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Offley & Stopsley II's 161-7 Vs Whitwell 223-8 ; 21 June

OSCC II's Lost by 62 runs

On the longest day, and possibly one of the hottest, the Offley and Stopsley skipper lost the toss and was asked to field. Opening the bowling with young Mark Ward backfired as the Whitwell openers tucked in. Skipper Darrel Cooper didn’t fare much better, despite managing to bowl a maiden; he went for 18 in his 4 overs.

Whipping himself and young Ward out of the attack the skipper brought on Cutts to bowl his leg spin and Large to bowl his medium paced swingers. It proved to be a decisive move as they slowed the run rate and both finished with 2 wickets, despite getting some stick from the crowd.

In a bid to keep the pace off the ball, and to hopefully keep the run rate down, cooper tossed the ball to Law to bowl his left arm spin. Law bowled superbly well , picking up 4 wickets for 46 in his 8 overs. One of those being a sharp stumping from Damien Sale, well it wasn’t that sharp and involved him pushing the 12 year old batsman out of the way to get the ball, but they all count where Damien is concerned.  Some good fielding, including a great catch from Andy Van Hoff and a not so great drop from Latino, meant that Offley and Stopsley were in with a chance of keeping the runs down to around 200.

Unfortunately and despite the spinners bowling well the runs came at a real flurry at the end with the opposition skipper scoring a quick fire 50, despite the return of Ward to the attack. In an attempt to keep the score under 200 the skipper gave one of his on loan first team players an over. Unfortunately it meant pace on the ball again and Qumar took 1 for 14 in his one over. This meant the target was 224, which was probably 80 less than the skipper thought they were going to concede after the first 8 over’s.

 

So needing to score at a rate of nearly 6 an over the openers strode to the wicket, with great expectations on the shoulders of the on lone first team players to provide much needed runs for the second team. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Hum tried a cover drive, only for his bat to sound like he had hit the ball with a tea tray, and the ball not to go off the square. With Qumar struggling to hit the ball in the fashion we know he can, and Hum struggling to hit the ball at all O&S struggled to around 50 off their first 20 over’s. With wickets falling as well O&S were in trouble and struggling to reach 100 let alone 200. Then the best partnership of the innings came together with Van Hoof, needing some runs to quieten some doubters, he’ll never get double figures that bloke, and the other first team player, Darren Lunney, put on some 70 odd runs for the 5th wicket to make the score at least respectable. Once Van Hoff fell playing a tired shot the aim of the game turned to getting Darren to his 50, although he seemed to feel the name of the game was to run Gary Law to death. With a 3 coming from what should of only been a single, Gary collapsed in a heap at one end. It was probably tiredness that saw him get bowled, which brought Ward to the crease, fresh from a 50 last week he proved the old adage that you are only as good as your next innings as he was bowled for 0. The name of the game was still to see Lunney to his 50 but sadly he fell 3 short attempting to hit 4 off the last ball and getting a thick outside edge to be caught at gully.

It was a good game of cricket at least, played in a friendly atmosphere, even if the opposition, as last year, were much too strong for the second team, perhaps the firsts should have a go next year.