The wait is over.. and we finally have cricket again at Westcott Cricket Club. Firstly, many thanks to all those who have contributed to get the ground up and running, ready for the new season. The hard work has certainly paid off and with a beautiful blue sky on Saturday (but a deceptively chilly wind), the ground looked a pretty picture ready for the Intra Club fixture. The new stumps stood proudly on show and the season’s first fixture was a 30 over match between a Skippers XI vs Vice Skippers XI. The Skipper won his first (and probably only) toss of the season and elected to bat first. I don’t have the book to hand to give exact figures, but Giles did impress me with the ball, hitting a good length and continuing on with his good form in the nets and Waqas soon got into a nice rhythm as well. Finbarr looked extremely solid with the bat and held the innings together nicely, with the skipper Strongy making a few cheeky runs later on in the innings. In reply, Stuart started off very brightly, dealing only in boundaries before being bowled and George took up the mantle, playing some lovely late cuts and adding to the scoreboard. However, a couple of loose shots, including a run out, somewhat curtailed the chase and the Skippers XI won the match by 20 something runs, although I do seem to remember Giles hitting his big brother over the cover boundary for six!!.  A good natured, fun game though, that was enjoyed by all (except Dale – who is still trying to get a review of his LBW decision) and a nice way to open the season. P.S. Welcome back Shane and thanks to the few “non regulars” for playing.. hopefully you all enjoyed your day !! P.P.S Oops.. nearly forgot.. hope your finger is OK Tiz and you are back playing soon enough.

Sunday – and another game, this time Westcott hosting a Midland Lankans XI, a Sri Lankan team who play in the Birmingham Sunday League. The skipper (Tony this time) lost the toss and was asked to bat first by the opposition captain. Again, the sun was shining brightly, but the wind was definitely stronger and colder, making the playing conditions uncomfortable to say the least. With Tony out LBW in the third over, Alimar took the opportunity to play a cultured innings, showing his true batting capability, playing some lovely shots all over the ground and was supported by Rehman, playing in his usual aggressive fashion. Runs seemed hard to come by though (mainly due to some good tight bowling) although Ras played some delightful shots, but a few successive quick wickets left Westcott at 82 for 7. However, Waqas batted sensibly and added 20 odd to the total, ably supported at the end by Giles and Jamie, to bring the Westcott total to an under par 114 all out.

In reply, Waqas and Rehman did their thing…bowling quickly and accurately and wickets started to fall at regular intervals for the chasing team. Alimar bowled his usual tight lines, keeping the ball moving around off a good length and the low total actually started to look as though it was defendable for a while. At 8 wickets down, a quick cameo by the opposition skipper took the game away from Westcott though and the target was reached with a big six into the field. Well played Midland Lankans.. the better team on the day.  A big big thank you also to the opposition who provided a wonderful tasty curry supper (Covid-19 compliant, outdoor seating etc).. and we very much look forward to hosting them again next year!! And thank you also to Bob and Buz for umpiring on a bitterly cold day 🙂

So, on to next week and a home fixture for the 1st XI against Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondies CC on Saturday (01 May) and the 2nd XI host neighbours Waddesdon CC on the Sunday (02 May).