Match Date & Time

Date Time Season
May 5, 2024 1:30 pm 2024

Match Report

It seems appropriate that the a team originating from the BBC world service should have as its opening bowler the Urdu News editor. So here is the news from this week’s match at Middleton Park.  

Middleton Stoney welcomed back the Lumb’s for their first game of 2024, Pankaj Singh and Ali Meier making their debuts and Ollie Ross returning to the fold after some seasons playing as an opponent. John Springer was also playing his first match after missing 2023 with injury. With those who play on Saturday’s having had matches cancelled, young batsman eagerly awaited news of the toss, hoping to bat first.  Hope was rewarded when the captain allocated the batting order and messrs. Lumb J and Way H strode to the crease.

The Bushmen contain some venerable players, and for once the average age of the visitors surpassed that of home team. Inevitably some of the fielding allowed for ones to be turned into twos and on one occassion a three into a four. In contrasting styles the score advanced smoothly, Jamie playing the aggressor to Harry’s watchful accummulation. The early overs suggested that a typically slow wicket would be one where fast scoring was limited and that the “arial route” was the more likely to reach the boundary.  Released from gardening duties, (his back was about to start twinging) Simmo looked on approvingly; the first of a steady stream of spectators on the warmest day of the season so far.

At 40 – 0 a fter 12 overs, Jamie fell to a very good catch by Bushman skipper Harry Low. Jamie had picked the only fielder likely to have covered the ground and kept his eye on the ball hit high to deep mid on.  Pankaj scored his first run for the club with a lofted drive over mid-off but fell to first change bowler, Karanvir. Karanvir was  by a margin the pick of the Bushmen attack. He varied his pace and had a ball that went the other way as well as his conventional off spin. One that went the other way was too good for Pankaj and with Way’s defences also breached, Middleton lost three wickets in four overs for the addition of ten runs.

John Springer usaully blends watchful defence with occassional belligerence. Olly Ross, left handed, likes to score freely. With Karanvir making things tough scoring was done mostly from the Farm end. Despite some scares, Ollie dropped at cover, and John finding the space between fielders the batting team gradually regained control and then took charge. Between the pair a dozen sixes were scored as the bowling became tired. Both had passed fifty with the skipper indicating that it was time to press on for the declaration. John was caught by Low low down  at mid off, concluding a partnership of 113 in a ball shy of 20 overs.  Olly completed the innings by biffing consecutive sixes from Kishan into the long grass at deep mid wicket. Had Olly upset the bowler’s feelings, we were soon to find out.  The declaration was made with 10 mins remaining before tea.

The refreshments were provided by the youngest tea team to date. Sam and Harry ensured there was food aplenty, the sandwiches including vegan options were filled with rustic charm. Many thanks boys.

As the afternoon had progressed, any hints of the morning sunshine had long since passed. The thick cloud was building and the temperature cooling.  This did not dampen the optimism of the home team. Sam  Norley and Paul Wordsworth encouraged further optimism with good first overs. Sam settled in to bowl a challenging spell, beating the bat on several occassions. Paul teased the batsmen trying to encourge the lofted drive.  Kishan and Low took advantage of attacking fields to make a good start, Low surviving a close call run out. Sam broke the partnership with an excellent yorker which Low knew was too good from the moment it left the bowler’s hand. A second wicket soon followed, this time Sam trimming both bails of the Bushmen no. 3.

Most of the runs were coming from Kishan. He batted patiently waiting for the bad ball. Middleton decided that bowling some bad balls was the way forward, rather too many friendly full tosses were dispatched to the square leg boundary, where fielders Seril Shah and Pankaj were kept busy all afternoon.  Seril came on replacing Paul. Last time out he was the scourge of the Bushmen picking up six wickets for eleven. No such luck this time as Kishan cruised past fifty. Sam’s tidy spell was completed allowing the occassional flighted off spin of Ali Meier to tease a wicket.  Kishan managed to keep the strike and struck lustily. Fielders were posted to the deep but the ball eluded them.

Ollie Ross came on to bowl at the start of the last twenty overs, or possibly nine mins before the start, there was a little negotiation to be made. 75 runs were needed and with ultra experienced batting to come, and therefore some slower running in between the wickets this was still an even match if Kishan could be dislodged.  A bushman batsman was forced to retire with a sore back, (“too much gardening”, said Simmo). Ross found the outside edge of the new batman, John Springer leapt to his right, somewhat like Ben Stokes that time at Trent Bridge when Stuart Broad was ripping the Austrlians apart, but the ball rolled to the ground . It would have guaranteed catch of the season. 

The thickening cloud now began to do what it  had been threatening for some time and a light rain began to fall, just enough to make the ball hard to grip, not enough to go off. Sam Norley was brought back , he struggled with the wet seam and was not the threat he was earlier, Ollie has bowled with a wet ball before and continued to keep his end tight. Kishan continued to pounce on full tosses that came his way and completed a hundred, a hundred that came before the team score had passed 130. Sam nearly had his man caught and bowled, a valiant dive getting left finger tips to the ball.

Ollie picked up two deserved wickets, the first a very delicate stumping with the off bail lightly disturbed by his begloved fingertips. The second an LBW given as the batsmen failed to play a shot to ball cutting back from outside the off stump. In a last throw of the dice Pankaj had a chance to be the hero, but not all chances are taken. Kishan finished the game with a boundary, he had scored two thirds of the total on his own. A fine innings.

In the post match discussions some were of the opinion that the declaration was too generous, some felt it would have been better to bat second. Perhaps the key lay in the number of wides and no balls conceeded, (and therefore extra balls given) . The Bushmen won with three overs remaining, two and half overs of extra deliveries were enough to tip the balance. 

Games are always that little bit more enjoyable when the officiating is provided. Richard and Chris thanks for your service, and it should also be noted that the Bushmen has officials of their own. The drizzle did not put off the Bushmen from the bushmeat on Rona’s BBQ, even the vegetarian was provided for while Seril and Andrew kept all well refreshed thanks again to all.





Bowling O M R W
Sam Norley132522
Paul Wordsworth62270
Seril Shah50240
Ali Meier50290
Olly Ross92202
Shaan Singh30220

BBC Bushmen




Middleton Stoney Cricket Club | Middleton Park
Bullmarsh Cl, Middleton Stoney, Bicester OX25 4JF