At the eleventh time of asking after five defeats, five games ruined by weather (I’ve done my research), one England bowling coach and generally lots of leather chasing Itchington have managed to beat Shipston in the Premier Division.
The afternoon got off to a curious start. Due to James Clarke’s absence attending a hen do, the ever reliable Tom Perks was due to stand in as skipper. The unfortunate Perks however had been struck down by a mystery illness causing him to miss a league game for the first time since the age of 15. With lines of communication being at best useless, an awkward discussion ensued in relation to who would skipped for the day. Big John Lidster mentioned he once captained a side in the early 80s and therefore as the most qualified of the rabble took the responsibility for the day.
The toss came down on the Itchington side and Lidster opted to bat first. If to this point the day had been slightly odd the match’s first over did little to divert from this theme. After two balls Itch were 0-1 with Matt Goatley trapped in front by Ireland. The over ended ten balls later with score at 16-1.
Things settled down from there as Alex Jack and Lidster (18) looked to build a solid foundation, cruising to 84-1 before the stand in skipper was adjudged to have nicked one behind. Jack (54) moved serenely past 50 before the familiar conversion disorder struck with the score at 107-3. The impressive left armed Pyne (5-33) then proceeded to bagel the next four incumbents as the mood of the Itchington camp went from fairly bright to severely dour within the space about around 30 balls.
Tom Cooper (19), Joel Bennet (13), Jake Butler (8) and Zach Aulakh (2*) battled hard to get Itchington up to a defendable total of 156 all out in the 43rd over, in truth heavily indebted to an extras count of 43 afforded by the visitors
After a superb Anglo-Indian tea provided by the Aulakh clan and some inspirational words from the stand in skipper Itchington were ready to go.
Openers Ireland and Morris looked relatively untroubled for the first four overs, before both fell in the fifth, the former being run out in relatively bizarre fashion before Morris drove Andy Wood to the grateful hands of Goatley at point. With the score at 19-2 the complexition of the chase changed, and when Corby was caught by Lidster from the bowling of Bennett at 28-3 Itchington smelt blood.
Murphy and Pratt began to stage a recovery, as Shipston looked to gain a foothold back in the game, however once the former was removed by Wood for 22 Itchington turned the screw. Jack (4-25) and Aulakh (2-27) proceeded to take wickets at regular intervals and the Shipston response ended on 110 all out, a mention to the belligerent knock of Cross who ended up on with an unbeaten 25. Well done also to Ryan Desai for stepping up to duties behind the stumps too at the last minute
Taken as a whole it was a bit of a strange day, however the Itchington contingent were more than happy taking 22 points back to the Green Man. Lapworth away next up for the Three Trees.
Alex Jack 54
Tom Cooper 19
John Lidster 18
Andy Wood 10-4-20-2
Joel Bennett 7-0-33-1
Zach Aulakh 6-0-27-2
Alex Jack 8.2-4-25-4
Lewis Dodds not laying a bat or hand on anything all day
A John Lidster one handed diving catch