Tuesday, December 23, 2008

v Epsom - 26th August 2008

26th August

Versus: Epsom

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's win by a lot

The last game of the season saw Epsom visit Ruxley Lane, much changed from Epsom of old with not many familiar faces. Talking of which, Beeksy turned up, probably to get the qualifying number of overs in to claim his trophy, trouble is, he’d been away for so long his face was not looking so familiar either.

OC’s won the toss and elected to bat in dark overcast skies, perfect conditions for the white ball being bowled in front of an umpire in white, perfect if you are a bowler that is!

Knoxy and TC opened the batting knocking a reasonable rate with an opening partnership of 70 something despite constant complaint from Knoxy about not seeing the ball. The change bowlers brought some variety, usually short pitched before TC fell caught and Knox was bowled agonisingly short of another half century on 46, a few more runs not out and he would have sneaked past Parker and claimed the batting trophy! A mini collapse of Dan, Ben and DJ all falling for 0 followed as the change bowlers found some swing and seam or some simple poor shot selection. Nate and JB showed the rest how to do it properly as they brought up the rear, only spoiled by a comedy run out from Bisson as the OC’s set 112 off 18. Would it be enough?

Dan and JB opened the bowling, Dan fruitless for 10 off his 2 while JB was back to his best with 2 for 8 off 4 including am amazing diving catch from Bisson at long off which was a matter of inches off the ground. Handy Epsom batsmen fell foul to a couple of either good run outs or crazy calling by the batsmen ad JB claimed one run out and Dan redeemed himself with another after shelling a simple catch in the same ball!

Beeks returned and was likely to seal the bowling trophy with 2 for 3 off his 2 while Bisson also found form and rabbits with 2 for 4 off his 3! With the run rate out of sight and Epsom running out of wickets yours truly took the wicket of skipper Aziz with one that should have been left wide while Nate, in a bad day in the field for the Reubens, managed to catch one with the skills of a circus clown. Ben finished off the game with a wicket maiden ad a disappointing Epsom fell well short.

Man of the Match – Bisson with 2 wickets and a superb diving catch which gets the champagne moment although some of the things promised to him because of the catch were not carried out.

v Molesey CCCC - 18th August 2008

19th August


Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's win by a few runs

Of most of the regular opponents encountered, Molesey of the many C’s appear to be one of the easier opponents to deal with. As myself and Finnerty, who looked like a cross between the Joker from the new Batman movie and Shaggy from Scooby Doo, arrived, confidence was good as some of the oppo weren’t in whites and the foreign accents were German as opposed to South African.

OC’s won the toss on an overcast day and a request was made to reduce to make it an 18 over game, but it ended up being 20. James and Knoxy, batting trophy still at stake took to the square and managed to open for a couple of overs before the heavens opened. All retired to the shelter of the pavilion or bar and when the skies cleared we were on a 16 over slog due to the absence of any Duckworth or Lewis.

Knoxy and James resumed their knock reaching a 50 partnership before both were retired by the skipper in a rare act of sportsmanship although personally speaking if I were batting for a trophy I would have liked to stay in. Yours truly came in for a rare appearance with bat and pads while Molesey of many C’s brought back their opening bowler, cue yours truly wafting at nothing until eventually getting bat on ball, unfortunately it was an edge to the keeper putting me out of my misery. Nate (10 not out), TC (5), Manuwar (0) and JB (2 not out) slowed down the run rate to make a game of it and leave a target of about 70.

The thoughts that this was an easy game soon evaporated when Dan opened the bowling and got tonked for 10 of the first over with a couple of leg side looseners spanked past Nate, who looked like he’d rather be somewhere else, for 4. Fortunately sense prevailed at the other end as JB resumed opening duties taking 2 for 9 off 4. The Joker, inappropriately dressed for the conditions and looking a little damp took over from Dan and showed his usual repertoire of bowling too good for the oppo going for 19 of his 4 without getting a wicket. Manuwar replaced Bolland at the other end and finished off the game with 3 for 10 off 3. Despite some comedy fielding from Knoxy and constant ribbing and banter through the match Ben (0 for 8 off 1), yours truly (1 for 2 off 1, it was a stumping honest) and DJ (1 for 2 off 1, a rare juggle from Ducklin at Square Leg) and a couple of run outs saw the club with many C’s fall short.

