Ramsbury, Sunday 6th June 2021

30 Over Match: Inkpen beat Ramsbury by 2 wickets (Ramsbury 140/6 in 30 overs, Inkpen 144/8 in 29.1 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), David Glitz, James Hall, Mark Robinson, Simon Hanna, Richard Mitchell, James Wooldridge, Dave Lamb, Phil Day, Jeff Hutchinson, Martin Chester

Match report by Dave Lester…

Following on from our close and not so close fought games against Kennet valley and Urchfont respectfully, and with May being slightly damp with 2 games cancelled, todays visitors were Ramsbury. With the sun threaten to come out and the temperature almost tropical or as Richard “2 jumper” Mitchell would say ‘it’s a 1 jumper day’, the stumps were set up, the ground looked great (especially with the brand new pavilion catching the eye of Ramsbury as they arrived and the socially distance crowd filter in we were all ready for the toss…… Or were we!!!!!! could we find a coin, piece of silver, even a old farthing from the scorers, could we heck so it was over to the “ which hand is the daisy in” too decide who would bat first. Now for those that are avid readers of the match reports from last season you will be fully aware that the skipper Dave “ I have to win one at least one” lester doesn’t do to well in these pre match events. However, this season has been very kind to Inkpen in the toss, with both previous games having won the toss…. I Know Inkpen cc winning something, times really have been strange. So it was only a matter of time before normal service was resumed, that’s right readers I picked the wrong hand and lost the toss, so with Ramsbury players operating staggered arrivals times, they decide they should probably bat first and give the stragglers some time.

With the practice huddle (as requested by Mark “I forgot to sun cream my ears” Robinson) completed, and the scorers in place, who by the way have become quite demanding this season with Claire “when are we getting new numbers made” Hall putting her request in for an electronic scorers box with coffee machine… will get back to you on that one Claire, we were ready for action. As it was so hot, it was only right to start with the young fit member of the team….. yes we do have one! James “sponsored by Waitrose mayo” Hall was straight on the mark taking a wicket in the first over. So with Ramsbury 1 down for no runs, it was only right we gave them a chance so the skipper Dave “pie chucker” lester opened at the other end… but what was this….. a maiden bowled, yes do not adjust your eyes I did bowl a maiden. So with James “would of looked better if you dived” hall taking a caught and bowled and providing some very accurate and I mean very accurate quick bowling which made sure even if he wanted to that rich “ that’s gonna hurt a lot “ Mitchell behind the stumps wouldn’t be able to urinate for a few hours (if you know what I mean) and me getting the finest of edges Ramsbury were restricted to 34 for 3 off 12 overs. However regular readers will know we’ve been here before and managed to lose quite heavily…. would today be the same. The first bowling change and following the skippers wicket brought a change in pace for the game. Martin “ I’ve know idea where this one will land” Chester was chosen to keep the good work up and on returning to the game after a year out it was a fine display of “every ball keeps the batsman guessing bowling” and the fielding team for that matter. However with the big hitting batsman at the crease the scoring was picking up pace with a few big boundaries… (well they would of been boundaries, if the outfield had not grown 4ft in 3 days thanks to this lovely grass growing weather) so 3’s and 2’s were being run, and Inkpen needed a response and what a response, with one of his “special balls” Martin “who needs Jimmy Anderson” Chester sent the bails flying and clean bowled the big hitter, Ramsbury were 55-4 off 15… game on!

With Phil “the salmon” Day and Jeff “the gazelle” Hutchinson stopping boundaries with any part of their bodies they could find it was over to James “ the postman” Woolridge (he is actually a postman) to deliver and to the delight of the small gathering of villagers he did just that. Part in thanks to the catching skills of our number one spectacular catcher Dave “the juggler” glitz who to him took a regulation catch, but to everyone else took an absolute blinder with the use of his nose, stomach , hands and any other body part he could get to it before it hit the ground. Within a couple of overs and with Ben “Dave lamb” Stokes (you’ll understand later) restricting them at the other end, the postman struck again with a beauty… well he thought it was, to every one else the batsman just missed it trying to hit it for 6. That wicket was Inkpen’s 6th wicket and thus reducing Ramsbury to 80 for 6 off 20 and Into the last 10 overs of the innings we went. Unfortunately these 10 overs belonged to Ramsbury with Mark “still no sun cream applied” Robinson being attacked with some very fortunate landing in the spaces shots…. or 6’s to the rest of us by Ramsbury’s top batsman on his way to his 50 and their number 8 also turning on a little bit of style, Ramsbury ended their 30 overs on 140-6, would this be another case of letting the score runaway at the end or could Inkpen secure their first ever victory over Ramsbury.

Before Inkpen’s innings, both teams were treated to a very rare occasion the wonderful experience and legally allowed cricket tea, this week produced by Jane Atkey and her wonderful daughters… sorry I mean Dave “the chef” glitz. With the sausage rolls finally arriving and the fantastic looking and tasting cupcakes the Glitz/Atkey household did there best to ensure they would be up for tea of the year award and that there would be no quick singles for the first 10 overs.

