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.

v Sutton - 1st July 2008

Date: 1 July 2008

Versus: Sutton

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Oc's win by 50 odd runs


For some strange reason today was a going through the motions game, people appeared to be wanting to be somewhere else, notably Ian Doyle who returned from Somerset rather being here than there and dealing with fires at Scrap Yards.

Despite Collett warning of only 10 people being available, 12 turned up including a tired author who would rather have been recovering from his Glastonbury experience which included 3 hours sleep before being woken up by Shakin Stevens.

OC’s won the toss and elected to bat with James and Test Match Trev opening the batting with a solid opening partnership before Collett fell on 18, the most notable part of the partnership being James driving a ball back at a bowlers head who would probably when the ball struck, wished he’d been somewhere else too!

Parker came in, although he’d rather be drinking the beer he just bought and proceeded to play classically through some rather dodgy bowling knocking a rather nice 62 before being bowled with some decent bowling. Parker then retired for the rest of the game to the relative bliss of the Bar where his amber beauty awaited him.

James agonisingly fell to poor shot selection on 49, a shot that would not have been played had he known he was on 49 in the firstplace while the Reubens provided support at the close leaving a difficult total of 156 for Sutton.

As people mention, there’s nothing like a competitive match, and this was nothing like a competitive match after the opening bowling partnership of Dan Reuben and John Bolland twirled away economically effectively taking the game away from the opposition. Beeks brought his assorted buffet and got 2 wickets, Doyle brought his guile and got 1 wicket. Nathan brought the muscles of Andy Murray in the field by having some wild overthrows over keeper Collett who’d rather he throw like that from the boundary than on the 2 he was on at the time. Nate was also brought on to bowl and brought the spirit of Harmison with some rather wide deliveries, too late to make a game of it, eventually getting a wicket. Skipper Bisson, one of 8 bowlers played kept his run of not being able to get a wicket for love nor money for three fruitless overs as Sutton fell short.

Champagne Moment: Ian Doyle taking a catch at slip and not spilling it, just like not spilling his beer when beaned on the head by an errant fielding lob while umpiring.

v Elmbridge - 17th June 2008

Date: 17th June 2008

Versus: Elmbridge

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's win by 100 or so runs


There’s the usual caution with new opponents such as Elmbridge, how seriously do you take them, how do you play the game if you open the batting or bowling. Even if you play well, will the other team do better.

Well Elmbridge had one set of credentials for a half decent team, everyone in whites, the usual second credential, southern hemisphere accents was absent, so the possibility of a close game based on these two assumptions was on.

Despite having a relatively large squad of 14 or 15 to choose from plus Deando occasionals, the skipper & sec’s work was cut out to get an 11 from an available 9 bolstered by two late stand ins supplied by Knoxy.

Skipper Bisson won the toss and elected to bat stating his intention to go for it with Knoxy and hero of Wandgas, Dan Reuben, opening the batting on a pitch with markers laid out so generous to the bastmen they could have been mistaken for fielding restriction markers!

Knoxy dug into the bowling taking the shots while Daniel dug in the anchor providing a grand opening stand keeping the run rate ticking over about a constant 7 or 8 an over. Knoxy reached his 50 with ease and a century looked on the cards until Elmbridge brought on a serious bowler & took Knoxy for 62 with a dubious LBW decision which was one of the quietest appeals I have ever heard. Sparky came in and restored some order knocking a measured 36 not out while Dan had a good knock but fell in the penultimate over with 35. Test match Trevor came in for the last couple to slow down the run rate and make it a reasonable target of 152.

Even the most optimistic of skippers with a target to defend would still open with their best bowlers to test the water before putting on the pie chuckers to make a game of it. Dan opened as usual and lasted two overs for 1 wicket. In a strange twist, and maybe trying to prevent Manuwar running away with the bowling trophy, Bisson put Bolland on who had got rid of his rust and took two wickets for 4 runs with 3 maidens! Mahesh came on at change and took another wicket, while Bisson, smelling rabbits, brought himself on for 4 fruitless overs which would have been fruitful if author had not dropped a simple catch at gully, sorry skip. Manuwar finished off the top end with two wickets in successive balls, the hat trick ball nicked to second slip between Daniel and Ducklin at 1st & 3rd.

The reluctance of the Knoxy volunteer corps to bowl and the lack of batting depth meant that the run rate ran away from Elmbridge with Ducklin taking a wicket off his second spell caught by a generous Bisson who should have dropped it. Ducklin took it upon himself to make a game of it with two successive wides for the final ball, unfortunately, by that time Elmbridge needed him to channel the spirit of Harmison and bowl 98 more wides to make a game of it as OC’s finished comfortable winners.

