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15 May Wilcot v AVCC

We turned up on a beautiful sunny evening on the well prepared track of Wilcot (thanks to their Peter Williams for doing so), to play a strong Wilcot team with several 1st teamers in the line up and the local vicar leading the batting and bowling. They obviously felt they needed some divine intervention and should do everything possible, to win. Graham persuaded their captain, Jamie (a nice guy) that we should bat as we only had 4 players some 15 mins after the scheduled start and with 6 on the way over the next 30 minutes or so. Graham also persuaded Jamie that our openers were volunteered and therefore it was not right to bring on their aggressive fast bowlers at the outset. Greg might owe me a pint for that. Greg Caswell and Tim Gent opened the bowling. Greg despatched the Vicar of Woodborough to the boundaries several times and Tim looked frisky, and I had to say to their frowning captain that he could now bowl whoever they wanted as we were running at more than 10 an over. Greg scored a swashbuckling 36, Tim a solid 20, and then they unleashed their fast and aggressive bowler, Callum Marshall, a surge of batsmen with his bouncers and pace. A little flurry of wickets then happened as Marshall took our Nigel Rowe and (our) Peter Williams. Simon Campbell came in late, but heroically after a nasty tyre blow-out, and made a rapid and hard hit 39 before being out to the oldest man on the pitch - Cyril York (70+). Our innings subsided after that, but we still creditably scored 155 which looked a very good score on the evening and against the bowling, with Shane Williams (3) and Rowan Morrison (9) unbeaten at the end. They put a big hitting top order together, and Graham gladly sent 3 of them back to the hutch courtesy of a great running catch from Julian (dismissing the Vicar), a belter from the skies caught by Greg (getting their big hitter in cow-corner) and bowling their incoming 3rd batsman. Occasionally guesting for Wilcot when their league team are short, Graham was well pleased with his 3-26. As Wilcot got behind the run rate, there were 2 good run-outs and another excellent wicket for Shane Williams, courtesy of another good catch from Greg. Then the last over went bizarre. 29 required to win. Ollie Lishman put on as Simon departed as the AA arrived to fix his car. Cyril York started to invent the rules of the game and started calling imaginary no balls and wides. There was some unnecessary aggression and threats to fielders from their batsman Ash Elliott, and a look by their umpires to keep inventing no balls until they won. So the match deteriorated in frustration and some anger. The amusing side….Wilcot missed scored as wides become 1 in the last over (not 2) as an extra ball given. Thus, Wilcot probably think they won, and in fact, AVCC did. Whatever, it was great game of cricket as more than 300 runs scored in a generally good atmosphere and was hard-fought and contested throughout. But to be honest, who cares….it’s meant to be fun, and the closing scenes and words were not a credit to either side as they were played out in front of many youth, especially from Dauntseys. The good news, the teams have made up and we play next Sunday (the 9th). Mind you, I have been asked what went on whilst being on the cricket fields in Collingbourne, Avebury, Burbage and Wilcot since that night….

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