So with the food sitting heavy on the finely tuned athletic bodies of Inkpen cc’s finest it was over to us to chase down Ramsbury’s respectable total. So just like the bowling it was over to James “eats like a king when his sister come home from uni” Hall and Dave “your going to wish you didn’t eat all that” Glitz to get Inkpen going and boy did they get us going with some beautiful stroke play and some very quick running…. (no I couldn’t believe it either) Inkpen raced to 31 off 6. However as most of us know who follow Inkpen, these highs always come with a very quick lows or collapses, and so it proved with James “champagne and Keenwa for supper” Hall the first to fall for 16 followed by Mark” yep you guessed it…still no sun cream on the ears” Robinson shortly after for 5, Inkpen were tittering on the famous Inkpen collapse. But wait we still had plenty of batting to come with Simon “ill just swing like I play golf” Hanna and Dave “the cherry” ( he was very red in the face at this point) Glitz pushing the score along we reached 62 for 3 off 14. However with his arms tiring and the medics in the team getting the o2 out Dave “I need a sit down” glitz holed out scoring a fantastic 30, this led to the arrival of Rich “yep still feeling sick from earlier” Mitchell to push the run rate along…… (we all know how that’s gonna turn out). However with rich taking a few balls…. overs… innings to get going, Simon “the swinger” Hanna was still trying to hit Bournemouth with every ball that he could hit unfortunately for him and Inkpen he missed the straight one which sent his bails closer to Bournemouth than any of his shots (thanks to the grass). Simons removal signalled the arrival of the skipper, knowing exactly what he needed to do, unfortunately for him but to the delight of Ian “where are you” Dixon (when he reads this) Dave “Quackers” Lester was clean bowled by an absolute ripper.. you guessed it for another Duck.

The game was beginning to turn in the favour of Ramsbury, the runs had dried up, and as a result of this turning tide it was vital that batsman were looking to score where possible quick singles or even twos… the problem for Rich “ wish I could run faster” Mitchell was that he couldn’t and valiantly going for a second run he was run out. Although annoyed he knew we had to take risks, however his young son on the side took great delight in abusing him for the next hour about being run out. So with wickets falling and the overs running out fast it appeared that the usual ‘bridge to far’ scenario was playing out, however as captain you must always have a back up plan, your players might not know the plan and moan at you because you put them in at number 8 and when the plan comes off they don’t believe you had one in the first place, however that’s exactly what yours truly had done. Enter Inkpen’s new superstar batsman having played 2 games last season hitting a wonderful 70+ away and a 0 at home having never scored a run at the home of Inkpen cricket (not that we remind him regularly) David “stokes” Lamb was in alongside James “you can have the strike Dave” Woolridge.

So with 56 runs off 10 overs required for victory, with quick 1’s and 2’s off nearly every ball and with the crowd on the edge of their seats, the skipper experiencing squeaky bum time, the Halls needing their rubber when scoring more often than normal (most likely distracted by the fact they were having posh nosh for tea) and even John “ safari” Donohoe arriving to umpire dressed like he had just walked off an Indiana Jones action movie the scene was set. Would the above nickname of Ben “Dave lamb” Stokes prove to be accurate… well readers yes it was, if you had forgotten the heroics of the real Ben Stokes at the one day world cup and the 3rd Headingly ashes test of 2019, then watching Dave “48 of 30 balls” Lamb would of brought these iconic memories flooding back. This majestic innings was right up there with the 113 yours truly scored a few season ago (not sure if I mentioned it), with 4’s being scored around the ground, the well thought out batting plan was working. However Ramsbury weren’t given up without a fight and with James “I can’t take this excitement” Woolridge being bowled enter Phil “Dom Bess” Day, all that was required was for him to stay there and hold the other end and what a job he did, unfortunately he also got out due to his inability to run like a sprinter and was run out, however in staying there he had help Dave “the slaughter man” Lamb and Inkpen too 131 for 8 needing 10 of 2 overs…. could we possibly secure a fine victory or would the old Inkpen CC moto “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” ring true again. Well with a few swings of the bat Dave “ hould of trusted my captain” Lamb delivered 2 fatal blows ending the game on a beautiful 4, Inkpen had won a monumental battle ending 144 for 8 off 29.1 overs.

So as the sun sets on a beautiful Inkpen day and as the crowd start to head back home with the privilege of being able to say ‘I was there’…. it is safe to say the cricket was the winner today. After the past 18 months where the whole world has had to sacrifice so much, It feels great to have some normality back, being able to see old friends and enjoying what has been an Inkpen tradition for many years. The only difference that we hope also becomes an Inkpen tradition is that we were victorious, next week we travel to Collingbourne to see if we can emulate todays achievement.