MSCC 154-6 dec (S. Vadivale 64, J. Springer 24, Wordsworth 14 no): Pelicans 156-2 (Nicholls 35, Rehman 55, Bailey 31 no, Litherlord 21 no; S. Vadivale 7-0-25-1)
Pelicans CC won by 8 wkts
On a quite beautiful summer day MSCC batted first against long-term opponents Pelicans CC from Little Missenden, famed most for its wonderful pub where numerous treks to the Buckinghamshire countryside have started and finished. On this particular day there were certainly competing interests for the home side. First, there was an exciting Oxfordshire over 50s game away to Yorkshire, featuring two MSCC stalwarts – Nick Moorman and Mike Simpson – as well as an MSCC occasional form the past – Ian Curtis and, second, a very nicely balanced Test match between England and Pakistan entering its final day’s play. Despite one of the longer run ups seen at Middleton there didn’t seem to be too much to test the Magdalen College School pairing of Moorman junior (11) and Chris Norse (17). Both played some nice shots to get the home side off to a steady start before succumbing just when they were both nicely set. The home side’s propensity to run outs (David Cole unfortunately– second ball – at least he avoided a jug) didn’t help and despite a solid knock of 24 from captain for the day Jon Springer) the innings rather subsided to 87 for 6 with an hour still to play before tea. A smashing innings of 64 from Vadivale came to the rescue in partnership with a small contribution from the rather less smashing elderly scribe for the day. Clearly if Alastair Cook had been captaining we would have batted on after tea but that is not the Middleton way, of course. Meanwhile in the Test Match wickets were tumbling and it looked as though Pakistan might well be stumbling to defeat (remember the chances of England winning were rated no higher than 3.7% after conceding a first innings deficit of 103). No news as yet from Yorkshire despite the fact that top scoring MSCC batsman Richard Simpson had gone up to support his dad.
Unfortunately Middleton proved unable to conjure the same magic as England with the ball and the rest of the match really proved rather a procession as the pelicans proved rather too much up to the task of knocking off the runs. George and Jason Williams with probing pace and cunning leg spin, respectively, did their best in tidy spells but to no avail. Vadivale followed his valiant knock with a creditable spell in support but it was Midson who eventually tied up the free scoring Rehman (55) to such an extent that he ran himself out in a desperate attempt to score after failing for two overs. Unfortunately that was the last success and Pelicans won with a bit to spare.
Meanwhile England won the Test match rather against the odds and news came in late that Oxon over 50s had beaten Yorkshire. Wow – on foreign soil, against the county champions and with Simpson in the side. This scribe can only ponder that he must have wound them up something rotten.