 2012|
|Toss :||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time :||14:00|
|Ground :||Withymead||Rules Type :||Standard|
Highlights :Mark Dixon 5 wickets for 11 of 11.2overs
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Devizes CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||34 for 4 (14.4 overs) 't'||33 for 7 (22.2 overs) 'b'|
|1||Benjamin Owers||b Mark Dixon||15||0||0||0|
|2||Gary Rogers||b Mark Dixon||1||0||0||0|
|3||Paul Meadows†||b Andrew Pierce||0||0||0||0|
|4||Kieran Hiscock||ct Robert Redman||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|5||David Vick||b Andrew Pierce||0||0||0||0|
|6||Paul Rhys||ct Robert Redman||b Mark Dixon||4||0||0||0|
|7||Charlie Walker||b Mark Dixon||3||0||0||0|
|8||Andy Langan*||not out||2||0||0||0|
|Byes (2), Leg Byes (1), Wides (4), No Balls (1)||Extras||8|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||3||0|
|1||Richard Guy||not out||10||0||0||0|
|2||Robert Redman||run out (Charlie Walker)||0||0||0||0|
|3||James Roper||ct & b Charlie Walker||9||1||0||0|
|4||Terry Bishop||ct Benjamin Owers||b Charlie Walker||0||0||0||0|
|5||Michael Holman||ct Paul Meadows||b Charlie Walker||0||0||0||0|
|6||Andy Wills†||not out||4||0||0||0|
|7||Sam Burnstone||did not bat|
|8||Mike Cox||did not bat|
|9||Mark Dixon*||did not bat|
|10||Andrew Pierce||did not bat|
|11||Mike Threadgill||did not bat|
|Byes (5), Leg Byes (1), Wides (5)||Extras||11|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets8-1 Robert Redman (Richard Guy-5*); 23-2 James Roper (Richard Guy-8*); 23-3 Terry Bishop (Richard Guy-8*); 26-4 Michael Holman (Richard Guy-8*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||6||1|