Man of the match – Bolland for a fine bowling performance.

v Hounslow Leisure - 12th August 2008

12th August

Versus: Hounslow Leisure

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Draw


OC’s hosted relatively “new” rivals, Houslow Leisure for another game of 20 Twenty at Ruxley.

OC’s won the toss and elected to bat. In the build up to the game, Collett issued an update on the batting & bowling averages, Parker (Yes M’lady) running away with the batting title and a suspiciously absent Beeks running (have you ever seen him run?!?) away with the bowling trophy, maybe to sell it on ebay.

Back to the batting trophy, Knox and James were neck and neck and put in to open by skipper Bisson, two games were on, the game against Hounslow and the game between these two.

Knoxy & DJ opened well at a steady rate putting on about 40 for the first wicket at about 5 or 6 an over before James was the first to fall at 16. Sparky came on and barely reached double figures before falling at 10. Ben fared little better on 2 before Test Match Trev steadied the ship while Knoxy anchored the innings. TC’s lack of mobility caught him out as he fell LBW for 18 while the tail end provided little resistance with Nate (0) and Dan (6) providing little resistance. Fortunately a fine 57 not out from Knox saw the OC’s to 113 off their 20.

Regular opening pair Dan and Manuwar opened the bowling and provided a mixed bunch, Dan being relatively economical taking 1 for 20 off 4 while Manuwar had an off day taking no wickets for 32. With a lack of variety from Beeks and Mahesh, the OC’s were short of bowling and needed performances from those left. Bisson brought Ben and JB on to try and get the key things of dot balls and wickets. It was a case of like father, almost like son as Ben took 1 for 19 off his 4 while JB, struggling for form earlier in the season showed a great return to form with 4 for 16 off his! Bisson, who according to Trevor was doing a good impression of the new Lynx advert by keeping one eye on the no strikers wicket, then brought his left arm to the party and took 3 wickets for 24 off his 4.

And for the result, there’s something unsatisfactory about not noticing the scoreboard shows “runs required” as opposed to “runs scored”, more unsatisfactory if you don’t ask the scorer to confirm. The match ended in a draw, and it should have been won by either side if attention was paid to detail, never mind, the rivalry continues.

Man of the match – Knoxy for a fine carrying of the bat.

Champagne Moment – It’s been three weeks, do you expect me to remember!

v Elmbridge - 31st July 2008

Thursday 31st July

Versus: Elmbridge

Venue: Elmbridge

Result: OC's win comfortably


After the disappointment of the previous week, the OC's found themselves in another predicament, playing both away and on a Thursday. To add to the historical issue of the OC's not travelling well, a number of players found the travel and the fact it wasn't on a Tuesday disruptive to their pattern and dropped out leaving, for once, the selection committee with a tough deal to get an 11 together. By the end of the weekend, things weren't looking great, 7 players one of which was Collett, who despite arranging the fixture had managed to double book with a meal with wife & friends and a showing of Mama Mia at the local cinema! Thankfully, in stepped the Cunnahs, Steve, Mark and Adam and someone by the name of Corrigan who was looking for a game of cricket and found us on the internet.

After the loss of last week, the mood was black and thick as the cloudy humid sky above Despite this, OC's lost the toss and took to the field with 9 waiting for the latecomers to turn up. Dan Reuben, back from holiday in the Windies, came not with a course in Caribbean cricket, but an education in beach volleyball. Despite this, he took a wicket with his second ball which showed swing and seam beating the batsman, who appeared to take his frustration out on the pavilion soon after, on his way to a two wicket spell. Steve Cunnah at the other end displayed a masterclass in bowling outside the off stump, leaving the Elmbridge batsmen in a quandary taking a wicket and a maiden for a paltry 4 runs off his 4 overs. By now Beeksy had arrived and had taken up change duties with Adam "juggler" Cunnah, although the run rate increased, Adam managed to take two wickets while Beeks kept his trophy hunt up with another.

