Outboxed at Tormarton

MCC 2nds Purton 36 of 55

Our first home game of the season found us playing away at Tormarton’s delightful ground, a few miles north of Marshfield, because the outfield at the Withy was in no fit state for a game of proper cricket. Tormarton, in contrast, have a lovely, smooth field, a half decent track, a cute pavilion and good changing/showering facilities. What’s not to like? Note to t’committee: is it not time to explore an arrangement with our neighbours across the M4 by which we can play more (all?) of our 3rd team fixtures at their place? It seems to your correspondent that the plus points far outweigh the negatives.

tormarton pavillionSo it was, then, that we entertained our old enemy, Box, with the Captain reinstated (nothing to do with him volunteering to provide teas, I hasten to add) and, on paper, the strongest XI that we have fielded this season. After the game at Warminster that shall not be named, our leader won the toss (4-for-4 in the 3rd’s so far) and elected to insert the opposition. Box always manage to field some decent batters and some miserly bowlers and last Saturday proved to be no exception.

In an act of unexpected creativity (or jaw-dropping weirdness, depending on your point of view), the skipper asked James Roper to open the bowling with his Warne-like repertoire of leg-breaks, accompanied – of course – by His Dickoness at the other end. The Box openers were circumspect, almost respectful, and the first 6 overs yielded not very many runs before James was thanked very much and sent off to scamper around the field for the rest of the afternoon. The next 16 overs saw an almost frantic rotation of bowling resources offered up to the opposition batsmen. Piercy was frugal and on the spot, likewise the Hodster, Guy Lowin less so but hardly profligate given the state of his back, and even the Official Acting Vice-Captain (OAVC) for the day was accorded a degree of respect. Drinks arrived at 66-0 and although there had not been much wicket-threatening, the performance in the field had thus far been solid.

Things were about to change, however, because post-break the Box openers went on the attack and a further 100 runs were added to their score with no loss. Chris Middup was finally called up to take some pace off the ball and he immediately induced the Box no. 1 to hit a skier into the open space at deep mid-off. As Guy Lowin on the boundary decided to wait for the ball to come to him, Roper Jr. set off from extra-cover at warp speed and then perfectly judged his full-length dive to snatch the ball millimetres from the ground – a catch of spectacular athleticism, reminiscent of a similar feat last season (by a slightly older member of the team, you’ll recall) away at Potterne (see: Match Report V Potterne describing said Dolly catch). Dicko saw off the new batter right away, a big mistake as it turned out because the replacement then bludgeoned 43 off 13 balls, including 5 of his 6 sixes from one Middup over (ouch).

I'll allow the author some artisitic licence with his comparison of Jimmys catch of the decade and his dolly at Potterne, however, as for accuracy the reaction of The Illuminati who gathered in the bar after practice on Tuesday,upon hearing said comparison was one of scorn, to quote Matt Green "Ha HA HA HA, What!!!!" Draw your own conclusions....

Editor in Chief

The Dickster also gave up a few at this time and he was only allowed back into the hutch (where he fed greedily) once the skipper had bowled Mr. Sixer with a double bouncer. But, by this time, Box had gone well past 200 and the not out batsmen were happy to limit us to 3 bowling points and finish on 244-7 from the allotted 45 overs. Bowling figures were a mixed bag: Hodds 1-35 off 11, Dicko 4-66 off 12 (nearly half the runs conceded coming off 12 balls, however), Middup 2-51 off 4 overs… Fielding was generally tidy – many thanks to Sandra, who subbed for Charles until his choir practice was finished (don’t ask me), and to our missing lady from last week, the dazzling Milly (to quote Piercy, “the loveliest teammate I’ve ever played with”…) who provided moral support and dog-walking duties throughout the afternoon.

A Pierce HatTea was a plentiful affair and included some exceptional ‘door-step’ sandwiches, each of which contained about half a can of corned beef. Roper Jr. was then assigned opening duties with OAVC and, by drinks at 22 overs, MCC had reached a respectable 80 odd for none. Young James contributed a half-century of these, including some exceptionally well-timed smiting in the arc between mid-on and extra cover. Immediately after refreshments, OAVC decided that his partner needed no further help and lobbed a leading edge to mid wicket, a feat soon to be repeated by Piercy, but not before he had managed to run out an ever more rampant Roper for an excellent 90. With Guy Lowin already dismissed cheaply, it was left to the skip and Willsy to rebuild and this they did with some well-struck blows in a solid 40-run stand that took us to 166-5.

By now, however, the required run rate had crept up to 10 an over, which was a little beyond the brave souls remaining to bat. Sensing the flagging spirits in the home dug-out, and wise to the fact that we were within touching distance of a 5th batting point, Dicko decided to take charge and relieve Charles of the burden of facing one of the slowest bowlers I’ve ever seen. Consequently, as Charles nudged the next delivery to square leg, Mark set off for a “quick” single. Ridiculous as that sounds, he would probably have made it if the Box fielder had not picked up and thrown down the one stump he could see in a single fluid, Jontyesque motion. Result: Dicko run out 0 without facing a ball. Cue hysterical laughter from 21 out of 22 cricketers playing the game. Luckily for us, though, the last over of our innings yielded 12 runs, including the only wides (3) and no balls (4) conceded by Box, and we ended up with a reasonable total of 184-9.

