Crazy, crazy game today. Both teams found ways to bat themselves out of dominant positions over the course of the afternoon. Summer Fields (main local rivals in North Oxford and prep school of Gubby Allen among others) chose to bat first and made good progress to 113/3 before our leggie made a huge mess of their lower order, taking 7/18 to skittle them for 135.
This put us in the box seats, however I had once again forgotten that our top order all have the middle name “Wendy”, and whenever anyone with any kind of pace comes on then they need a change of underwear. It was 0/1 after one ball, and though we made 43/1, the middle order were then busy racing each other to see who could use their feet the least. With 11 overs to go, the game was clearly all over, bar the shouting.
Dragon 75/7 – 61 runs required with 67 balls remaining
Or not, if our tail had anything to do with it. Numbers 8 & 9 added 32 in even time for the eighth wicket, in the process hitting a forward defensive for a six that cleared the long off ropes by 20 yards. Unfortunately, instead of triggering “look how well I’m timing it, I don’t need to hit out”, it triggered “imagine how far it would go if I really hit it” and he was bowled next ball.
Dragon 107/8 – 28 runs required with 36 balls remaining
The next batsman in was told that, as we weren’t Cheltenham, we were not about to give up and bat for the draw, and to keep getting on with it (see previous posts...). A slash through slip kept the run rate up, and #8 then lifted one returning opening bowler over mid on for four more. Runs and balls stayed tight, but as the run rate edged above one-a-ball, #10 tried one shot too many and was cleaned up.
Dragon 126/9 – 10 runs required with 7 balls remaining
#11 blocked out the next ball, before #8 had the task of taking on their best bowler (7-2-15-2) for the last over. The first ball was swivel-pulled for four. The second skidded through the keeper but the ast man, under orders, turned down the single. The next ball was hoisted over midwicket for four more.
Dragon 134/9 – 2 runs required with 3 balls remaining
The next delivery dropped off the pads onto the leg side, and we stayed put again. Perhaps with hindsight we should have run it, and we certainly would have done had we got anything on the fifth ball of the over. As it was, he didn’t and the keeper took it well.
Dragon 134/9 – 2 runs required with 1 ball remaining
It was pushed down the leg side, the batsman had a go but couldn’t connect and the #11 scampered through for the bye. The batsman, however, criminally wasn’t quite on the same wavelength as everybody else as he showed far too little interest in coming back for the second, and after some chaos, #11 was run out at the keeper’s end (they hadn’t even crossed on the second) - although we wouldn't have made it, even if we'd gone for it properly.
Dragon 135 all out - Match Tied
The right result, and a great end to the 11-a-side season. Not often you can truly say that all four results were possible right until the very last ball.