MSCC won by 14 runs

Match Date & Time

Date Time Season
September 4, 2022 1:30 pm 2022

Match Report

Three good hands.

After so much sunshine and dry weather it felt odd to arrive at Middleton Park with cloudy skies and the threat of showers to come. Mark Ford-Langstaff arrived first, anticipating a 1.00 pm start, he was only six days and twenty three and half hours out from being correct. With every one else from both teams arriving promptly the match was underway exactly on time. MSCC had been asked to bat first, Tim Riley and Jai Mumtaz opening the innings. The first ball was delivered at good pace, swung away and beat the bat in an indication of what was to come. The surface on the furthest wicket from the pavilion is less true than most and the bounce was unusually awkward with the ball often rearing to head height. The last ball of the first over was a good outswinger which Tim nicked  perfectly through the vacant third slip area to open the account. The invalids second bowler did not offer the threat of his opening partner conceding two boundaries. The challenge was to see off the pace and accuracy of Williamson which Jai did with ease and Tim did with discomfort.

After 12 overs both bowlers were replaced and the batters began to dominate, although Jai was dropped by the bowler who failed to pick up the flight of a leading edge. Taking the initiative Jai led a surge in scoring reaching a half century which included eight boundaries. A soon as the century partnership had been reached Tim was bowled attempting an ambitious reverse hit. It had been a very good start to the innings with Middleton in a great position to post a big total.

Matt Carpenter batted at number 3 and showed intent. His lofted shot was enough to send a visiting fielder into palpitations when he spilt the chance but not enough to prevent a second chance being taken shortly afterwards.  Jai perished to the first of many good catches of the day, a diving effort at midwicket from a ball which held up in the surface.

Two new batters at the crease, Invalids sensed a chance to apply some pressure. Mark and Max Langdale were in an attacking frame of mind, both looking to find the boundary and Max looking to make Mark run at least one 3. The ball was turning sharply, the bat often beaten but neither batter allowed this to change their approach. Both were bowled, one by a ball that turned and one that didn’t. Tim House has a new bat. A bargain bat from a market stall. This bat brought a smile to his face as the ball zinged from the middle. For four overs he looked the only player of the day to drive with confidence. When he middled one to long on who made a difficult catch look simple, he still came off smiling – what a bat he has found.

With a flurry of wickets, the changing rooms became busy as the lower order batters searched for pads, gloves and box. Overs were running out when Mike Simpson walked out to bat. Mike is often not out in such situations. He will contest that he should have been not out in this innings. As is common knowledge, a wicket keeper creeping forward during the bowler’s run up contravenes law 27.3.2. That knowledge became common after the event. Of course the batsmen accepted the umpire’s decision gracefully.

Behind the bar Paul Wordsworth was placing the sandwiches on the bar ready for a leisurely tea  “Your next in Paul,” comes the cry, followed by “your in now”. A hastily prepared Paul ran out to join Sam Norley for the 10th wicket partnership. Both players had volunteered for tea duty producing a fine feast (although the marmite and cucumber option was loved by some more than others.)

Fortified by the yeasty treat Paul and Sam opened the bowling, looking to dismiss the Invalids for less than the 172 of Middleton. One of the Invalid’s openers looked to score freely, whilst the other defended stubbornly. Each bowler was tidy in length and line, Paul gave away nothing loose conceding just 17 runs from his 8 overs, while Sam looked more dangerous despite giving up three boundaries. Both took wickets in their seventh overs, both bowled. Arnold, the more aggressive opener, was still in and looking dangerous. After 16 overs a double bowling change was made, Simmo replacing Paul and Robin Cummings replacing Sam.

In Simmo’s first over an inspired fielding change saw Jai positioned at second slip. The edge flew low to his right, a bandaged set of finger tips lunged and held the ball just off the ground, a sharp catch which was to inspire a series of remarkable fielding feats. Robin was bowling with a bruised shoulder which affected his length, Arnold took advantage and tipped the balance toward the Invalids.

The Invalid middle order pressed on scoring at the rate required but always looking vulnerable to the turning ball. Arnold took one risk too many, chipping Simmo to Matt Carpenter at midwicket and once again Middleton looked the more likely winner. As soon as a stand started to develop Simmo found the answer thanks to two catches from keeper Jamie Lumb and one from Mark moving to his right at slip. Despite losing wickets the Invalids continued to look for the win taking advantage of Tim R’s lacklustre slow left arm.

Grazing peacefully at deep midwicket, Sam came to life when Gilmour, who was starting to take control of the chase, slog-swept another lustre-less delivery from the captain. The ball rose no more than three meters from the ground as Sam moved forward, the fielding team held their breath, Sam spilled the ball to his right. As the team prepared to sigh in disappointment Sam’s left hand twisted under his body to hold on to the falling ball. The sigh turned to yelps of delight at a remarkable and game changing catch.

All was not lost for the Invalids, a couple of fielding errors on the boundary turned ones into fours and with two wickets still to fall, only 20 runs were needed with four overs to play. After seeing two remarkable one handed catches, Mark Ford-Langstaff produced one of his own low down and right handed and then it was 16 needed from 3 overs. Simmo had already picked up five wickets and he was to finish the game without any more one handed help clean bowling the last man leaving MSCC narrow winners by 14 runs in a game which fluctuated all afternoon. Many thanks to the visitors for playing the game in the right spirit, to Tim H and Max for running the barbeque, to Seril and Andrew behind the bar and to the duo of Officials, Chris and Richard who ensured the tallies tallied.

Next week sees the club photo which will be taken before the start of play at 1.00pm. We also have the club dinner and presentation on September 24 further details of which will be emailed. If you have not requested a place so far, please do so ASAP to ensure a seat.

Tim Riley



Invalids CC



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