Oxenford won by 3 wickets

Match Date & Time

Date Time Season
August 14, 2022 2:00 pm 2022

Match Report

Advanced Notice  of the MSCC annual dinner and presentation evening Saturday 24 Sept.

Middleton Stoney Cricket Club Annual Dinner

Booking is now open for the Annual dinner and presentation to be held in the Clubhouse on the Evening of Saturday Sept 24th starting at 7.00pm.

This prestigious event returns after a two year absence. There is a three course menu with aperitifs provided at a total cost of £30 per person. Food is being provided by the ex Head Chef of the Idle Rocks Hotel, St Mawes. Space is very limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Please confirm your attendance by paying directly into the club account, ref  Your name and “dinner”, and letting me know at [email protected].  I would also be grateful if you could tell me that you are unable to attend.

Four Tims, some unexpected claret and Simmo’s shared sandwich

The pink and grey blazers of Harrow Wayfarers were due to be this week’s opponents. Illness and injury prevented them from fielding a side so we were grateful that Oxenford, a rather more local team, were looking for a game. The oasis at the centre of Middleton Park is the only green patch to be seen in any direction. The wicket had live grass, was firm and promised to be a batting paradise for the team who won the toss and batted. The team bowling second would expect to see the ball take exaggerated turn. The sun continued to beat remorselessly down on a Middleton team fielding just 10 players following emergency dental surgery to one of Bicester’s finest.

The coin toss was vital. Captain Tim called “heads”. It came down tails. Fortunately the Oxenford skipper was also called Tim. MSCC chose to bat first with honorary “Hopeners”, Howard and House sent to pad up first. Oxenford’s opening attack looked, from the boundary, unthreatening. The wicket conformed to usual Middleton behaviour with neither bowler getting the ball above stump height. Howard scored the first boundary clipping to square leg, with Tim H playing a fine square cut to open his account.

Five overs in and the score climbing nicely Dilip decided to add several yards to his pace. Howard took one to the midriff, but Tim took advantage of the pace and clipped again to long leg for four. Unusually high in the order at 5 Mike Simpson began to relax as the stories began to flow of games of old. Even higher at 3 Paul Wordsworth was the only one able to verify Simmo’s stories.

The pleasant sun stoked reverie was shattered in the seventh over when Tim H played over the top of a pull shot and was bowled for 20. One over later Howard was also heading back to the pavilion caught from a leading edge as he tried to work the ball behind square.  40 – 2 was still a decent position with Paul looking obdurate and Tim R looking to maintain the scoring rate. The opening bowlers completed their spells allowing spin from both ends. Tim R was left cursing as he missed a straight ball from slow left armer Carr and after 15 overs drinks were taken for the first time.

The second set of 15 overs passed slowly. The running of a 3 must have tired both batters. The run rate slowed to a crawl as the batters consolidated and ensured three quick wickets did not become a collapse. Simmo picked up 10 consecutive singles as Paul attempted to beat the excellent fielding of Tim Rayden at extra cover. Realising that the time had come for some acceleration Paul called for a tight single, Simmo reminiscent of Botham batting with Boycott, was unmoved at the bowler’s end.

New batsmen Matt Carpenter showed clear intent, and with his first ball scored the first boundary in over an hour of play. The giddiness of such fast scoring was such that his nose immediately erupted in a fountain of O positive. His shirt was now almost as striped as a Harrow Wayfarers blazer. Matt Langdale tried to continue the acceleration but found the pace of Khartik too much. Indeed Oxenford seemed to improve in bowling quality with each change. Matt returned, blood flow staunched, but was obviously faint with lack of oxygen as he missed a straight delivery first ball back to be bowled.

The good start was a distant memory. MSCC were deep in the mire at 67 – 6 with only half an hour of play left. Simmo was reddening with every over as Jamie Lumb, fresh from two ducks in his last two Middleton innings joined him in the middle. On his own Jamie equalled the boundary count of all his team mates and moved the score to three figures. Simmo at last found his own boundary before in the last over before tea Jamie was bowled. Sam Norley sent in to to give Simmo the strike, confidently struck his first ball for a glorious straight four and MSCC declared at 139 – 7.

Mr Livingstone, long time stalwart of the club had made his annual visit to the ground and was pleased that Simmo was now so hot and bothered by 90 mins batting that he was unable to contemplate eating his ham and pickle picnic sandwich. Mr Livingstone ate Simmo’s tea with relish. Simmo retired to the shade for a quiet woodbine.

Oxenford have a large membership and four league teams to choose from. This team was a mixture of the second, third, and fourth XI with a couple of late call ups from the Fox and Hounds on Saturday evening. If Middleton were able to dismiss the second team players cheaply then there was still a good chance of victory. A comatose Simmo was roused from his prone position on the boundary as Oxenford’s eldest player, Mr Rees finally completed his cup of tea and made his way to the middle with his opening partner.

The earlier mentioned Tim Raydon was one of the better batters. From the start he timed the ball, helped by a very wayward over from Middleton’s Robin Cummings. Taking the new ball from the other end Sam Norley had a dream start. His first ball was too good Rees who departed for a golden duck. His seventh ball of the over was too good for no 3 Rees, bowled behind his legs. Sam continued to bowl a tidy opening spell but Robin could not control his length and retired to graze in the outfield.  A third wicket fell in the fifth over with a calmly taken runout, and MSCC were in the ascendancy. Tim R had replaced Robin. The first ball to new batter Ayaz took the outside edge, clipped wicket keeper Lumb’s thumb and dropped agonisingly short of first slip.

Rayden was untroubled, he stroked each ball for a single and allowed Ayaz the strike. Ayaz survived his first ball from Simmo who had now replaced Sam as the ball dropped an inch short of short leg. Some poor deliveries from the skipper were put away for boundaries and Middleton heads began to drop. Simmo induced a leading edge from Ayaz and the ball looped to the grazing Cummings whose unfortunate day did not improve as he spilled the chance.

Ayaz and Raydon took control as the skipper searched for a bowler to make a breakthrough. Tim House bowled a good length but it was Matt Carpenter who looked the likeliest to strike. Sportingly, Oxenford retired both batsmen. With new batsmen at the crease, wickets once again began to fall, Sam took a good catch at cover to dismiss Tim Hamp, the visiting skipper. A second run out was followed by an LBW which was given after lengthy consideration by the visiting umpire to gave Matt a first wicket.

Simmo returned for a second spell and picked up his own first wicket but all was up for the home team and Oxenford cruised to a victory with seven overs still remaining.  Richard Lumb and Chris Greer officiated for the match whilst Rhona and Andrew were as ever helping organise behind the scenes. Tim House was the most efficient chef as hungry players descended on the barbecue. Thanks once again to all who helped, and let’s hope for a brighter batting performance next time out.

Tim Riley





Past Meetings


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