Barford played the youthful Kineton side for the second time this month, thanks to some last minute fixture wizardry by Simon International. With none of the usual captaincy candidates available, an electoral college was hastily convened at the Joey and Martin Lusby, in absentia, was raised to the position. Could age and experience overcome youth, enthusiasm, lake of infirmity and cricketing ability, for the second time in a couple of weeks?
Martin won the toss and opted to bat first. Kieran Bailey from Leek Wootton had stepped into the breach as our 11th man and Martin sent him in to open with Sandy. Kieran looked good before being LBW to a straight one, which bought PJ to the crease. Thankfully the follicless master was in cracking form, following a couple of early season disappointments, and after a slow start scored freely on his way to 53. Batsmen Fisher, Lusby, and Romyn came and went in support of Paul, who was finally out in the 32nd over with the score on 97. The rest of us nurdled a few against slow bowling and a slower outfield, but our total of 131-9 seemed well below par. It was clear that Kineton were pretty confident of knocking off the runs in quick time.
They were soon in trouble, however, in a fantastic opening spell from Richard Johnson who took three wickets in his opening four overs (all bowled). Keiran (6-0-23-2) and Jon Lambdon (8-2-29-1) both kept the pressure up with regular wickets and at tea Barford looked well in the game. Kineton took charge, however, when their Aussie Cooper came in at number 7. He quickly moved on to 26 before being undone by a fantastic ball from Tim. At that point the game seemed to have swung back in our favour with a couple of Kineton’s young players at the wicket. They were stubborn in defence, however, and played well against Hiten’s spin.
After 30 overs they only needed a further 20 to win and Kineton looked favourites again. Martin threw the ball to openers Hawkins and Johnson with the instruction to bowl slowly and accurately. This pinned the young players back as the required rate grew. Your correspondant made a tit of himself by dropping the easiest caught and bowled chance ever, but then managed to scramble a runout. Richard picked up another wicket to end with MOM and jug winning figures of 8-5-10-4 (not to mention an excellent catch) – it was a match winning performance. Tim cleaned things up when Kineton’s number 11 skied a ball to the shovel like hands of Pete Fish – Barford won by 7 runs in the penultimate over.
It was gratifying to win for a second time against young opponents, who have promised to up their game next time….
Following an excellent all round team performance Thanks for Coming was awarded to Phil Morris who wasn’t in the team, but turned up to watch for about 10 minutes before leaving, thus missing the thrilling denouement. Thanks for coming Phil.