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Offley & Stopsley CC 149 all out Vs Biddenham 190-7  ; 10th May

OSCC Lost by 41 Runs

The OSCC Lions made the pleasant trip to Biddenham near Bedford, and for a change in May the weather was actually sunny. After last week’s batting collapse, the ranks where boasted by Dru Patel, Latino and Freeman. As Keeley walked out for the toss, a few joked that they would give betting man Latino good odds on us batting first, Keeley duly won the toss and inserted the Hosts.

Ward opened the bowling, and struck in the first over of the match to remove opener Basi for 0, as the gloved a lifting delivery to Keeper Damien. After suffering an injury yesterday, Freeman dropped into the seconds for a quiet graze in the outfield; Keeley had other ideas and after reading the code of conduct twice, made Freeman open the bowling from the other end. The decision seemed to work as Batsmen Hall top edged a delivery to Williams at mid-wicket and then followed it up by blowing through Perkins defense to leave the Hosts 23-3 and on the back foot.

Williams and Hum bowled luckless spells as a few inside edge’s missed the stumps, whilst also serving up the odd freebie or two. At drinks the hosts had moved onto 94-3, a position which pleased skipper Keeley.

The fifth wicket partnership was finally ended by Cliff Large, as Taylor attempted an ambitious swipe to a straight ball. Cutt’s at the other end was bowling well but with little luck as opener J Richardson seemed content to hold the innings together. Cutt’s did have the unfortunate pleasure of being smacked into the gardens, and from there the ball rolled a mile down the road, the report should note that the ball in question was a leg stump full toss.

At this point in the game Keeley had a clever plan, use experience, so he brought himself on, the decision didn’t look great as his first over got dispatched for 11 by the young R Cunningham. His mood didn’t improve when the batsmen offered up a sitter to Williams off the returning Freeman only for it to be shelled. As it often goes in cricket, Keeley’s next two over’s got smacked for 20 by the youngster. Freeman had the last say in the issue as he castled R Cunningham in his next over, but the damage had been done as the batsmen plundered 39 runs in a short space of time.

Ward and Cutt’s came back on to finish the game and both picked up wickets, with opener J Richardson finally departing for 79. Ward finishing with stand-out figures of 3-16, but the team as a whole can be reflect on a great fielding and bowling performance.

After a slightly disappointing tea, given last season’s top notch effort, OSCC set out on the Hunt for the getable 191 required to win. Dru Patel and Latino opened for the Lions and the runs started to follow as one mixed leg side flicks with solid defense, whilst the other mixed wild swishes with solid cut shots. In the 10th Over Latino departed, as the ball deflected off his thigh-pad and onto the stumps, and he had done more than Keeley had asked by acquiring 10 off 10 over’s.

Patel and Dathan started to rebuild the innings with some quick singles before Patel top-edged a delivery 8 short of a maiden Offley 50. This brought Captain Keeley to the wicket, but his heroics of last week where not relived, Offley where well placed, but he was bowled for 4 playing a silly shot with 24 over’s still to bat. This brought specialist batsmen for the day Freeman to the wicket, with plenty of over’s to bat and runs on offer.

The scoreboard was ticking over nicely, and things looked to be going in the right direction in the first few over’s after drinks. Then Freeman hit the self destruct button in dramatic fashion, he completed the family pair by running out Dathan, having previously run out Damien to end hopes of a victory in a different game. Freeman then lovingly guide a leg stump full toss into the hands of square leg, and it’s fair to say he could tell you every blade of grass from the square to the pavilion such was the shot.

Hum and Damien came together, but it didn’t last long as Hum aimed a terrible swipe over mid-wicket to be cleaned up for 9. Damien was next to go, as he tried to run a ball hitting middle-stump down to fine leg, needless to say it hit middle stump. After  an iffy start with the bat Colin Williams got off the mark with a nice punch down the ground, the batsmen survived a close LBW call to finish Not Out on 7. Ward, Large and Cutt’s gave the innings its last rights, as the tail was cleaned up with in quick fashion. Ward again looked solid, but continues to play down the Bakerloo after reaching between 3 and 7.

All-in-All a very good day, a strong performance from everyone, and credit to the hosts for playing Sunday cricket in correct spirit. Performances like this can only strength Offley as a club.