This was the second match against Didcot this year following the away fixture last Sunday and it proved to be a cracker. Nearly 500 runs were scored on the day (twice as many as the previous match) and Middleton successfully chased down Didcot's total of 243 with just one over to go. Long term member of the club, Mike Simpson said, "I have played at MSCC for many moons. That is one of the best batting efforts I have ever seen."
Captain Simon Lee has played nearly every game this year but missed out on this one whilst on holiday. Thanks to Didcot's commentary on Twitter he was able to follow the game anyway and knew the result before I was able to email him later on. Very dedicated, Simon.
Stand in skipper, Mark Ford-Langstaff lost the toss and Simon Coates decided that Didcot would make first use of the excellent wicket prepared by Dr. Nick Thompson. 10 days or so with little rain and a certain amount of sun meant the new ball hit the deck hard and soon the ball was whistling around the openers ears.
The bowling was opened by Olly Selway and Jacob Ford-Langstaff. Both bowled a tight line with Jacob in particular keen to test the batsman's ability to play the bouncer. Things were tight for the first five overs with Jacob picking up a wicket with a short ball that hurried the batsman into popping it up to the mid-wicket fielder. As the ball aged batting became easier and K Beasley (76) started to show us his impressive range of shots.
Martin Randall, 1st change, took the second wicket to fall. Mixing his line and length up nicely it was a full bunger that was smashed straight at Joe Moorman that took the wicket. Well held, Joe!
Chris Nourse had been loaned to Didcot for the day and came in at No.4. He had made his debut for MSCC last year but had not played for us this season or in fact at all for several weeks. We won't be loaning him out again as he looked very accomplished in crafting his way to 72 and accelerating nicely towards the end of Didcot's innings. Danny Clark picked up the important wicket of Beasley and Liam Randall took the 4th wicket to fall.
In total MSCC used seven bowlers including Nick Crossley for the first time this season and delivered 38 overs. The average run rate was 6.4 so Jay Mumtaz stood out with figures of 6 overs 0 for 19.
At tea Didcot had amassed 243 runs but with a strong batting line up confidence was high and the run chase was on. A delicious tea provided by Jenny Moorman invigorated our batters and thankfully the opening pair of Richard Simpson and Joe Moorman batted for long enough that the rest had time to digest that extra slice of cake!
Joe and Richard put on over 100 for the first wicket. Richard dealt with the new ball by losing it, smashed into the long grass first ball. It was in fact recovered over an hour later thanks to some dedicated searching that ended when Danny's Grandad found the ball and delivered it (slowly) by hand back out into the middle. The time that took may have cost us an over but it was all part of the days' entertainment!
Joe hit some lovely cover drives before being caught in the deep for 29. Richard (76) continued in his usual style, despatching the ball over the ropes on frequent occasions. He lost his wicket following a mix up with Nick Crossley and the subsequent run out. Didcot had kept a couple of regular bowlers up their sleeve and introduced them at this stage quickly reducing the run rate down to 5 an over.
Wheeler, bowling with good pace particularly impressed and finished with 2 for 29 off 7 including the important wickets of Jon Springer (26) and Nick Crossley (5). The brakes had been applied and MSCC were again needing over 6 an over to force a win. Jay Mumtaz (37) and Danny Clark (42) batting together added 70+ runs and lead MSCC to victory. Both played some splendid shots mixing up well placed boundaries with well taken singles. The scoreboard didn't slow for an over, the batsmen were in charge and victory came off 33 overs with an over to spare before time ran out.
Well played everyone involved. A high scoring game, played in an excellent spirit with an exciting finish. Our thanks to Didcot and we look forward to playing you again next year.