Elmbridge looked in trouble, so we'd like to think Skipper Bisson would give the untried debutant, Corrigan, a bowl, to make a game of it. It turned out Corrigan could bowl a bit with some more consistent line & length that left Keeper Collett wondering what happened to the usual dross that goes down the leg side that he's used to scrambling around for and letting disappear for byes. The bowling was too good for the middle order who fell like an England batting collapse as he took four wickets in two and a half overs. He was a bit fortunate however, as the stumps appeared to be half an inch proud of their usual place and one exquisite ball which took the off bail would have left Hawkeye scratching its head. Bisson, skippering from deep cover and deep mid wicket, a jumble of legs, arms and broken ligaments came on to get his rabbits but was beaten to the punch by Corrigan as Elmbridgge were all out for 82.

Despite the low target, Skipper Bisson wanted to beat both the oppo and the weather, the usual opening partnership of Tarzan and DJ opened, with Ben falling cheaply for 2 to a fielder who had 3 attempts at catching a ball before succeeding on the 4th, DJ kept plugging away briefly supported by Dan who cracked a couple of nice boundaries before losing concentration to a left arm over bowler and missing a straight one for 10. Test Match Trev came on and for a while looked like he was going to make a one man game of it. DJ survived a scare in his innings, dropped by the inappropriately named Holder while Trev, despite having contact lens problems, eventually got his eye in and started scoring runs although he was still seeking the middle of his bat. Surprisingly "strike hog" Collett ended up catching and passing DJ with 32 not out to DJ's 31 as OC's romped home with overs and wickets to spare.

The difficult thing now, at least for the selection committee, is how to keep a happy squad now numbering nearly 20 for the final few games based on performances, given, some of the cameos today, you could excuse some for being eligible for England duty.

Man of the Match : Mr Corrigan, 2 and a half overs, 4 wickets, lovely bowling outside off, and was only denied a fivefor because the oppo ran out of batsmen.

Champagne moment, either one of Steve Cunnahs or Mr Corrigan's maidens, bowling how it should be done.

v Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - 22nd July 2008

Date: 22nd July 2008

Versus: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's lose by a few wickets (it's shorter to type than the oppo winning)


Life is a learning process, with respect to this, after round 1 of Knoxy vs the OC's where Knoxy's occasional players were comprehensively beaten, highlighted by Knoxy taken out by Mahesh's bowling, something had to be done.

Obviously Knoxy has a little black book, given fatherhood and relationship bliss, all the old flames have been removed and put out and replaced with weekend cricketers who can play a bit. Learning from previous experience, the black book was accessed, favours called in and drinks owed.

We were warned for round 2 that the changes to the team were extensive, so much so that the team name had changed from something occasional to something that appeared to have all the letters of the alphabet in it, twice. The good natured email ribbing continued with name calling, pictures from the Goonies and warnings that peoples inboxes had filled to bursting.

Turning up at Ruxley Lane had shown that the oppo had not turned up in a mixed bag of whatever sports gear was occupying their sports bag at the time, but whites with bags that had bats sticking out of them, this was going to be close. So much for everyone getting a game, upside down batting orders and two overs per bowler, this was serious.

OC's won the toss and elected to bat, James and Tarzan Reuben opened against Dangerous Dave Pendleton, DJ surviving a dropped catch or two early on. The runs followed a good opening partnership, but not at particularly fast a rate as young legs in the outfield chased and harried forcing the batsmen to run between the stumps. James eventually fell for 23 while Ben, conscious that he had a good average due to a large number of retired hurts braved out his hamstrings of glass for a tough 30. Sparky came on against the change bowlers knocking a 38 before Dangerous Dave came back and dismissed him. The middle order suffered a collapse of singles (JB, Manuwar), twos (TC) and ducks (Bisson) as OC's saw off their 20 for 102.

