OD Cricket Report
By Jeremy Winter (Hon. Secretary)
OD Cricketers Two out of Two in 2018!
At the time of penning this, in the heat of 2018, the fact that rain was the cause of cancellation of cricket at Commemoration (May) seemed unthinkable, but, sadly, it was thus.
With indications that side raising for the early July OD Cricket Week was proving difficult, a decision was made to leave out the evening T.20 on the Wednesday of the Week and concentrate on efforts for the Dumbleton and Gloucestershire Gipsies fixtures on Thursday and Friday.
This proved successful and two excellent and exciting matches resulted in two victories for the ODs.
ODs vs Dumbleton – Thursday 5th July
The toss won by John Nicholson at Dumbleton for the 40 overs a side match was warmly greeted by the ODs and an excellent opening partnership of 139 resulted between Matt Nicholson and friend of a friend, Joel Price. Matt went for a fine 25 but Joel continued to score freely, assisted in turn by young Nicky Schubach and then in a big stand with school leaver Henry Sleeman during which Joel passed his 100, eventually to be dismissed for a magnificent 132.
Alex Hume then joined Henry and they had a most productive stand of 60 in the last 8 overs, resulting in a final team score of 273-3 with Henry 53 not out and Alex 22 not out.
The young and talented Dumbleton batsmen soon showed their promise despite the penetrating opening attack of Sam Wheatley and John Weaver, and it was the latter that struck first pinning Boorman LBW. Sam continued his fine spell with Joel Price’s off spin at the other end who took the other opener Bragg, thanks to a fine catch by James Schubach. Holland, one of the star Dumbeton players, was looking very dangerous and had good stands with three of the home side middle order.
John Nicholson, though, made sensible bowling changes, including himself in turn with leg spinner James Schubach and his brother Nicky’s medium pace. Holland passed his 100 as the home team’s run chase continued to gather greater momentum, but thanks to skipper Nicholson’s decision to bring back Price, Holland eventually fell for 116 to another great catch by Sam Wheatley – a vital breakthrough. Soon after, with Dumbleton requiring a fairly modest 30 in 6 overs with wickets in hand another vital skipper Nicholson decision was to bring himself back on again, who promptly got 2 wickets in 1 over!
With a dozen to win in still the last 2 overs, Dumbleton, now 8 wickets down, fell just short in the end, resulting in a great win for the ODs by 5 runs. Star bowlers of the day – skipper J. Nicholson 3 for 43 and J. Price 3 for 44.
ODs vs The Gloucestershire Gipsies – Friday 6th July
Another fine day followed at Dean Close with 12-a-side for the Gloucestershire Gipsies all day match, the visitors skippered by ex-England International rugby referee Chris White. It was also a welcome back for new OD captain Mark Whitney – who promptly lost the toss and took the field with just four of the star squad from the Dumbleton game – Wheatley, Price, Sleeman and Hume, plus 8 newcomers.
One of the best opening pairs of OD bowlers in recent years, Jack Hobbs and Sam Wheatley, started off well but the early breakthrough was not forthcoming, although it was Hobbs who had Medhurst well caught by Henry Sleeman with the score at 75. Joel Price joined Hobbs in the attack and soon had Cheltenham Town’s player Steve Houghton caught for 43. Price then quickly had Micro caught by Nawaz Mucadam for 1.
OD President Rupert Lane then had the pleasure of watching sons George and Joe bowling in tandem for a spell during which both were treated with considerable respect – George’s slow medium and Joe’s flighted leg breaks. It was George who had James Waters well held by Nawaz to bag the Gipsies’ fourth wicket with the score at 94.
A good stand of 87 then followed after lunch, with Tom Nicholls and Sam Waters taking the Gipsies to 179, when Mucadam had Waters caught by George Walker for 47. Young Nicholls continued to score freely in a sixth wicket stand until Chris White called his men in with the score at perhaps a possibly vulnerable 216 for 5 declared. Tom Nicholls was left with 55 no.
Joel Price continued his fine form with the bat from the previous day and had an opening stand of 108 with the stylish looking school young left-hander James Humphreys, who had already done a fine job for the ODs as wicket keeper. James sadly missed out by 1 in getting his 50, falling LBW to the Gipsies veteran off spinner John Belfield.
Sleeman then joined Price but the latter fell soon after for a fine 67. The ODs lost some momentum then with Nawaz Mucadam and James Davies missing out, but Henry continued his fine form from Dumbleton in a stand with George Lane of 67 until Henry missed a straight one on 43 with the home side at 198-5. The ODs by now were fairly well ahead of the run rate required and the very steady and correct straight bat of Lane (37 not out) and newcomer George Walker (3 not out) saw the ODs home in comfortable time by 5 wickets for the first OD win in the match since 2009!
It was a great pleasure to see The Doctor’s Trophy presented to Mark Whitney by the ODCC President Rupert Lane (pictured), who spoke some wise and kind words of thanks to all, including the School caterers for such a fine post-match BBQ.