3rd xI secure 25-point maximum and it doesn’t rain!

mark dixon 450

Following two consecutive Saturdays of no cricket (and tedious household chores), it was almost unbelievable to learn that our game against Westbury was indeed “on” and, even more astonishing, that the weather was clement (as CMJ might say) and set to remain so.  Thanks to the misguided Jet Stream dumping non-stop downpours for the previous few weeks, the grass at the Withy was green enough to be Irish and short enough, thanks to the Treasurer, to resemble a cricket outfield.  The perfect opportunity, then, to bat first and get some much needed runs under our belt?  Perhaps, but the Skipper (aka “Northern Git”), upon winning the toss, immediately grabbed the new ball and said “I’ll, er, I mean, we’ll have a bowl”.

Down the hill then trundled our glorious leader, while Al Chivers, still resplendently white in his dazzling new kit, had to labour up the slope (and bowled excellently again with no luck).  What happened in the next 28.3 overs remains difficult to comprehend.  The scorebook reveals that we dismissed the opposition for 48 (yes, 48), a statistic remarkable in and of itself, but even more amazing given that Westbury had amassed well over 200 against us at their place earlier in the season.

5WHEconS-RAve%Team Wkts
Mark Dixon  76.1 21 199 26 5/7 3 2.61 17.56 7.65 47.27
James Roper  34 3 144 6 3/22 0 4.24 34 24 22.22
Harry Smith  30 4 115 5 2/35 0 3.83 36 23 18.52
Andrew Pierce  20 2 61 5 2/18 0 3.05 24 12.2 20.83

The advantages of being skipper? 3rd XI Bowling stats 21/07/12


Where to begin with the highlights?  Mouldy took another excellent slip catch (but was adjudged to have missed three other chances, surely a juggable offence?).  Harry Smith pulled off an brilliant run out with a Exocet-like return to the Senior Bishop behind the stumps – the ecclesiastical keeper also took a smart catch off Harry’s bowling and yielded no byes.  Johnny Heyel boogied back into the side and collected two important wickets, the first with a long hop of memorable shortness, which Piercy then replicated in one of the greatest one-over spells I have ever seen (yes, I’m still sucking up after that run out incident).  Oh, and Dicko got a 5-for again.

Tea was a tour-de force, prepared and served by young Rimmer and his lovely Dutch companion.  This flower of Holland created a real challenge for home and away teams alike, however: how does one eat one’s tea while gazing goggle-eyed at a vision of beauty with one’s mouth wide open?  Clearly, there is more to The Netherlands than tulips, windmills and canals…

Roper Didn't hang Around!!Onward to our innings.  Although the target was less than 50, the “cup-half-empty” members of the side were already questioning whether this might prove to be a big ‘ask’ for our batting line-up.  The VC and James Roper opened, a partnership that lasted less than 2 overs in the earlier fixture this season at Westbury.  However, after a careful start, JR realised that he could be back in Bath in time for his BBQ and pummelled 5 fours off of the fourth over.  Despite sage advice from his partner to “take it easy, don’t do anything rash”, James continued in a most un-3rd XI-like fashion to knock off the runs as fast as possible and, after only 7.1 overs, it was job done, a 10-wicket win.  Roper 37 not out with 8 fours.  An excellent win, then, and maximum points as well, lifting us out of the relegation zone.

Man of the match?  In the bar, post-game, popular support was crystallising around James’ match-winning knock.  One lone voice, though, plaintively pointed out (in what I believe is called a Lancastrian accent – although it sounds more Yorkshire to me), “don’t you think that Marshfield bowler, whose figures were 8.3-4-7-5, should be considered?”  This was the chap, you’ll recall, who opened the bowling downhill with the wind and took 4 wickets, one every other over in his first spell of 8.  At the end of this cameo, the poor man was panting like an over-the-hill porn star and bowling an interesting mix of slow and slower balls some of which, it must be said, were swinging prodigiously.  Having retired to mid-off, it appeared that the Captain had left the remaining wickets in the hands of the rest of our excellent attack but, on seeing the ninth wicket go down, he immediately and selflessly brought himself back on to claim the Westbury number 11 as his 5th scalp of the innings.

After heated debate, the decision was to share the MoM between James and the Skipper, a bit of a cop out on the part of the voters, you might say, but remember who picks the team each week… Sadly, Mouldy’s inconsistency loses him the champagne moment of the day which goes, once again, to the Pascall family, this time to young Will, who took an incredible catch back at Broadley’s where we (the victorious 3rds) were enjoying a leisurely few beers by 6 pm, in bright sunshine on an idyllic summer’s evening (I’m not making this up, you know). Up next: Goatacre away with the VC in charge; you have been warned.

Richard Guy

Westbury & District CC, Wilts - 3rd XI

chris bush   b Mark Dixon  
Aidan Wicks +   b Mark Dixon  
Thomas Blackett ct Martin Ould b Mark Dixon  
Grant Willis LBW b Mark Dixon  
Jason Steele ct Terry Bishop b Harry Smith  
Sam Nitz ct James Roper b Johnny Heyel  
Ian Young ct Johnny Heyel b Andrew Pierce  
Chris Pike ro Harry Smith  
Simon Higgins   b Johnny Heyel  
Philip Osborne * Not Out  
Adam Osborne   b Mark Dixon  
Extras  ( 5w  2nb  )   7  
Total  ( all out , 28.3 overs)  48  

Fall Of Wickets

0-1  chris bush (Aidan Wicks-0*) ; 12-2  Thomas Blackett (Aidan Wicks-8*) ;
13-3  Aidan Wicks (Grant Willis-0*) ; 18-4  Grant Willis (Jason Steele-2*) ;
26-5  Jason Steele (Sam Nitz-0*) ; 28-6  Ian Young (Sam Nitz-1*) ;
36-7  Chris Pike (Sam Nitz-3*) ; 36-8  Simon Higgins (Sam Nitz-3*) ;
45-9  Sam Nitz (Philip Osborne-3*) ; 48-10  Adam Osborne (Philip Osborne-5*) ;

* = notout batsman,


Mark Dixon 8.3 4 7 5
Alan Chivers 8 1 16 0
Harry Smith 6 1 15 1
Johnny Heyel 5 0 6 2
Andrew Pierce 1 0 4 1

 3rd XI

Richard Guy Not Out   11 
James Roper Not Out   37 
Martin Ould Did Not Bat          
Michael Holman Did Not Bat          
Johnny Heyel Did Not Bat          
Alan Chivers Did Not Bat          
Mike Threadgill Did Not Bat          
Harry Smith Did Not Bat          
Terry Bishop + Did Not Bat          
Andrew Pierce Did Not Bat          
Mark Dixon * Did Not Bat          
Extras  ( 3w  1nb  )   4  
Total  (0 wickets, 7.1 overs)  52  

Fall Of Wickets


Jason Steele 3 1 12 0
Adam Osborne 2 0 22 0
Simon Higgins 1 0 9 0
Sam Nitz 1 0 5 0
chris bush 0.1 0 4 0
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