OC's would need to bowl tight and field tight as well as they were not sure of the last time they successfully defended a target of 100. Andy Finerty was welcomed back to the attack for a rare visit and opened the bowling and did his usual job of being too good for the batsmen and not getting any wickets for not a lot of runs, Manuwar opened at the other end and get a wicket for even less off his 4 and things were looking up. Despite the youth in Knoxy's side they lacked experience. Unfortunately the experience of the OC's lacked fitness or injury free bodies or a variety of bowlers. Beeksy turned up, but it was at the pavilion to dispense advice from the bar as he wasn't in the starting 11, maybe he was protecting his bowling average. Ben & JB came in at the change but didn't get any wickets and as the batsmen got their eyes in were playing it into the gaps where the OC's had to hobble to intercept turning ones into twos. With the run rate ticking over despite a wicket from Bisson, the oppo with a long name reached the total with an over & wickets to spare.

Despite some post match comments & emails from some disappointed people it was a fun game and if a fully fit OC's bearing grudges enter the ring for round 3 then it may be the start of a great rivalry. Lets hope TC gan get us a match against Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu soon.

Champagne moment: Dangerous Dave Pendleton coming back on and dismissing Sparky with a "loosener".

v Epsom Taxes - 15th July 2008

Date: 15th July

Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's win by 8 Wickets


After last weeks close game against the taxmen of Kingston, the rematch against their Epsom bretheren was on.

Skipper Bisson lost the toss and a rather strange thing happened, Epsom went in to bat first, although they having about 7 or 8 players at the time may have had something to do with it.

OC’s took to the field with James in place of Dan Reuben in the ever changing Rafa Benitez style squad rotation system. The “Spin Twins” Mahesh and Manuwar, as christened by Skipper Bisson, opened. The tone of the fielding appeared to be plenty of effort, poor application, this was set second ball when Manuwar bowled one down leg side and was played to the precognitive author on the Square Leg boundary (he usually fields between one and two) the author managed to save the boundary by getting his body behind the ball, when he says body, he means the unorthodox method of fielding with his knee!

So followed an innings where Epsom set their stall out by taking singles at every opportunity despite being pretty poor between the stumps and making the most out of poor bowling, misfields and a couple of failed run outs keeping the over rate at about 6 or 7 an over without threatening many boundaries. No one of the OC’s came out of this with any major glory or improvement to their bowling averages, apart from Beeks and a three ball spell from Reuben the father that absolutely bamboozled the batsman before putting him out of his misery first ball, shame his other 21 deliveries weren’t so good.

The entertainment in fact was provided before the game, in my work inbox anyway, by a run of 24 uninterrupted emails which sprang from a request for figures from the first two games due to Keeper Collett ,osing the scorebook. Thus begat a conversation where claims were made about scores and averages that would make Jeffrey Archer not claim to as too outlandish. This then evolved into comments regarding PG tips adverts, monkeys, sloths, pigs, Eva Cassidy, David Cassidy, Butch and Sundance The Rat Pack, The Boomtown Rats and the Prodigy! Needless to say if in 2000 years time, the equivalent of Tony Robinson and Time Team unearth some internet archive to see how we lived and our culture, there would be a mass scratching of heads.

Anyways, despite coming back to form with run outs in the last over, including a good one from yours truly, the OC’s had a target of 128 and already looked a beaten team, injured by numerous cuts of quick singles.

Maybe it was the knowledge that we were short of batsmen with Dan off sunning himself and Simon “Sloth” Parker propping up the bar injured that confidence was low, we required a good performance from Dave “Pot Bellied Pig” James and Simon “monkey” Knox.

Some tight initial bowling from the openers restricted Knoxy & DJ to about 5 an over but although they did not have the agility between the wickets for singles, they made up for it in boundaries which were applauded by the cheerleaders from the pavilion end. The change of bowlers showed that there was not much depth in bowling as the opening pair made hay while the sun was setting while taking on oxygen and water between innings.

