Kennet Valley, Sunday 26th July 2020

30 Over Match: Kennet Valley beat Inkpen by 74 runs (Kennet Valley 177/3 in 30 overs, Inkpen 104 all out in 26.3 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), David Glitz, Richard Mitchell, James Hall, Doug Hall, John Donohoe, Wayne Knape, Patrick Lowe, Richard Broer, Jamie West, Tim Marston

Report from Dave Lester…

With a 50% win rate Inkpen were at home against their old friends Kennet Valley for the 3rd game of the year. With the weather as hit and miss as Big Rich’s bowling, the strip was very green and very soft. Inkpen were in high spirits even if there were a few sore heads from the night before (a very happy birthday to Simon Hanna and the Donohoe children), however that was not the only celebration to be had, with our returning ex skipper making his first appearance since the last time he played, he was now able to collect his Inkpen CC cap for playing 20 plus games and as you will read what a return it was to be.

So with Kennet Valley winning the toss and asking inkpen to bowl, options were limited due to Wayne “I’m actually 80 years old” Knape and Pat “Dave, my hernia hurts” Lowe being unable to bowl. It was over to James “I’m still on the beach” hall and John “do I really have to open the bowling” Donohoe to get us started, and after 2 overs they appeared to be in competition with each other to see who could go for the most runs in their first over (11 and 12 respectively). With Kennet eyeing up a big score it was over to the returning ex skipper to show us all what we had been missing, and wow did he show us. As the ball was sailing towards the boundary for yet another score David “look at my new cap” Glitz threw all 15+++ stone to his right and forward to take an outstanding catch, however unfortunately his celebrations were short lived as once again David “Jane, I’ve hurt myself again” Glitz had landed awkwardly causing untold pain and suffering… but hey, Inkpen had held another catch.

With JD tightening up his bowling at one end and the skipper doing his best to ensure the score board kept going up at the other end (I blame the hangover), the game was finely balanced even if our number one keeper Richard “I’ve got a reason for that” Mitchell seemed to have covered his gloves in sanitizer and was helping Kennet Valley by letting just a few through. With the overs ticking by, the runs adding up, and wickets proving very hard to come by, Inkpen had a plan to slow the bowling down and make the batsmen work hard. With that in mind, the skipper turned to Rich “twinkle toes” Broer to not only dazzle everyone with his Elvis impression (Craig Revel-Horwood would have scored you a 10) when dropping a ball hit straight at him, but also to slow the run rate down. As Kennet Valley became frustrated, the bat started to swing and with one big heave the ball went into orbit. Inkpen fielders ran in from all directions to claim it, however one man did not have to move and remained unnerved by how far it had gone up, and with Doug’s faint cry ringing out the captain could only watch on. Was he about to lose another member of the team to injury… or in this case was Doug’s head about to be removed from his neck (to be fair it was a lot closer than Doug would probably admit). As the ball re-entered the atmosphere somehow Doug “I better know a good doctor” Hall managed to get his hands around the ball before it did serious damage to his awaiting teeth… A gasp went around the outfield as not only had Inkpen taken another wicket, but Doug had somehow adverted death. Was this to be the start of a Kennet Valley collapse? Um, no.

As Kennet Valley’s innings entered the final 10 overs Inkpen set out to keep them under 200, which after the start would have been a brilliant effort. Unfortunately Kennet Valley’s opener was still there on 69. Was he to get a classy 100? Not if Rich “my bowling is slightly erratic” Broer had anything to do with it. So with the field set around the boundary, there was only one ball to bowl… the full toss aiming straight for the batsman’s larynx. He hooked it towards the square leg rope, but was this him marching into the 70’s with another six? No, of course not… James “anything dad can do, I can do better” Hall hung onto another one, and with that Kennet Valley were finally 3 down. The innings fizzled out with Kennet Valley scoring 177 for 3, in the end a brilliant effort by Inkpen in the field.

So with the crowds gathering and the inkpen WAGs starting where they left off the night before popping the champagne, Inkpen’s two openers walked, hobbled, crawled to the crease. With Pat “Dave, it still hurts” Lowe and Wayne “old man” Knape, running between the wickets was not really going to be an option, and even less so for Pat when he joined the golden duck clan. Inkpen were at it again, and with Jamie “swoosh” West going the same way, we were 1 for 2 off 2 overs. Over to the skipper, with a couple of very poor innings behind him (and a certain ex skipper umpiring, and warming his neck muscles up ready for a shake of the head). For a brief while those muscles stayed fixed as Wayne and the skipper started to move the scoreboard along with a few boundaries. Inkpen were in with a shout at 41 for 2 off 8 overs, however with the pitch misbehaving more than Sarah Marston the night before, it wasn’t long before another wicket fell. A wide, inviting ball was hit straight down the throat of point and the skipper was gone for 25, then just before the drinks break Inkpen lost Wayne “I heard something but didn’t hit it” Knape edging behind, also for 25.

That allowed the hero of the first game, Rich “will I ever get out” Mitchell, to stride out to the crease. Yes, if you stand looking at your shot long enough and then decide to run once the fielder has dropped it and picked it up again… Run out for 2. Over to Tim “Babe Ruth” Marston to show Rich how not to get run out, by sliding two footed into the crease, with the only appropriate call from the umpire in response to Kennet Valley appeals being “Safe!”. Joining Babe at the crease, following Rich “5 is my fav number” Broer’s short innings, was the youngster James “skippy” Hall who decided that taking 3 or 4 steps down the track to every ball was the answer. Would it work? Would Inkpen get over 100? With Tim and James taking on the bowlers Inkpen went from 75 for 7 to 93 for 8, but then James swung one time too aften, providing an easy catch to fall for 12. 100 was looking unlikely, however Tim was still there and with a few swings of the bat he took Inkpen to 104. That however was to be that, with Doug falling for his highest ever Inkpen score of 2 and David “I actually can’t breathe” Glitz unable to bat, Inkpen fell to another defeat – 104 all out, losing by 73 runs.

These games however are not about the result, rather they are about inclusion, enjoying ourselves, and realising that we should have paid for a physio and a doctor rather than two new bats as we would get more use out of them.

Onwards to Peasemore next week, in search of another win…..