Wilcot, Sunday 16th August 2020

35 Over Match: Wilcot beat Inkpen by 72 runs (Wilcot 154/2 in 35 overs, Inkpen 82 all out in 24 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Richard Mitchell, Ian Dixon, Lee Duff, Patrick Lowe, Doug Hall, James Hall, Kevin Dolan, Phil Day

Match report by Dave Lester…

With the skipper back from sunny Devon, Inkpen were off on their travels this week to the stunning Wiltshire countryside to play Wilcot. Unfortunately 90% of the Inkpen squad were also off on their travels, however with a bit of Facebook pleading we managed to get a team of nine together. Thankfully Wilcot wanted to play as much as we did and lent us two players and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cyril and Jude York – always a pleasure to play a game with Cyril and what an arm young Jude has. Don’t be surprised if you see him throwing the javelin at the Olympics.

On arrival the ground looked lovely, the canal was busy, and with a bumper crowd in to watch (plus a few baa’s every now and again to acknowledge some top cricket) we were ready. With Wilcot adding an extra 5 overs to each innings, it was time for Dave “it will be tails one day” lester to lose yet another toss and again Inkpen were put in to bowl. With a new plan to not allow the batsmen to settle it was over to the older bowlers with their smaller run ups to start us off and with runs not being found easily it was the skipper Dave “chicken and mushroom” Lester and Eian “I have to bowl how many?” Dixon to restrict Wilcot to 41 runs off the first 14 overs. Unfortunately the batsmen were also restricting the wickets taken, however Inkpen were doing well. Once the older players had shown the youngsters how to do it (and seized up) it was the youngsters’ turn to continue the good bowling. After another couple of uneventful overs, James “Jimmy Anderson” Hall managed to get one to nip off the surface with an edge flying towards first slip. Could this be Inkpen’s first wicket for a while? Alas no. Cyril, who is aiming to play for England’s over 80s before he hangs up his whites, had a decision to make… Does he attempt to catch it, or does he risk losing what is left of his pearly whites? The chance went down and the pearly whites survived. So with the scoreboard not being bothered that much, Wilcot moved to 69 in 20 overs.

As the clouds were building and the rain started to fall, the old boys were called upon again with Pat “you sure you want me to bowl?” Lowe and Cyril piling on more pressure. Cyril was up to his old tricks of luring the batsman into a false sense of security and Rich “HHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOWWWWWWZZZZZAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT!!!” Mitchell whipping the bails off Pat’s bowling for a stumping. However the joy didn’t last long as with wickets in hand the incoming batsmen started to swing, and with Pat “I hate the spinning ones” Lowe and Kev “I ran too far and it went over my head” Dolan dropping two 2 more catches, the score was starting to look healthy. This was helped even more by James “yes you are fielding” Hall gifting a few more runs as he forgot he was supposed to cover the boundary and just watched as the ball went past him. He did however make up for this lapse of concentration by taking a brilliant catch to earn Inkpen a second wicket, bringing the Wilcot innings to a close at 154/2, not a huge task with an extra five overs to play with, however if you are an avid follower of Inkpen CC you will know that any chase is huge.

With the rain falling slightly harder and the crowd enjoying an afternoon tea of grass and weeds it was Pat “my batting must be as good as my bowling” Lowe and James “this is me sprinting” Hall to open up the innings with just under 5 runs an over required. Inkpen got off to a good steady start scoring 15 runs in 6 overs. Surely it was time for a wicket? Of course it was, and what a wicket, with James “twinkle toes” Hall dancing down the track to hit over the top, however he hadn’t accounted for the kangaroo in the field who, with a fine leap, plucked the ball out of the air one handed. The crowd went baaaaaaananas. With Lee “I really want that duck award” Duff going immediately to a beauty, it was Dave “this bat is broken” Lester to try to up the rate, however with the boundary seeming a mile away, and both him and Pat realising they were far too unfit for all the running they were having to do, they moved Inkpen to 33/2 in 11 overs and the chase was on. That was until Dave “there’s a hole in this bat” Lester was bowled by a classic half tracker daisy cutter, followed quickly by Rich “Dicko, I didn’t hit it” Mitchell, starting a classic Inkpen collapse, albeit with some good resistance from Eian “apparently the bat is not broken” Dixon with a top score of 16, helped by Doug “I can run faster than my son” Hall and Kev “I think my helmet is too small” Dolan (both bowled by exactly the same ball a few overs apart).

As the final few wickets fell, Inkpen were unable to make their usual total of 100ish, ending on 84 all out from 23 overs. Special mention must go to Cyril, an inspiration to us all, with his “I’m not moving more than an inch left or right” attitude in the field, his hand grenade bowling, and of course his batting, where he decides to run even when the ball is already in the hands of the fielder, ensuring the batsman at the other end breaks the land speed record to get in.

So as the Inkpen fell to another defeat, it was noted that it had been one of our more enjoyable games of the season, with lots of banter and jokes flying around between the teams. On we move to the next game, which will be against Royal Hampshire County Hospital at home on Sunday, the fixture where the skipper hit his 113 last year. Not sure it’s been mentioned previously…