Champagne moment, John Bolland half heartedly appealing an LBW which not even Collett behind the stumps shouted for, the umpire then gave the batsman out but only about 3 people noticed, EXCLUDING Bolland and the game carried on as if nothing happened…….

v Epsom Taxes - 10th June 2008

Date: 10th June 2008

Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Wandgas

Result: OC's win by 4 wickets


After recent emails, I was thinking of following up the Apprentice pastiche of two weeks ago with a Dad’s Army pastiche, Bisson as Mainwaring, Collett as Sergeant Wilson, Beeksy as Private Walker etc…however the events of the game at Wandgas deserved more than that.

There are a number of rivalries in sport that are well know, the Old Firm, the North London Derby, the Merseyside Derby, Ali & Frazier, England vs Australia in the Ashes. To that can be added Old Californians vs Epsom Taxes usually a game to be sure to be tight and this one was no exception.

OC’s lost the toss and the Taxmen took to the crease. Regular openers Daniel Reuben and Manuwar (15 off 4) opened the bowling with both being economical with the ball with the added bonus of a wicket for Dan (9 off 4 1 wkt 1 mdn).

The Taxmen pressed down on the accelerator as James and Mahesh were first change with both bowlers going for about 6 an over but Mahesh keeping up his great bowling season with 2 wickets including a catch behind which surprised stand in keeper Knoxy. John B was still rusty as his single over was expensive before Bisson brought himself and Beeks on with Beeks taking two wickets for 12 off two and Bisson getting one rabbit for 5 off 2 leaving a target or a round 100 for the OC’s

James and Knoxy started off at a canter at 7 or 8 an over leaving many to think that we’d have an early finish for football & beer (or rose wine for the travelling support). However the “pink” mist © Sparky took over Knoxy who fell to a rash shot "Stupid Boy" for 15 followed by James who was bowled by one that straightened up deceptively.

Sparks came in to anchor the innings against some tight and economical bowling supported by a brief cameo by Reuben the youngest Followed by Reuben the eldest. Despite keeping the runs ticking along, Sparky was protecting the wicket while Dan was having a crisis of confidence with the bat while the run rate decreased and the rate required increased, similar to the english retreat at the beginning credits of Dad's Army! Sparky eventually fell on 29 leaving OCs requiring about 25 with 4 or 5 overs left “we’re doomed!”. Bisson made a brief 4 before falling LBW bringing in Beeks to support Dan.

The tension was building, the team and sun chasing cheerleaders couldn’t contain themselves on the sidelines cursing and willing Dan in equal measure to cast of the shackles of caution and slog it without losing his wicket.

15 were required off 2 overs, no one could watch, Reuben the Father, not playing was now umpiring and probably playing every ball with his son leading us to think that he will get so involved he will pull a calf while umpiring!

5 came off the penultimate over with Dan on strike leaving 10 required, James mentioned the obvious that a boundary was needed in the first two balls, Ducklin paced around nervously practicing a stroke he hoped would not be required to play to become the hero of Wandgas again.

Suddenly, Daniel found his batting mojo again the final over goes thus, 2 runs, 2 runs after a misfiled and another two runs despite Beeks (5 n.o.) having the turning circle of a crude oil tanker leaving 4 required off three.

The Taxmen had set the field heavy on the leg side as usual with Dan’s choice of shots, the fourth the ball came in and he played to the boundary on the off side! Victory by 4 wickets with Dan getting almost half his 21 not out in 4 balls as the OC’s win with two balls to spare "Don't Panic!". Great Game, Great Cricket, and far more entertaining than the current New Zealand one day series.

Champagne Moment, a toss up between Knoxy’s surprised reaction to his own catch and Daniel Reuben’s winning boundary.

v Priory Panthers - 27th May 2008

Date: 27th May 2008Bold

Versus: Priory Panthers 

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Priory Panthers win by 9 wickets


Back at the pavilion the OC’s and Priory Panthers sat at the table, on the opposite side were three people, the man in the middle of the three spoke.

“Margaret, can I have the figures for the OC’s please.”

“The OC’s has 75 – 8 off their 20 overs”

“Nick, can I have the figures for the Priory Panthers please.”

“Priory Panthers had 76 for 1 wicket after approximately 12 overs leading to a Priory Panthers win by 9 wickets”

“Well, that’s pretty convincing,” said the man in the middle “Priory Panthers, you won the match, now go to the bar & drink yourself silly.” Sir Alan dismissed them with his hand and the Panthers stood and left, Sir Alan then turned and faced the OC’s with a scowl.

