15th June 2019 vs Garsington and Cowley (A) – won by 6 wickets
Rain, rain, go away….. well – what a horrible week. Come Saturday morning, I sat at home looking at the BBC weather forecast and then out of the window, then back to the BBC weather forecast again, thinking I would be resigned to loafing on the sofa all day, rather than playing any cricket. However, with the game surprisingly still on, albeit it with showers forecast throughout the afternoon, I arrived at the ground to find it blustery and cold, but the outfield seemed reasonably dry. The skipper won the toss and G&C were (not surprisingly) asked to bat first. Waqas opened up, running up the hill and into the wind on a wicket that had no pace in it, due to the damp conditions, quickly trapping the opener LBW. Rehman followed up at the other end, clean bowling the incoming batsman and Westcott were off to a good start. However, in between the squally rain showers, some below average fielding allowed G&C to consolidate and rebuild their innings, with the left handed opener hitting anything off line to the boundary and taking lots of quick singles, which helped move the score along to 110 for 4 from 30 overs. With a 200+ score line looking achievable, the skipper turned to the spin of himself and Hedders, who both managed to cause the batsmen some problems. Strongy picked up three more wickets to add to his tally this season and Hedders was unlucky not to get a wicket when a chance went down in the deep, but Westcott kept nibbling away and when the opener finally got out (somewhat needlessly playing a reverse sweep), Westcott capitalised on this and managed to restrict the G&C total to 193 all out.
After a dressing down in the changing room from the skipper regarding sloppy fielding, tea was taken, which I must say was very good, an Afghan style meat curry and pilau rice (delicious) alongside the usual sandwiches and cakes.
Westcott felt confident that if they batted the overs, they wouldn’t be far away from the G&C total, however two quick wickets and reduced to 20-2, things weren’t quite going as planned. With the two G&C opening bowlers bowling a tight line, it wasn’t easy to score runs. Tanveer and Tony dug in for the next ten overs and the score trundled on to 37 from 13 overs. However, patience was definitely a virtue and the change of bowling brought a change of fortune for the batsmen and runs began to come more freely, the two batsmen running well between the wickets to move the score onto 75 from 20 overs. Tanveer was by now playing some lovely drives and timing the ball well, easing past his half century. The pair put on over 120 runs for the next wicket and turned the match heavily in Westcott’s favour, before Tony was bowled for 30, which brought Alimar to the crease. Unfortunately he feathered one early on and with 50 runs still required to win, Keegan played a quick cameo innings, smashing the ball majestically to all parts of the ground. Tanveer reached his century before Keegan (37no) promptly smashed a four and a six in consecutive balls to see Westcott over the winning line with 6 overs remaining, to what seemed a comfortable win in the end. The bad weather by this stage had completely blown away and the sun shone down brightly as the players left the field. A top knock from Tanveer (107no) showed how to chase down a total sensibly and Westcott took the maximum 30 points from the days efforts. Well done boys and this moves us to within a point of Witney Swifts at the top of the table.