One Epsom player had a minor chat with the author while at square leg saying he thought that a reasonable target was 150 and that he feared that 127 wasn’t enough which given the battering James and Knox were giving the ball was a reasonable statement as Epsom tempers frayed in a manner similar to the OC’s when they were misfielding.

Monkey boy eventually reached his 50 and celebrated in a manner similar to that of Clyde from “every which way but loose” as the game swung towards the OC’s favour. Knoxy eventually holed out for a great 76 with about 4 overs left and 10 to get. In came “test match” Trev to make a game of it as he appeared to face an over of dot balls which was strange given the quality of bowling on offer at the time, maybe he left the middle of his bat in the boot of his car, just like the scorebook!. James eventually knocked off the winning runs for a great 44 not out leaving OC’s victorious with 8 wickets and 2 overs to spare all doubts about an awful fielding and bowling performance erased, a close game with room for improvement.

Man of the match – Simon “Monkey” Knox, an absolutely great knock of 76 with a dodgy toe & thumb.

Champagne Moment – Ben Reuben’s three ball spell, utterly mesmerising, either that or the best timed thing from Knoxy which was dropping me off at Sutton station just as my train was coming in, ta Knoxy.

v Kingston Taxes - 8th July 2008

Date: 8th July 2008

Versus: Kingston Taxes

Venue: Wandgas

Result: Kingston win by 2 Wickets


Wandgas, where heroes are made and venue of many a close game or memorable moment again produced a cracker.

OC’s saw the loss of Doyle, James & Parker and the return of Knox and Mahesh in their squad rotation system, the toss was won, or maybe lost, and OC’s went into bat first.

Knox, vanquished at the battle of wounded thumb & toe two weeks ago opened the batting with Ben of the constantly wounded hamstrings and calves. They set about the bowlers at a fair clip maintaining a run rate of about 6 or 7 an over before Ben pulled up lame on 25 leaving son Dan to take stand against some rather fine bowling which reduced the run rate. Dan and Knoxy survived a couple of scares before Dan lost concentration & played a rare cross bat to a straight ball and fell for 24. Collett then came in and knocked a few supporting Knoxy who needed water and Oxygen to eventually reach 51 before being dismissed. Nate came in at the death and was unlucky to have a massive hit go upwards rather than across for a massive 6 as the fielder had enough time to have a cup of tea before catching a ball which had snow on it.

OC’s set a target of apparently 117 which then failed assessment from the Taxmen and adjusted to 116.

As an aside, when the author started for the OC’s many moons ago, it was common for a decent total to be a rather leisurely 80-90 and a good match to be had with a run rate of 4 an over. Now 6 an over appears to be the normal target.

Dan & JB started with Dan being his usual economic self, getting a wicket although JB had lost his form and was pulled off early. Manuwar and Mahesh then came on and proceeded to get a wicket each but not many dot balls.

By this time, Kingston appeared to be running away with the game, the run rate was reducing, there were plenty of wickets in hand and singles and two’s were going for boundaries due to fielding errors and quick singles were taken at every opportunity.. What appeared to be happening was that the OC’s were surfing too much, taking it too easy when the game needed something or someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck. Bisson then brought himself on for his usual competitiveness and aggression and Ben Reuben at the other end who at this time has steam coming out of his ears due to the bowling he was witnessing.

Ben brought some guile and aggression at one end taking two wickets while Nate was exhibiting some great fielding with two run outs.

Bisson, or at least not the person impersonating Bisson for the past half of the season, then roared in from the other end bewildering the batsmen with his left arm action getting dot balls and wickets keeping the OC’s in the game until the final over.

It was reminiscent of the game two years ago, Ken Wood facing, not a lot of balls left, not many runs to get, but alas with the scores tied on the final ball, Ron parked one over Marks head to score the winning run, another game to remember for the right reason that it was good and the wrong reason that we lost. The game the week previously was so memorable people keep thinking it was the game with the Dan M**re inspired loss against Hounslow from two weeks back!

Champagne moment – either of Nathan’s run outs.

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