“Ben, you were project manager for the match, what happened?”

“Well we got spanked by a side that played in white, bought a lot of their own kit and had a few southern hemisphere accents, we just turn up & play for the crack.”

“Well at least you are honest, but you didn’t trouble with the bat or ball so you didn’t lead by example, who do you think you are Mike Brearley, are you a people person?”

“Well I have dodgy calves & hamstrings, I’m not as spry as I used to be.” Pleaded Ben.

“That’s enough of your excuses,” said Sir Alan, putting up a hand to stop Ben, “Dan, what did you do?”

“Well I got our only wicket with the bowling and I supported the batsman by not losing my wicket.”

“But it was a 20 Twenty game & you played it like a test match,” Sir Alan interrupted “You have to swing a bit as well as playing the straight bat, this was Weekend Dan when the side needed swinger Dan, but at least you managed to score some runs, take a wicket and not lose yours, you’re off the hook.” Sir Alan turned to Knoxy. “you are off the hook too, highest score of 35, not bad at all.”

“James was out to a good catch for 3, mentioned Ben.”

Sir Alan scowled “Don’t interrupt me, granted he went out to a good catch but he also bowls, but you didn’t bowl him, shall I give you a shovel so you can dig yourself deeper? Lets have a look at the bowling, Manuwar, no wickets but fairly economical, same with Mahesh, well done, a few dot balls there as well,” he then turned to Bolland “Johnny boy, you got spanked, what’s your excuse?”

“It was my first game back from a broken rib I was a bit rusty.” Mentioned JB in his usual laid back Scouse accent, Sir Alan scowled as if the laid back accent insulted him and then glanced at Ben,

“Again that’s the skippers decision, it’s not looking good for you. Let’s look at the rest of the batting, Collett, the amount of dot balls you provided didn’t trouble the scorers, those pens probably have reinforced ball points, Dan Moore, nice figures at the end in adversity, Nathan, a duck we’ll get back to you and Mahesh, you came in at the death when you couldn’t do much.” Sir Alan then turned to Ducklin. “Out LBW for 0, forward defensive you are having a laugh, no major contribution in the field, what do you do?” he asked.

“Write the match report.” He replied

“Well this one had bloody well better be good or you’ll be writing your own career obituary.” Barked Sir Alan. “Nate, back to you, what did you do?”

“Well I fielded on the boundary and had some good throws in.”

“Plus a large overthrow, but it’s all academic if you lose with 8 overs to spare!” Sir Alan turned back to Ben.

“Well the time has come to make my decision, not many of yourselves have covered yourselves in glory and a number have dug a hole for yourselves to be buried in. In fact, the only people to come out of this with good figures are Bisson & Parker and Beeks because they didn’t get their averages spanked! Ben, you were project manager, you were responsible for the team and therefore responsible for the loss.”

Sir alan paused ans sat up straight in his chair, not at all raised by a foot to try & disguise the fact he's a short ar*e.

“After some consideration of the performance on the night and hearing your excuses for this dismal performance, I have only one choice to make, the person that is going to be fired put away the worst performance of the night, so ridiculed that your name may even be slang for a derogatory term meaning failing to perform or meet the standards expected from you.”

Sir Alan turned to the person and gave his trademark point to the person in question.

“Michael Sophocles, you’re fired, now how’s that for a fair dismissal!”

v MNPA - 20th May 2008

Date: 20 May 2008

Versus: MNPA Occasionals 

Venue: Ruxley Lane 

Result: OC's win by 24 Runs


OC’s vs MNPA Occasionals

The build up to the weeks biggest game has been brewing up to a crescendo, mind games, taunts, barracking and people coming in to find about 20 emails in their inbox not work related and we are not talking about the reds vs blues in Moscow.

Come game day, although it was sunny, a chill wind blew in from the east, from the west came the one night only performance of Ian Doyle, skipper, batsman, bowler, fielder and now cider drinker in Somerset.

OC’s won the toss and elected to bat first, Reuben the eldest and DJ coming into bat. The standard of bowling was expected to be poor so Bisson informed the umpires to show a bit of leniency on the wides, unfortunately Reuben the younger chased a wide one and edged to the keeper for a single. Collett came in and kept to his “test match” tag by only taking shots at balls he liked, 20 runs of his 28 came off 4 deliveries which were as buffet as they come. Despite the umpires warned about the quality of the bowling, some of those in “civvies” were quite handy, one particular bowler finding a nice line and length which went through the gate to dismiss James for 32. Doyle, in his “Somerset Waste Management” Van and Australia rugby top appeared to be auditioning for “The X Factor” with his constant renditions of “Yeah Yeah” by Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames (or Matt Bianco if you re a child of the 80’s) mixed up with the usual comedy attempts at running himself out before departing caught for 38. A disappointing spell from the middle order followed but OC’s ended on a satisfactory 120.

