Westcott v Chipping Norton – Sat 11 May 2019: won by 10 wickets
Westcott welcomed Chipping Norton, fresh from promotion last season to division one. After winning the toss and asking Chippy to bat, opening bowlers Rehman and Waqas started off extremely well, with Waqas bowling quickly, getting some decent bounce (thanks Mr Groundsman), swinging the ball away and with left handed Rehman swinging the ball back into the Chippy openers, this made run scoring very difficult indeed. The score line reflected this, and at 18 without loss after 11 overs something had to give and the Chippy opener eventually snicked a flashing drive straight into the gloves of the skipper / keeper. In fairness, the next two Chippy batsmen did manage to stay at the crease, but only at the detriment of the run rate and at drinks, Chippy were at 59 for 1.
A slight revival after drinks as the batsmen took cheeky singles to keep the scoreboard ticking, but singles were never going to hurt Westcott, who kept a tight grip on proceedings. After a great spell from Waqas, Tanveer joined the attack and promptly made inroads into the Chippy line up, who by this stage really had to get on with it if they were going to post a respectable total. This allowed the skipper / now bowler to roll his arm over at the other end and between himself and Tanveer, they took three wickets apiece in addition to a suicidal run out, which contributed to reducing Chippy from 118-1 to 155 for 8 after 45 overs.
Tea was great as always, the author content with the fact he wasn’t opening the batting, so managed to cram in a second plateful of cake and watched as Stuart and Rehman entered the middle. Stuart got off to a flyer, outscoring Rehman in the early stages, but once the left hander got going there was no stopping him, as he piled on the misery to the Chippy bowlers, fours and sixes flying off his bat. At 56-0 off the first 11 overs, Westcott were already starting to look comfortable for the win.
Rehman was dropped just after scoring his fifty, but it was difficult as the ball went up a long way and it was never going to be an easy catch. Rehman gratefully took his extra life and continued to score freely, with Stuart now playing the supporting role, but still managing to play some good shots of his own. Some tactical batting with the score on 150 (ish) allowed Stuart to reach his first fifty (of many hopefully) this season and then allowed Rehman to finish the game with a huge six over the sightscreen, reaching his first century (of many hopefully) this season and Westcott had won by ten wickets within 25 overs.
Many thanks go to Chippy for staying for a couple of beers after the game, always nice to see.
So, on to next week and an away trip to Cuttleslowe Park for a second / third place clash between Westcott and Wolvercote. Two solid all round performances so far and another one next week should hopefully bring the points back to the home clubhouse.