OH XI v Ted Sandbach’s XI
On Saturday the 11th July the OH XI returned to the cricket field, this time against Ted Sandbach's team the Oxford Downs. We arrived with great confidence having had a comprehensive victory against the Devon Dumplings at the end of last season. On arrival we were all very impressed with the marvellous ground and facilities at the Oxford Downs CC, Ted Sandbach has a truly fantastic club and the club house with all its memorabilia must be one of the best.
The OH's won the toss and decided to bat as it was such a blistering hot day and the wicket looked very hard and in excellent condition. The OH innings was set for a large total. However we started badly losing lead batsmen Tim Dutton, Dave Chapman and James Sienesi in the first few overs! The Oxford Downs had some young much disciplined bowlers on show and were causing us quite a few problems. However Dean May and Jon Wickes steadied the ship by posting a tremendous partnership of over 50 and survived until lunch.
Lunch was a tremendous feast and Ted Sandbach toasted the return of OH cricket and hoped that we could continue the fixture for as long as possible. Phil Tuck thanked Ted for hosting us and commended him on a fabulous club.
Wickes and May returned to the crease a little heavier after lunch but still continued to build on their excellent partnership. Jon Wickes in particularly despatched the bad balls all round the ground showing good power and placement to keep the runs flowing. The partnership came to an end when May was out for 39 bowled by Little and Wickes was then out for 61. Next in were the old pros, the stylish Zealey and feisty Tuck! They quickly rolled back the years with a couple of glorious boundaries each until they were both run out, this was a huge blow to the OH's and we had now lost 4 wickets in as many over's. The innings was never to pick up and we were all out for 173, which was a below par score on such a fine wicket, Oxford Down's Little picking up 5 wickets.
We looked on the up side and had a chance to have a crack at them before tea and in Tuck, Warner and May we had a battery of fast bowlers that we hoped would make an early break through. Unfortunately the Oxford Downs were up to the task in hand and batted extremely well. They reached our score with only 3 wickets down, two of them going to Dutton's crafty off spin. Special mentions must go to Tim Huxtable's courageous fielding and Phil Tuck's never say die attitude, although it nearly cost him a nasty injury after running full steam into the boundary fence and flipping over!
The end result was a win to the Oxford Downs by 7 wickets. It was still a very enjoyable day and a huge thank you must go to Ted Sandbach.
OH XI v Devon Dumplings
On Friday the 13th August the OH cricket XI played the Devon Dumpling's at Bradninch on a sunny but blustery day. We knew that the Devon Dumpling's would be looking for revenge following our excellent victory over them last year and our cause wasn't helped by the loss of Holland, Chapman, Dutton, Heard and Frost. However we had the return of Will Ferguson and the high quality Will Murray on top form.
The OH's won the toss for the third consecutive time and elected to field after having such success with the ball last year. Murray and Tuck opened up proceedings and soon got into their rhythm after given the Dumplings a few early boundaries. Murray bowling his very accurate off cutters and Tuck swinging it both ways as well as getting a bit of zip and bounce off the drying wicket. It was clear that this Dumplings team was a much better outfit and we were going to have to play well to beat them!
Just as the openers were settling in Tuck produced an excellent delivery to take the OH's first wicket. He then followed this up with his second wicket to leave the Dumpling's at 66-2.
The next Dumpling partnership made a steady start and were helped by some dropped catches! By this time Tuck and Murray had bowled 22 over's between them, so Warner came on to try and blast one out, his first over was impressive and the pressure was right back on the Dumpling's. A further catch was dropped and Warner was on the money until he over did it and a muscle strain forced him out of the attack. This wasn't the only injury of the day as Burrows and both Huxtable's nursed their injuries!
With a now limited bowling attack the Dumplings built a huge third wicket partnership of 105 before Murray picked up 3 quick wickets, one of which was thanks to a stunning diving one handed slip catch from Warner.
The Dumplings were now 222-5 and the OH were right back in it, unfortunately we could not capitalise and the Dumplings finished up at 311-5 declared with Grainger making a brilliant 103 not out.
With a huge target to chase the OH's started slowly with Tuck and Warner being very watchful of the opening bowlers who were able to swing and cut the ball both ways.
As the run chase became tougher we went for our shots, which unfortunately meant wickets kept falling and with Murray making the only notable score of 31 we were bowled out for 130 handing the Dumplings a win by 181 runs.
However it was again a great day and the match was enjoyed by everyone, lets hope we can find a few more OH cricketers before we take to the pitch again.