From the Secretary:
Barford today recorded a nail biting, last over victory against a Badsey side who absolutely mullered us in tropical temperatures last year.
Badsey won the toss and opted to bat; a decision which seemed justified as their openers got off to a flying start, scoring at around 10 an over for the first three or four. Paul Stacey, who has “previous” against Badsey, was the first to strike, removing their opener with a magnificent caught and bowled. Diving away to his right, he snaffled a catch which everyone present agreed was the best catch of the season so far. No other catch by a Barford player has even come close.
Paul was bowling down the hill with good pace and accuracy and before long he bowled the other opener with a good ball that clipped the off stump. Andrew Sherratt also joined the party, bowling the Badsey number 4. This brought their first team Captain Powell to the crease, who some of us (Paul Henderson) will remember from last year when he scored 160 against us. He absolutely creamed a couple of boundaries before playing on to another excellent Stacey delivery. Paul ended a good shift with figures of 8-2-27-3.
The tight bowling continued with spells from Ben (7-2-14-2), Tim (6-1-13-0), your correspondent (8-0-25-2) and Laurence (less-said-the-better). One highlight was a catch in the deep by Simon International, where the ball landed on his left “pectoral”, rolled onto his right “pectoral” before lodging in his a fold of his jumper from which he was able to remove it for the catch. It was his first catch of the season, so well done Simon.
Sharp glove work by Phil removed the last batsman, leaving Barford with a total of 145 to chase. After an excellent Sherratt tea our reply didn’t get off to the best start when Jake was caught behind, throwing the kitchen sink at a wide one off his first ball. Paul and Ben moved the score on before Ben was bowled by Powell senior (having previously been reprieved by the Badsey captain when bowled by a double bouncer). Simon D kept up the chase with a brisk 29 and we were coasting at 80 odd for two at drinks. Martin Lusby was felled trying to pull a ball that caught him “a-midships” but stoically batted on, although by this point Badsey had pegged us back and the required rate was rising alarmingly. The temperature, meanwhile, was falling alarmingly. I must take up a summer sport sometime.
Paul Stacey biffed a couple of decent shots before being bowled, which bought Laurence to the crease to join PJ, who had passed his 50 by that point. It was clear that if Paul carried his bat we would win comfortably, but disaster stuck when Laurence hammed a ball straight back down the wicket, brushing the bowlers fingers on it’s way to the stumps – Paul was out of his ground and had to go for 65. This led to a rather buttock clenching last couple of overs with myself and Laurence scampering a lot of singles, overthrows and leg byes, before I produced a heavily improvised shot to score the winning run, with 3 balls to spare.
The Badsey side reportedly included 5 of their Saturday first team, so it was a very good victory and an excellent all round team performance. Can we carry this form to another inspiring win against Snitterfield next week? No.