MSCC v Blenheim Park CC 2022

MSCC v Blenheim Park CC 2022

A game of three halves.

On a beautifully warm evening, with the ground looking splendid, the MSCC captain Tim Riley won the toss, decided to bat on a track that he had lovingly prepared himself, and yet somehow found himself fielding, as Blenheim were  found wanting in numbers; a pattern that prevailed throughout the afternoon as it turned out.

At the outset, the captains had agreed that batsmen would retire should they be skilful or fortunate enough to reach 30 runs. Blenheim would bowl with a pink ball, MSCC with a school sized, old red one. Confused?

George Williams took the first ball, actually the first over, and it went rather disappointedly for only 21, with a crafty single off the last ball. He added the requisite 10 runs for retirement with the following two balls. 31 off 8 (balls).

Fellow opener, Mark Ford-Langstaff looked bemused, mainly as he wondered when he might get a bat. Seven runs later Mark Ford-Langstaff looked bemused, mainly as he wondered when he might get a bat next.

Jacob Ford-Langstaff took over but unfortunately was almost back to the pavilion before his father; certainly before his father had worked out that he had not in fact been caught by the square-leg umpire, but another covert substitute fielder dressed in black. It really can be confusing, this “white ball” cricket.

Matt Dipple however was not bemused, but delighted. Promoted to number 3, at the probable risk of not getting a bowl later, he took his chance and accumulated a stylish 31, retired. During this time, players came and went as though it was a T20 friendly, with Michael Simpson and Matt Carpenter securing red ink and plenty of valuable late runs.

A total of 132 looked reasonable.

Sam Norley was thrown the old red ball, looked dangerous and kept the Blenheim openers tied down. The confusion continued as Tim House was invited to open the bowling and settled into the “holding” role. The two were parsimonious and Blenheim struggled to 28-3 by the end of their seven over stints.

Matt Carpenter had had a decent start to the evening with the bat, but things got better. His first and fourth balls produced wickets, and the captain had to remove him from the attack when he struck again in his second over, giving him a tidy analysis of 2 overs, 4 runs, 3 wickets. The heart had been ripped out of the Blenheim order. As we found out later, MSCC needed the wickets to tumble as Blenheim actually had a very strong batting line-up.

Jacob F-L was brought into the attack and bowled remarkably quickly for his first outing of the season. Stumps flew (twice) and following the pattern of bowling successfully and immediately being rested, the captain turned to spin.

Michael Simpson and Tim Riley took over the wicket procession and within ten overs, with the score having crept up to 54, the match ended. Time for an early beer.

Or not.

Blenheim were generously offered the chance to continue batting (or bat again) to show us what we had missed, and to give everyone more playing time. Blenheim certainly did show us, continually peppering the boundaries; they accumulated the same amount of runs again in the final nine or so overs for the loss of just three of their original batsmen. MSCC might have dodged that Blenheim bullet.

Many thanks to all those who helped again – Rona once again firing up and overseeing the barbecue, Andrew manning the PDQ machine and bar, and to those who helped clear up. Also to Blenheim Palace CC for their good spirit, and for their appetite both for barbecue and bar.


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