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2007 Match Reports

Date: 28 August 2007

Versus: Epsom

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by 66 runs


It’s the last game of 2007, the traditional season closer against Epsom.
Due to a conspiracy of summer holidays and incapacitation the OCs pool could only muster nine. Acting skipper for the day Simon Parker skilfully won the toss, important in the fast fading late August light.

Openers Trev and Ben set about their task. Ben soon got into a positive frame but it wasn’t long before he didn’t quite clear the fielder, Epsom’s skipper for the night Simon Knox, at long on. This brought captain Sparks to the crease. Epsom’s opening bowlers were not giving much away and at the half way mark OCs were barely at 3 an over.

Trev had battled well but eventually holed out on 18. Sparks carried on to the end reaching yet excellent another half-ton. After the allotted 18 overs OCs had posted exactly 100 runs.

With just nine in the field Sparks knew he had to make best use of the fleet footed younger Reubens. But as it tuned out the OCs, to a man, put in a great performance in the field.

The die was cast with a run out off the first ball, inevitably involving some quick thinking from fielding specialist Chris Ducklin. Truth be told that the Epsom innings went from bad to worse, suffice it to say they lost their last man with their total on a meagre 34.

Although, as has been said, everyone on the OCs team performed brilliantly, with four catches being held, there was a clear man of the match, Munawar Ahmed bagging a fivefor, we think the first in the history of the OCs bowling attack. No streaky wickets either, four striking the timbers, his final figures were 4-11-5.

He was well supported by Andy Finnerty, picking up 2 wickets for 7 with Chris Ducklin and Nathan Reuben grabbing 1 each.

Noteworthy as Munawar’s bowling figures were perhaps the champagne moment was supplied by wicketkeeper Trev, with a stunning diving left-handed catch off a bottom edge. You might have thought it a fluke, if you hadn’t seen him do similar more than once before.

So another, all too short, season comes to an end. The final team stats are: played 14, won 8, lost 6. Not too shoddy.
May 2008 – bring it on.


Date: 5th June 2007

Versus: Morden Corinthians

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs lose by 8 wickets


There are many ways to describe a game like this one, but I am sure you will think of your own individual descriptions.

There was a Kookaburra first division game going on next door to us when this match was going on and it probably says much that I couldn’t really pick out which of the three other teams getting changed were our opposition.

Anyhow, after the customary Benson and Fosters intro, I found the oppo captain and we went out to toss up. I said, “How strong are you?”. He said, “Well a bit weaker than normal, well I’m not too sure…er, not too bad, I think”.

Interesting response that probably meant, “Don’t know why we are bothering, you guys look like a bunch of 15-year old student girls suddenly placed in a Roman coliseum to fight 300 hardened gladiators whilst a baying crowd looks on”.

To be honest if this wasn’t their strongest team then the missing players were probably recuperating from the pressure and celebration of the recent cricket world cup final.

He then placed great emphasis on looking in great detail at the pitch and asked me how it played. I responded with the customary, “Dunno mate but my beer is getting warm”.

Sensing the usual delicate strength balance between teams had a somewhat wider gap than usual I opted to reduce the risk and carnage by batting first, therefore ruining the plans he had obviously stayed up all night with selectors making.

The Match:

Ben “disgusted” Reuben opened with Doyle, and was still lifting his bat up when the first exocet landed in the keeper’s gloves. The Kiwi fast bowler still smarting from… well… life really, glared down the wicket at Ben, made a snorting noise and stormed back to the start of his run up.
To be fair he was a good bowler, who one would enjoy facing on a Saturday in the league, however, somewhat out of place against our loveable band of intermittently talented, yet enthusiastic, players. Ben was out shortly after and DJ and the Skipper played survival for the next eight or nine overs, scoring at 4 an over whilst protecting the rest of the team from visits to Epsom Hospital.

Most of the runs were coming from gloves, edges, dropped catches and leg byes. DJ finally succumbed for 5 whilst Doyle bludgeoned a few before holing out at long on for 28.

Wickets fell more regularly, with a brief fight back from the Reuben brothers as both raised a loud cheer from the sidelines with sixes, before falling like the last few of John Wayne’s mates at the Alamo.

The bowling finally slowed down as Beeks joined Billy Smart’s staff. The only thing missing was the big hair and clowns shoes as he scythed repeatedly at an invisible ball, 'cos he certainly wasn’t trying to hit the real one.

The slowest bowler since John Sharpe with a medicine ball (Ex OCs very, very slow bowler) added misery to the scene by taking two in two, twice.
OCs all out for 68 and in a little bit of trouble.

In response Austra… sorry, Morden, hit their straps, and despite the determined pressure of Finnerty (3-0-20-1) and Hamilton (1.5-0-15-1), crept over the line with about 12 overs to spare, winning by 8 wickets.

As ever any OCs fielding displays are punctuated with comic and sad moments, I’m not sure where Trev’s bash in the face, from a Mahesh bouncer, sits in that equation, but his subsequent Charlie Chaplin impression raised a few chortles.

Trev did make the longest dive stumping ever seen, and may have, uniquely, dropped three catches, but we won’t talk about that.

