Match Date & Time
|June 11, 2023
“The rain falls gently down, and slowly fills my cup. This never would have happened, If raindrops all fell up.”
– Tom Batiuk
Islip played all the better cricket this Sunday. In chasing a modest MSCC total they were also trying to stay ahead of the gathering storm clouds piling up in the direction of Bicester.
The groundsmen had promised an abundance of runs on a hard flat wicket. The groundsmen had also watered the wicket heavily on Wednesday night, perhaps too heavily. What should have been hard was not so. Batting was made awkward by the slower pace of the wicket, there was also variation in the height of the bounce.
A brace of Michael’s opened for Middleton. Michael Robinson rocking forward and planting his boot well down the wicket, Michael Simpson waiting on the back foot, watching the ball carefully. All seemed calm and peaceful in the stifling heat.
Simmo tickled a ball to short fine leg, he set off waiting for a call, then he called “yes” and his momentum took him as far as his batting partner. ” His batting partner, eschewing any formal greeting in the middle of the wicket, shouted “no!”. Simmo turned as the ball was returned to the keeper, tucked his bat under his arm and began to unfasten his gloves.
Jamie Lumb came to the crease and found little to trouble him, comfortably playing the bowling of father and son bowling partnership, Ben and Kevin Crawford. Michael Robinson left a ball outside his off stump, he had planted his back foot, in the opinion of Umpire and wicket keeper, on the broad line of the crease. The keeper rolled the ball toward the stump and claimed an unlikely stumping… it transpires that George Robinson, Michaels’s sun had been dismissed in exactly the same way earlier in the week.
Batting at number four was Tim House. He started slowly, surviving a chance as he tried to play the elder Crawford over square leg but top edging to loop the ball just over the keeper. The very next ball Jamie tried the same shot, and wished he hadn’t, the ball going straight up and resting easily the the gloves of the keeper.
George Williams was next in. It was not long before the score had doubled from 25 – 3 to 51 – 3. The ball was dispatched to the long grass to the satisfaction of the watching members. But then a confident appeal for a slip catch was turned down. rightly so as it was a bump ball. Aggrieved, Islip had their revenge, next ball as George was caught behind for 19.
The two Tims, Captain and Vice-Captain began a careful rebuilding. Off spinner Brock was causing problems getting exaggerated turn with variable bounce. Tim House opted to play the ball as it bounced, three times picking up boundaries back past the bowler.
Gradually the batting team looked to be gaining the upper hand. It was not to last long. Nearing a half century, Tim H was undone by the returning Ben Crawford, beaten by a good length ball that uprooted his off stump. In the same over Stevyn Jackson made a brief appearence and the tail was exposed.
MSCC needed the captain to shepherd the tail. His shepherding lasted only one run. A ball from Crawfurd went through the surface of the wicket and exploded off a length, brushing his glove and carrying through to the keeper.
The tail managed half a wag only, Seril picking up four runs and Asif a single. Islip had been ruthless, helped by some excellent fielding from Stothard in particular.
As the teams retired for tea, prepared by the Robinson family, a few wisps of cloud could be seen in the East. Michael Robinson had sliced the cucumber to perfection. The rest of the work had been done by Mrs Robinson. Tea was much enjoyed with cakes and sandwiches to delight. Thanks Robinsons! The thin cirrus wisps became cummuloform. But they were still small and distant as Islip began their innings.
Asif started tidly, Robin Cummings, bar one ball did so too. Hambridge for Islip showed attacking intent as if he wanted a quick finish. Asif took andvantage neatly taking a simple caught and bowled. Stothard joined Hambridge at the crease. By picking the right ball to attack both players were soon accelerating the scoring. In the East the clouds were now thicker and the wind began to build.
Conferring in the middle, the Islip batsmen sensed a chance to finish the game before the storm came. As the bowlers changed runs came even faster. Simmo was dispatched for a huge six and William’s pace was exploited. Momentum was stalled for a moment when George hit the right line and length to clean bowl Stothard.
At 45 – 2 and the thunder beginning to rumble surely the target would be out of Islip’s reach in the few minutes remaining before the now inevitable deluge began. Islip captain Black was determined to see it through. Seril Shah’s one over was expensive as the rain began, George Robinson induced a couple of defensive shots in his one over. Islip had scored at 12 an over for the last four overs and taken the score past 100. With one mighty clap of thunder the players were forced to retreat, Middleton rather more keenly than Islip. Before the players had cleared the boundary hail was falling, followed by waves of heavy rain.
Great credit to Islip for getting so close, the result says the game was a draw, Islip could certainly claim a unanimous victory on points.
|Islip CC total