Defeat by 60 runs, therefore – not dishonourable, for sure, but we were always behind in the game, primarily because we didn’t find the soft underbelly of Box’s batting until too late in their innings. Penetration, gentlemen bowlers, is what we need for next week! MCC MoM goes to James Roper for his fantastic knock and catch of the century, with a special mention to the Box openers, who both made 80+, and to one K. Dolman for his strike rate of {100 x 43/13} = 331. Brown ale moment (no, make that a case) again goes to Dicko for a comic dismissal that beat last week’s by some distance. I look forward to seeing his attempt to go one step further next week at Collingbourne.

P.S. For the anoraks out there, Dicko recorded his 250th wicket for MCC in this game – his stats since joining the club in 2006 make enviable reading: 1085.3-251-3026-250. Don’t let the animal rightists know where he lives…


Richard Guy

Fixture Details

Type : League: Wiltshire League Division 6 - 2015 Date : Saturday 23rd May 2015
Toss : Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to field Start Time : 13:00
Ground :   Rules Type : Standard

Highlights :

MCC - James Roper 90, Mark Dixon 12-3-66-4 Box - N Pettit 85, D Kelly 81 K Dolman 43 (in 13 deliveries)

Result Summary

Result :    Box CC - 2nd XI - Won by 60 runs
  Marshfield CC - 3rd XIBox CC - 2nd XI
Score 184 for 9 (45 overs) 't' 244 for 7 (45 overs) 'b'
Game Points 0 0
Total Points 0 0

Box CC - 2nd XI


 NameHow OutBowlerRuns4s6sBalls
1 Neil Pettit ct James Roper b  Chris Middup 85 7 2 0
2 David Kelly*†   b  Chris Middup 81 9 1 0
3 Andrew Clark   b  Mark Dixon 0 0 0 0
4 Kevin Dolman   b  Gary Hodder 43 1 6 13
5 Jak Poolman ct Matthew Green b  Mark Dixon 2 0 0 0
6 T Edwards   b  Mark Dixon 0 0 0 0
7 Simon Neaves ct Gary Hodder b  Mark Dixon 0 0 0 0
8 Richard Rymer not out   11 0 0 0
9 Jon Bazley not out   6 1 0 0
10 Matty Edwards did not bat          
11 Ben Richardson did not bat          
  Byes (3), Leg Byes (2), Wides (7), No Balls (7) Extras19  
    Total 244  
    Wickets 7  

* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper

Fall of Wickets

174-1 Neil Pettit (Unsure-0*); 174-2 Andrew Clark (Unsure-0*); 184-3 David Kelly (Unsure-0*); 192-4 Jak Poolman (Unsure-0*); 222-5 Simon Neaves (Unsure-0*); 222-6 Kevin Dolman (Unsure-0*); 222-7 T Edwards (Unsure-0*); 

* = not out batsman


  BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsWidesNo Balls
1 Mark Dixon 12 3 66 4 0 1
2 James Roper 3 1 10 0 0 0
3 Andrew Pierce 6 0 23 0 0 1
4 Gary Hodder 11 1 35 1 0 1
5 G Lowin 2 0 15 0 7 4
6 Richard Guy 7 0 34 0 0 0
7 Chris Middup 4 0 51 2 0 0
  Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets 5 0
  Total 45 5 239 7 7 7

Marshfield CC - 3rd XI


 NameHow OutBowlerRuns4s6sBalls
1 Richard Guy ct Simon Neaves b  Kevin Dolman 28 2 0 0
2 James Roper run out (T Edwards)   90 7 4 0
3 G Lowin   b  Ben Richardson 3 0 0 0
4 Andrew Pierce ct Jon Bazley b  Kevin Dolman 4 0 0 0
5 Andy Wills   b  Neil Pettit 19 3 0 0
6 Gary Hodder*   b  Neil Pettit 18 2 1 0
7 Charles Harris not out   3 0 0 0
8 Matthew Green ct Ben Richardson b  Jon Bazley 3 0 0 0
9 Mark Dixon run out (Matty Edwards)   0 0 0 0
10 Tim Woodman ct Matty Edwards b  Simon Neaves 4 1 0 0
11 Chris Middup not out   0 0 0 0
  Byes (4), Leg Byes (1), Wides (3), No Balls (4) Extras12  
    Total 184  
    Wickets 9  

* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper

Fall of Wickets

84-1 Richard Guy (James Roper-0*); 99-2 G Lowin (James Roper-0*); 126-3 James Roper (Andrew Pierce-0*); 126-4 Andrew Pierce (Andy Wills-0*); 166-5 Gary Hodder (Andy Wills-0*); 169-6 Andy Wills (Charles Harris-0*); 171-7 Matthew Green (Charles Harris-0*); 177-8 Mark Dixon (Charles Harris-0*); 183-9 Tim Woodman (Charles Harris-0*); 

* = not out batsman


  BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsWidesNo Balls
1 Richard Rymer 8 2 20 0 0 0
2 Matty Edwards 7 0 39 0 0 0
3 Ben Richardson 8 0 47 1 0 0
4 Kevin Dolman 11 2 40 2 0 0
5 Neil Pettit 6 1 14 2 0 0
6 Jak Poolman 3 0 7 0 0 0
7 Jon Bazley 1 0 2 1 0 0
8 Simon Neaves 1 0 12 1 3 4
  Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets 5 2
  Total 45 5 186 9 3 4

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