United Oxford Hospitals won the toss and made the mistake of putting us into bat. It was a mistake if they wanted the game to last, or the opportunity to score individual centuries, because they bowled us out for 119.
Simon Pettit, fresh from his 31 opening the batting on Friday, was given an extended run at the top of the order. He scored four times as many as the entire Middleton Stoney powerhouse of a middle order, numbers 3, 4, 5 & 6, who, for the second Sunday in succession, mustered one run between them. In this case, it was Mark Ford-Langstaff at number 3, promoted after his duck at number 4 last week, who scored the middle order’s single, and Jay Mumtaz, Steve Jackson and Danny Clark at 4, 5 and 6, who didn’t.
Our other opener, Richard Simpson, hit the ball out of sight for a spectacular six in a typically entertaining 54. Nine of our batsmen were out caught, six to good and three to wonderful catches. Martin Randall was stumped during a balletic performance at the crease, having survived an attempt by his son, Liam, to run him out on Father’s Day. Liam at number 7 and Martin at number 8 were making their debuts for Middleton Stoney. Liam’s stylish 6 was one of our better innings.
Dan Savin at number 9 hit four boundaries for our second top score of 16 before falling to another spectacular catch. Jacob Ford-Langstaff batted calmly at number 10, scoring three times as many runs as his father Mark at number 3. My 7 not out at number 11 was the third highest score of a weak total by Middleton Stoney, or fourth highest if you count the 25 Extras. In our re-telling of our innings, the seven bowlers they used were all formidable, although their 12 wides, nine catches and a stumping give a fairer indication that our batting was to blame for our dismal total of 119.
The highlight of the game for Middleton Stoney was the first-class tea provided by The Chairman, Peter Van de Kerkhof, and family. The Tea Team were even flexible enough to move the timing forward half an hour as we crumbled to being all out by 4.30.
Dan Savin opened the bowling, insisting on a 7-2 split field, only to be hit immediately for two boundaries on the leg side. Dan rallied to bowl magnificently. He might have had one caught behind but he did take a wicket beautifully caught low at first slip by Mark Ford-Langstaff.
Before that, our other opening bowler, young Liam Randall, had taken his first wicket for the club in his first game, well caught by wicket-keeper Richard Simpson. Liam bowled a perfect line and length to an impressively aggressive batting line-up.
Our first and second change bowlers were Danny Clark and Simon Pettit. Both bowled well, and Simon was the only player in the match to bowl anybody out, but UOH coasted to an easy victory at 121 for 3.
Jay Mumtaz and I were about to come on, followed by Jacob Ford-Langstaff and Martin Randall, so UOH would have been hard pressed to win if we had been defending, say, 419, although J Talbot (52 not out) and D Das (33 not out) would have had a go.
Our star fielders were our two youngest players, Liam and Jacob, but the whole team fielded better than we batted.
We were well beaten. Congratulations to UOH. We won against them last season and we need to bounce back next year with a much stronger performance. The victorious UOH team stayed afterwards, as did many of our vice-presidents, members and friends, all enjoying some accomplished work at the barbecue by Danny Clark. Having not lost in April or May, we have not won so far in June.