MSCC v Buckingham 2022

MSCC v Buckingham 2022

MSCC welcomed near neighbours and first-time opponents, Buckingham CC for a Wednesday night T20 that was ultimately lost because of a poor batting performance by the home team.

Matt Dipple made his debut as captain for Middleton. Matt also plays for Buckingham and his knowledge of their players strengths and weaknesses was part of a strategic plan to give Middleton an edge against the strongest T20 opponents Middleton have faced this season.

Matt won the toss and elected to bowl first, chase later. Rob Barton and Sam Norley started well under cloudy skies. The weather was warm but cooler than the past few days but the heat on the batsmen was building. Only 28 runs came off the first six overs with a wicket for Rob who bowled opener James and just three scoring shots from 18 balls bowled by the economic Sam.

The wicket brought D Barnes to the crease who was in positive mood. Boundaries flowed, with Matt particularly targeted by his Saturday teammates. Matt removed the other opener, Wilkes caught by Andrew Thomas on his first outing for Middleton this year. In response, Barnes moved up a gear hitting boundary after boundary without looking troubled at all. George Williams beat the bat on a few occasions but it was looking like a mammoth total could be on.

Middleton produced a potentially game changing moment when new batsmen, Pengelly called for a quick single. Jacob Ford-Langstaff raced in at backward point, picked up smoothly and threw down the stumps with a bullet like throw leaving Barnes short of his ground by a foot or so.

Matt opted to remove himself from the attack and save a couple of overs for spin legend Howard Lancaster later in the game. First though, Jacob steamed in finding movement off the seam and bowling a number of variations inducing false shots, finding the edge and beating the bat on several occasions. Two dropped catches later, his four overs went for 18 runs and he picked up two wickets, removing numbers four and five. One was bowled whilst the other was caught by Harry Way at mid-on. The ball went three times as high as it did forwards, Harry circled, waited, waited a bit more and took the catch in what was his last game for Middleton this season before returning to Yorkshire. Harry has been a very welcome addition to the club, scoring runs, umpiring and making a tea. Middleton will hope he returns in a few years time when his university days are over.

Howard bowled the 18th and final overs of the innings. With the exception of two boundaries, the batsmen opted to take the easier singles after several big swings had found nothing but fresh air. One mis hit was caught by Jacob and Howard’s new role as death bowler looks secure.

Buckingham finished on 159 for 6. Rona Hickman had very kindly set up drinks for the players between innings and was preparing the BBQ for afterwards. That was to come sooner that expected.

Yesterday, England succumbed to 110 all out against India in an ODI. Today, Middleton made it to 97. Buckingham’s Pengelly took 5 for 11, getting the ball to do just enough as he removed five of the Middleton top six. Three batsmen were bowled (including the previously unmentioned Elliot Barton), another fell LBW and Ford-Langstaff senior was disappointed to hit a half-volley straight into covers hands. Two sharp stumpings didn’t help matters as Middleton went from 48 for 3 to 55 for 6 all whilst Matt Carpenter was wondering what was going on from the other end. Matt finished on 15 not out, the joint highest score with Andrew. Well bowled, Buckingham.

To end on a happier note, the BBQ was excellent (thank you to Rona) and the beer very welcoming (thank you to Andrew Hickman for running the bar). New opponents, Buckingham proved to be challenging on the field and excellent company afterwards. We look forward to playing them again.

Mark Ford-Langstaff


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