A new and welcome fixture for MSCC, as last year the match had been cancelled. There had been a lack of recent games, so everyone was delighted that we were able to host a T20 game, albeit under slightly duller conditions than we had been used to this summer.
Isis had borrowed a couple of players from the Middleton Stoney ranks, with Elliot Barton kindly appearing for them throughout the whole game, and Richard Morris cleverly timing his arrival from work to put in two hard overs of boundary fielding practice and then propping up their middle order. Many thanks to both.
Isis’s skipper Olly Walter had allowed MSCC to bat first. Captain for the day, Tim House, had asked the team to look to post as close to six an over as they went along, which is pretty much exactly what they did. Joe Moorman and Howard Lancaster (now relishing his new-found role as specialist opener) put on 18 in the first three overs when Howard skied one and was caught. Tim House nudged Simon Pettit down the order, having given him false hope with plans of pinch hitting. A run a ball 9, and he went in his now regular T20 fashion. Mark Ford-Langstaff, in form and chasing the leading run scorer of the season, settled in for a combative innings. When Joe fell for a sixteen ball 23, Simon P took up the offer of the pinch hitter and swash-buckled his way to 17 before missing the straight one.
The classically trained, elegant batsman Tim Riley threw all that out the window as he saw the field placings, manoeuvred himself into position and possibly attempted a reverse slog-sweep-ramp-paddle and was bowled on the second bounce by the (canny) Isis part-time spinner. We couldn’t find any flat Champagne later on, but it was worthy of it.
Mark F-L had charged on into the 40’s, very well supported by Matt Dibble, who’s 15 not out can be added to his other MSCC innings in 2015 of 84*, so we will see if he ends up with an average of 100+ this coming weekend. The two had pushed MSCC past the six an over and the home side, finishing with a lusty boundary from Mark F-L (42*) and a total of 144 for 5 in the twenty overs.
The Isis openers looked more than competent when they started the run chase. Their captain struck anything loose, which wasn’t too much, with Jim Watson bowling to orders beautifully while mixing it up with a couple of keep-‘em-guessing beamers, and Tim Cranston looking quick and dangerous. 20-0 off four overs suddenly became 20-2 as Tim struck twice, the number three getting a late in-swinger in the early onset of a grey, gloomy evening; he may have been grateful that it missed his toes.
However, another partnership brought Isis back into the game and at 52-2 with plenty of overs, and the dangerous Walter still at the crease, the game was balanced, although the light was poor.
When Matt Dipple and David Lewis joined the attack, it was anyone’s game, but the two tightened the noose, bowling to their field and to their strengths, and soon the wickets started to fall. Matt clean bowled the cross-hitting dangerous middle order batsman, and also had a slightly less dangerous batsman well stumped, with clever timing, by Tim Riley.
David’s beautifully flighted bowling then earned him the prize wicket if the Isis captain, with Rob Barton holding onto the catch. Rob then took his first wicket, “plumb” LBW as described by Paul Wordsworth, who had kindly come along to umpire the entire game, so many thanks to him. For both.
Isis could have been in trouble – yet they had the two MSCC players ready to face their colleagues, and in one case their father.
Rob Barton bowled to Elliot Barton for what we believe was the first time ever in a match. Mutual respect was shown. Simon Pettit bowled to Rich Morris; his brutal smash through the covers was perhaps the shot of the day, and Rich’s running was keeping MSCC on their toes. He was so fast in fact, that when he got to his partner’s end, the two had time for a debate on whether they should risk such a quick single. Apparently not said one, and the other said something else. A run-out at Middleton Stoney…
Joe Moorman took the last over, and after a few warm-up deliveries that kept the thirsty cricketers out in the dark, had Elliot caught and bowled, and Isis ended on 102 for 8, beaten by a very impressive team effort from Middleton Stoney.
Rona once again took charge of the BBQ, so thank you, and Isis, who we hope will return and make this an annual fixture, stayed until you could not see your glass in your hand.