The chill wind saw a disappointing turnout from the OC’s Beach Babes supporters who after sitting in the sun waving 4’s and 6’s retired to the shelter of the pavilion with their fruit based drink, for the laides.

Dan Reuben and Manuawar opened the bowling for the OC’s and were productive again, Dan getting a wicket cheaply in his spell and Manuwar adding another couple of wickets to his haul as well as the usual comedy appeal when a ball hit the batsman a distance above the waist. So far dependable first changes Mahesh & Beeks came on with Mahesh gaining the prize wicket of Knox and a maiden over and Beeks almost getting three wickets (including bowiling out a maiden © Terry Beeks) were it not a dropped catch from Ducklin. Six wickets down, Bisson brought himself on to find that first wicket of the season and came up against a stubborn tail which appeared to have a younger version of Collett, who had the same heave shot to the long on boundary, Barnett and Moore top scoring for the oppo with 18 & 27 respectively. With the game looking out of reach, Ducklin came on for a single over with the runs required at 10 an over before Bisson saw sense and got back to his competitive self and brought on the guile of Doyle who took another wicket. Ducklin redeemed himself with a catch from Bissons bowling who now has a bowling average without a DIV/0! On the excel spreadsheet as the Occasionals fell short on 20 overs with 100.

Finnerty showed his face in the pavilion after the game and Doyle disappeared into the sunset, via a Ruby Murray, back to the wild west, his job done just like the man with no name, Lassie, or the Littlest Hobo.

Man of the Match – Ian Doyle for travelling from afar, for having a good spell with both bat & ball which effectively won the match.

Champagne Moment – Knox ct Collett b Mahesh, the significance of the wicket which confirmed Mahesh as a developing bowler plus the sight of seeing Ben in an Umpires coat appealing the catch rather than giving the batsman the finger.

Friday, December 19, 2008

v Croydon - 13th May 2008

Date: 13th May 2008 Versus: Croydon 

Venue: Ruxley Lane 

Result: OCs win by 83 Runs


Cricket hadn’t passed through the mind of the author as he made his way from Tolworth Station to Ruxley Lane, I was expecting just to do the usual, OCs win the toss and bat, author umpires for 20 overs, author then fields for 20 overs and may get a bowl, no attention paid to who the opposition was. 

Turning the corner to the pavilion I notice the Croydon Skipper and anticipation grows as I try to figure out which ex colleagues I will be playing against, turn another corner and I find out, Everton (a member of the OCs one cap club) and Naveed (aka robobat).

Anyways, the table is set up, the chairs are placed and OCs are in to bat first with yours truly fielding for Croydon because they are a man down.

Reuben the father and Dave James, fresh from his trip to Italy, open the batting and are pegged back by the economical and accurate opening bowlers. Everton White bowls to James who plays it straight to yours truly who has some form of paradox or syntax error on whether he should catch out one of his team mates or catch off the bowling of a work colleague. Anyways, yours truly makes hard catches look easy and easy catches look hard and drops him.

James then proceeds to spend a lot of the innings having a charmed life or maybe the author had a contagious case of “dropped ball” disease as James has about 4 or 5 catches dropped leading him to be called “half a cat” before being bowled middle stump at first change. Reuben the father breaks down again and retires with a dodgy calf leading to test match Trevor and Sparky taking the middle. The run rate accelerated so OCs were looking at 65 off 15 overs with 100 looking a good target, until Croydon put Naveed on.

Poor Naveed, had he been bowling to Dan Reuben he may have gotten a wicket with his frustrating high, slow deliveries, unfortunately he was bowling to Sparky who hit him for three straight sixes. At this point it should be noted that the OCs growing mainly female support came out in force with the “4” & “6” markers and squeals of delight and appreciation possibly fuelled by some white wine and possibly some bubble mixture after last week. After Sparky got his eye in, it was surprising that the banners hadn’t been worn out as he bludgeoned his way to 71 not out ably supported by Collett who should have “looked at the ball” rather than “look up” as about 70 runs were put on in the last 5 overs as OCs hit 134.

