After the previous week’s T20 outing at Blenheim Park it was good to back at home on a well behaved and prepared wicket for the annual visit of St Clements Strollers, a side that several in MSCC’s ranks remember as having a strong batting line up. With that in mind MSCC were pleased to get first use of the wicket with the threat of gloom and possibly rain to come later in the evening.
Seldom can the home side have had such a wide age range between the opening pair, with Andy Thomas and Barton Junior opening the batting. The opening pair put on 44 in 5 frantic overs, Elliot clearly listening to his father’s advice of taking it easy and “having a look’ before taking on the bowling. After Elliot departed swinging at one that shot along the floor (at least that’s what he told his dad), the score continued to tick over nicely as the incoming Mark Ford-Langstaff joined Andy Thomas to continue the flow of runs. As the 11th over started the score of 80-1 looked promising and talk of 150+ was heard amongst the home team watching eagerly from the side lines. The Strollers Andre and Warry had other ideas, and after Ford-Langstaff fell LBW the trio of Breaker, Lancaster and Dibsdall all came and went for single figures, with Andy Thomas also falling for a well-deserved 50. Captain Riley steadied the ship, rotating the strike well before the customary “6 and out” from Simon Petit and desperate scrambling from the penultimate pair of the Williams and Barton seniors got the score up to 120-8. Andre finishing with a tidy 4 for 21, and Warry 2 for 17 from their combined 8 overs.
Jacob Harris and Elliot Barton provided one of the youngest opening bowling attacks seen at Middleton Park. Both struggled with line early on before Elliot’s radar kicked in, Buchanan caught behind by Riley off a lifting delivery. The more sedate bowling of Simon Petit and Rob Barton took over the attack in an attempt to slow the run rate and Warry was soon tempted into a drive which was snaffled by Wayne Dibsdall (sorry about the collective cry of “oh no” as the ball headed towards you Wayne, we should have more faith!). The runs began to dry up as the Strollers consolidated but at 68-2 in the 12th over both sides fancied their chances, the game turned shortly thereafter as four wickets fell for five runs after Rob Barton accidentally discovered that bowling filthy long hops into the pitch proved remarkably effective, and Strollers soon found themselves 73-7, including the top scorer Nawak (26) and the dangerous Fallah, to a superb running catch by Andy Thomas.
Simon Petit returned to take the last three wickets as Strollers attempted to keep up the chase, eventually all out for 95 off 18.5 overs, with Petit taking 3 for 8 and Rob Barton claiming his first ever pink match ball with 6 for 21.
Middleton’s unbeaten T20 season continues…