MSCC won by 97 runs
Match Date & Time
|August 6, 2023
Any colour so long as it is black.
Bacchus XI are first time visitors to Middleton Park. They are not as some may assume named after the former West Indian batsman Faoud Bacchus, a player who has 7 test match ducks to his name as well as a innings of 250, but after the Roman God of wine making. The are recent Alumni of the University’s wine society.
Paul Wordsworth had worked tirelessly to ensure that the pitch was playable despite a Saturday deluge that had seen all matches in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties abandoned the day before. The day promised futher showers but both teams were keen to get on with the game.
The two Tims opened the batting after the Bacchus XI won the toss and chose to field. Tim H survived a very difficult chance at square left, when he belted a ball from the middle of his bat into the hands of the fielder. All the fielder could do after dropping the catch was to rub his hands. Three wides in the over indicated that the Bacchus bowling might not be the most challenging attack faced this season. Indeed a generous allocation of extras, wides, byes and no balls boosted the scoring considerably.
Tim H was soon scoring freely, picking up the short ball and sending it to the rope. Tim R could not hit the ball as hard and had to make do with galloping a succession of twos, mostly dabbed square of the wicket. Progress was serene until as the score passed 80Tim R drove a straight ball back to the bowler, also a Riley, causing the pleasing scorebook entry, Riley caught Riley bowled Riley.
Jay Mumtaz had been waiting the wings, looking at the runs and offer and hustled urgently to the crease. After slapping a full toss to mid on, he hustled just as urgently back off again. When the bowling is so varied, the occasional good ball is apt to surprise the batsman. In form batsman Jamie Lumb was duly surprised, making the only straight delivery he faced look unplayable. Michael Robinson can be excused for having his mind elsewhere. The day following the match he had been tasked with the small matter of purchasing 32 horses for the army, including a number for the Household Cavalry which are to be jet black, apparently jet black horses are hard to come by. It can only have been this matter which prevented him playing on the line of a gentle straight delivery.
Tim House, after a brief break for rain, seemed sure to pass fifty. A succession of high, leg side full tosses tied him down. Finally receiving a good length ball he top edged a sweep to be caught for the days top score of 46. James Lyon held the rest of the innings together, despite losing both Sharmas LBW for just a single between them. Paul Wordsworth scampered as fast as he could manage giving James excellent support as a further 30 runs were added. Asif batting just before tea, showed the team how a single could be turned into a three by audacious running between the wickets. James 31 not out included a perfectly executed revers sweep which bemused the opposition.
Tea at Middleton Stoney is always a special event. A Jay Mumtaz tea takes that event to a new level. Jay was really only the assistant to his partner, , who laid out a french feast. The sandwiches were as precisely presented as military parade, crusts removed and laid in out in ranks. The custard tarts were immaculate, the savoury crepes a delight and the raspberry topped chocolate cake to die for. The whole camembert, brie and Stilton were enough to fill the ranks to bursting, so it was with some reluctance that Middleton Stoney hauled themselves back onto the field.
Back form the wilds of Pembrokeshire, Asif took the new ball with Robin Cummings. Robin could have had a wicket with his fourth ball, Asif at square leg, blinded by that rare visitor this season, the summer sun. Unfortunately Robin damaged a muscle bowling and was unable to continue, Anirudh taking over bowling duties. Michael Robinson nearly pulled off a stunning catch an mid wicket, and Jamie Lumb was unable to hold on a thick edge. Was it to be one of those days?
The Bacchus batting was reliant on two or three players. Asif soon dismissed them. He took two wickets in two balls, twice hitting the same spot on the top of the off stump. He was denied his hat trick despite a vehement appeal for LBW. Wright was the most competent of the remaining batters, He showed a sound defensive technique before playing slightly early and lifting the ball toward cover. Normally this would have been perfectly safe. He picked the wrong fielder as James Lyon sprinted forward, dived and got his hands under the ball to claim a remarkable catch.
Asif finished with 4 – 14 from 8 overs to be replaced by Paul Wordsworth. After a run out, by the alert Michael Robinson, he too was in the wickets, himself picking up 2 in three balls, one courtesy of a good catch by Jamie Lumb from an inside edge. Arvin and Jay, who took the last wicket were the other wicket takers.
The game finished in plenty of time with MSCC winning by just over 100 runs. Thanks as ever to the administrative duo, Lumb and Greer for keeping the laws and scores. The smell of the barbecue, thanks once again Rona, enticed the already stuffed to eat even more, aided by the lubrication served by Andrew and Howard behind the bar. Bacchus provided convivial company as the sun shone once again on Middleton Park.
Reserves: 1. Elliot Barton