in With A Roar!
MCC 3rd XI’s season kicked off with a visit to a new team in WCCL Div. 6, Urchfont having decided to enter a 2nd XI for 2015. Although located in fairly deep and (on the day) poorly illuminated Wiltshire, the Urchfont ground is rather splendid, the outfield fast and smoothly undulating (see below), and the wicket firm and true. Both sides, however, had experienced the trials of early season selection (i.e., not enough bodies to go round), with Urchfont’s world famous scarecrow festival taking place the same day – I kid you not – apparently taking a bite out their player pool.
MCC 3rd’s, in contrast, thanks to the persuasive powers of our silver-tongued Cricket Manager, a MCC maiden and partner, and “friends-of-Dicko” from Colerne and Reading, comprised a full complement of 11 dedicated souls, whose enthusiasm was only slightly dented by the Assistant-Acting-Deputy-Captain announcing that he’d won the toss and elected to field on a somewhat chilly afternoon. There being no hill to speak of, Dicko elected to take the new ball with the brisk gale-force wind at his back, providing Piercy, who had the other end, with another opportunity to bemoan the leadership skills of the aforementioned AADC.
12 overs later, the Urchfont openers were looking quite comfortable and happily belting anything loose to the boundary. Although Dicko managed to ‘bowl’ the more dangerous-looking of the two, this unfortunately happened after no-ball had been called and that was closest we came to a wicket before drinks. By this time, Chris Middup and Derek Watkins had taken over with the ball and both kept very tidy lines indeed for the next 20-odd overs such that Urchfont never got much above 3 an over for much of their innings.
In an attempt to accelerate, the opposition pair contrived a comedy run out with the sprightly Club Treasurer hitting the stumps directly from about 5 feet. With new blood arriving at the crease, Derek finally earned some reward for his excellent spell, bagging 2 quick wickets to end with 2-34 off his 12 miserly overs. Chris M was less lucky but equally frugal (0-36 off 12 for him). Dicko had already got the whiff of rabbit by falling down a burrow while chasing a on-drive gently struck in his general direction, but it was Piercy who played the poacher on this occasion, snaffling 4 morsels and leaving WCCLBoY2014 (joint) with nowt. At the end of 45, then, Urchfont had 151-7.
Some words on the fielding are warranted given the frosty conditions of the afternoon and the speed of the outfield. There were some excellent stops and chases by Sandra Rouse (Maiden extraordinaire) and partner Charles, who prevented one boundary with a highly professional slide-dive, and Threaders ran around like a mad, er, professor testing his latest (il)legal high. Piercy managed to get hit on most parts of his body (except his hands), while Steve Ley in his first ever game of cricket demonstrated admirable ball control (with his feet) whenever the red sphere came his way. Only 10 extras conceded too and very few balls squeezed their way past Bish Snr. behind the stumps.
Urchfont also have a very nice pavilion, decent sized changing rooms and showers with warm water. In addition, they put an excellent tea with a formidable chocolate and raspberry cake clearly designed to undermine the MCC batters. Recalling a successful run chase at Potterne last season, the AADC decided to open with himself and Senior Prof, an announcement met, it must be said, with loud derision from the club’s financial guru. However, by the end of 18 overs or so, the professorial partnership had put on 73 before the second clownish bit of running of the day saw the demise of AADC and cruel cries of jug avoidance.
Willsy entered at number 3, taking the cumulative age of the first three batters comfortably over 180 – is this a record? Like his predecessors, however, Andy immediately found the bowling to his taste and quickly caught up with Threaders score. Suitably ‘stimulated’, young Mr Grace then took a mighty sweep at some friendly and rather slow off-spin only to accelerate the ball onto his head and just above his right eye. Within minutes, he resembled ‘enry Cooper on a bad day and sensibly retired before any more damage could be self-inflicted. Sandra came in next and showed the maker’s name in text book fashion before being dismissed to an excellent catch; Charles got a straight one from a decent first change bowler coming downwind; and Willsy’s nice little knock came to an end with an lbw.
This brought together the same duo who saw us home in that game I mentioned at Potterne last year: Derek and Chris, the redoubtable bowlers of earlier. Once more, they did the job, calmly and efficiently knocking off the 30 runs left for us to reach our target, and a win by 6 wickets with 8.1 overs to spare.
A very fine job and some encouraging performances to take on to next week’s match against Warminster. MoM goes to Derek Watkins, with special mentions for Chris Middup’s fine all-round performance and to Piercy for his 5 victims (definitely juggable). Champagne moment to Threaders for an IPL-esque flick over backward point off a quickish ball from the Urchfont opening bowler. I doubt we’ll see the likes of that again.
PS Many thanks to Chris Grubb for the fantastic top graphic. More to come....
|Type :||League: Wiltshire League Division 6 - 2015||Date :||Saturday 2nd May 2015|
|Toss :||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time :||13:00|
|Ground :||Newsyde, Urchfont||Rules Type :||Standard|
Highlights :Urchfont: P Wood 53, K Bills 71 Marshfield 3rdXI: Andrew Pierce 9-0-41-4, Richard Guy 48 Debuts for Steve Ley, Charles Harris and Sandra Rouse
|Urchfont CC - 2nd XI||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||151 for 7 (45 overs) 'b'||154 for 4 (36.5 overs) 't'|
|1||P. Wood||run out (Andrew Pierce)||53||0||0||0|
|2||K Bills*||b Andrew Pierce||71||0||0||0|
|3||Richard Bromley||b Derek Watkins||0||0||0||0|
|4||M Wood||lbw||b Derek Watkins||0||0||0||0|
|5||H Taylor||b Andrew Pierce||9||0||0||0|
|6||Peter Strong||b Andrew Pierce||0||0||0||0|
|7||L Jenkins†||not out||4||0||0||0|
|8||J Wood||b Andrew Pierce||0||0||0||0|
|9||Felix Plant||not out||4||0||0||0|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||0||1|
|1||Richard Guy*||run out (Peter Strong)||48||8||1||0|
|2||Mike Threadgill||retired not out||19||3||0||0|
|3||Andy Wills||lbw||b P. Wood||23||5||0||0|
|4||Sandra Rouse||ct M Wood||b H Taylor||1||0||0||0|
|5||Charles Harris||b Peter Strong||1||0||0||0|
|6||Derek Watkins||not out||23||5||0||0|
|7||Chris Middup||not out||11||2||0||0|
|8||Mark Dixon||did not bat|
|9||Andrew Pierce||did not bat|
|10||Terry Bishop†||did not bat|
|11||Steve Ley||did not bat|
|Byes (6), Leg Byes (3), Wides (19)||Extras||28|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets73-1 Richard Guy (Mike Threadgill-14*); 94-2 Sandra Rouse (Andy Wills-15*); 103-3 Charles Harris (Andy Wills-19*); 121-4 Andy Wills (Derek Watkins-12*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||9||1|