TEMPORARY FAULT: Viewers should be made aware that due to a fault with no one knowing where the scorecard is, bowling figures are not known due to us using Croydon’s book, normal service will be resumed shortly.

OCs bowled as they batted with Collett taking one off Reuben the eldest behind the stumps in the second ball of Croydon’s chase to have economical figures off three overs, while Munawar opened at the other end and had a good spell for two wickets. Sensing victory fairly early and not noticing any southern hemisphere accents Bisson sent Beeks and Mahesh on possibly in an attempt to make a game of it, however Croydon decided to have a bit of a mini collapse as Mahesh took two wickets and Beeks took one with a deceptive straight one after a couple of wides.

During this time Reuben the younger showed the author how to chase after a ball leading to some banter and haring round chasing the ball between current Players' Player Beeksy and three, thats THREE! time Players' Player yours truly.

Smelling rabbits, Bisson brought himself on, only to see his bowling get spanked around the ground for almost half the Croydon total off three overs before the rest of the team told him to “have a blow”. Yours truly finished off from the other end, getting some swing allegedly, although the ball was not ball shaped by the time it was in my hand, getting a wicket for his trouble and having a mini duel with Everton who kept the tail wagging by charging down the track leaving both batsman and bowler laughing all the way to the pavilion.

Croydon saw out the overs with 51-7 and all retired to the bar, next week sees Knoxy playing for the oppo playing reverse psychology with his claims of a “weak” team.

Champagne moment: The female support cheering an opposition 4 on a least one occasion during Bissons spell.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

v Kingston Taxes - 6th May 2008

Date: 6th May 2008

Versus: Kingston Taxes 

Venue: Ruxley Lane 

Result: OCs win by don't know due to lack of scorebook 


Apparently, we are doing a lot of things in advance, Bisson announced the batting and bowling line up in advance (although he couldn't forecast the weather the week before & save me a couple of hour of my life which I won't get back). Collett asked us to remember a number of firsts, probably for a quiz at the end of season do, I'll bet he has the speech written already and the awards all worked out like a crooked ITV phone vote dependent on who Robbie Williams wants to give the award to...... 


First Six, Sparky on his way to the first half century of the season as he managed 54 not out.

First Boundary, Ben Reuben on his way to a disappointing for his standards 9 although he made up for it with the ball in hand for about four wickets.

First dropped catch - Mark Bisson

First Chanelling of the spirit of Andy Finnerty for the opening spell which doesn't go for many runs, but frustratingly doesn't get wickets - Dan Reuben

First "What's he on about" comment - Trevor Collett for his "Look up"!?! at what, sky, planes, birds, what!?!

First Wicket - Manuwar

First Catch - Dan Reuben

First bit of jug avoidance for an almost hat trick - Ben Reuben who had one wicket at the end of one over and another first ball of the next, shame people didn't appear to notice.

First bowled father, caught son partnership - Bowled Ben Reuben, Caught Nathan Reuben

First Chanelling of the absent Ian Doyle by stating the obvious - Dan Reuben for saying "a dot ball is as good as a wicket"

First comedy / circus / champagne moment - Mark Bisson's attempted run out not once, but twice in the same ball! if Sky showed it on a slow motion replay, it would last an hour! Probably surpasses the Ducklin fields a ball over a boundary at Old Selisians from about 8 years ago!

First OTT Appeal - Mark Bisson appealing for a leg before and a run out in the same ball, we were waiting for an appeal for a time out.

First cheeky shot - Sparky's reverse sweep which led to the bowler trying to run him out while backing up a couple of balls later and the bowler taking his scorecard (and our bowling figures) away with him & throwing his toys out of the pram!

First Chanelling of the absent John Bolland for turning up late - Chris Ducklin for turning up 14 overs in the OCs' innings to see them about 45 for 2 off 13 before Sparky put his foot on the gas & spanked the bowlers.

First player you should judge on accent and not on appearance - The Kingston player who came in camo shorts and looked a bit out of place, then opened his mouth to show a southern hemisphere accent and proceeded to play the ball around a bit to keep Kingston in the game.

First bit of inspired fielding change - Ben Reuben asking Ducklin to come from point to somewhere between point & slip on the 45 leading to.......

First catch made to look more difficult than it actually was - Chris Ducklin running back towards point to catch a ball slightly behind him. Then showing the proper catching technique by holding it for a split second before throwing it back into the air again to celebrate.

Man of the match - Toss up between Sparky for his 50 and Reuben the elder for his four wickets.

Download Chris Ducklin's brilliant 2008 calendar here

Go back in time, read about OCs' proud history here


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