As for Mahesh, I was reminded of Daffy Duck, wide-eyed, standing in the middle of the road whilst cars went speeding by each side. Because on at least three occasions fielders threw the ball in, Mahesh stooped and missed it, before very shortly after, the ball would come in from the other side of the wicket and Mahesh would miss it again and so on.

These are the things we love about our team and its players, and long may it continue. We are able to laugh at ourselves and boy do we create a number of opportunities to do this.

Morden are a good side but belong in a different arena against similar strength sides where they can get a more competitive game. It is difficult to work out where we belong, something we mused about in the bar, long after Morden had changed into their club blazers and ties and gone for the customary team meal with officials and representatives.

The OCs way goes on as we stumble along the mottled path of cricket ordinariness in our own, individual, but sweet way.
As our ever-philosophical Hon Sec puts it, “OCs are proud to be part of the base layer, the foundation layer, of the great British, organisational cricket pyramid that peaks in our esteemed, whatever the results, national squad”.


Date: 29th May 2007

Versus: Priory Panthers

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by 4 runs


The arrival of the Panthers, always strong opposition, complete with two lady cricketers (under 16) was always going to be a tough proposition. For reasons best known to himself, but probably just to batter Bisson into oblivion, Andy the "Cutter" Curtis was present once more.
The game itself was a thoroughly entertaining high scoring affair, helped in many ways by some rather bizarre captaincy by Doyle, which leads me to this weeks ramble.


Captaincy is a subtle art, requiring tactical insight, man-management skills, a firm chin and endless patience. Many books have been written on the subject, the best of which is Mike Brearley’s “The Art of Captaincy”. Mike skilfully fostered a reputation for having the largest brain in the world and to be thought of as clever as Mike is to be thought very clever indeed.

Brearley was a superb test captain with a deep understanding of the way people tick and how to get the best out of them. But you see he only really knew half of it. When did he ever have to collect match fees or go over to the oppo captain and say “Er, look, I’m terribly sorry but we seem to have an extra man by mistake, would it be alright if we played with 12 a side?

It is here in the uncompromising world of friendly OCs cricket that a captain really earns his spurs. Anyone can marshal the world’s best cricketers into a fighting force, but I cannot imagine Michael Vaughn has ever had to e-mail and ring all his mates on the day of the game because Andrew Strauss has been told by his wife that he has to come home and put up some shelves.

The Game

The skipper won the toss and decided to bat first. Doyle and James went out to open and struggled against tight bowling before James swiped at the ball like a blind man with a fly-swat and was caught by Curtis.

Collett arrived and spent several overs deciding that unless the ball was bowled specifically where he wanted it then he wasn’t interested, and if he was slightly interested then he would allow proceedings to continue quickly by hitting the ball back to the bowler, very friendly indeed.

Doyle, now more frustrated than an impotent in Thailand, attempted a run that had less chance of completion than his own recently started biography “Women I have known…”, and was run out for 16.

Parker then arrived at the crease and with the aid of a revitalised Collett set about the bowling, this ever blossoming partnership took OCs beyond 100 before Collett was bowled by a girl for a latterly spirited 37.

With the support of Dannys Reuben (bowled by the same girl) and Moore, Parker’s 59 n.o. gave OCs an imposing 148 for 5.

As` the teams came off and the skipper suffered a torrent of abuse from nearby spectators, we thought we were well placed however………………..

The Panthers set off slowly with Dan Moore 4-0-16-1 and Munawar 4-0-23-1, keeping the score under control on a good pitch. Bisson came on, apparently from the wrong end (it would appear the pitch is a different length from that end) and the roof caved in, the floor disintegrated, and the ball disappeared into the hills……a number of times. His 3 overs for 34 runs tells its own story………Curtis was in bashing, Bisson was off cursing and apologising and we were in trouble.

Beeks filled in manfully from the pavilion end before Doyle and James came on to restore order. Doyle bowled tripe for two overs from the same wrong end, whilst James kept control and Beeks stopped everything within reach.

With two overs to go Panthers wanting 18 and looking capable of getting them; Doyle finally worked out how to bowl at Curtis and kept the score down before the last over featured a wonderful 6 from Curtis and bad field placing from the skipper. James won the day, leaving Panthers four runs short of victory, and Curtis 69 n.o.

Everyone enjoyed it, shook hands and OCs breathed a sigh of relief, the skipper apologised to Nathan. Trev for the 467th time explained to a barely listening audience of two that cricket was a metaphor for life.

Jackie got some decent red wine carefully selected the previous Saturday, Jane gave a number of knowing nods, and Abby wasn’t wearing high-heeled shoes this week, yet seemed even taller, maybe I am getting shorter!!!

Waddle on friends…………………


Date: 22nd May 2007

Versus: Sutton

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by 12 runs


The arrival of summer (???) brings with it the resurfacing of the avid cricket correspondent, and so, belatedly in this case, here am I, some weeks late, but hey, better late than never.

One must make brief reference to the previous week's non-game against Croydon.

In the depths of winter cricketers pay little attention to the weather. We know it is there, doing what weather does, but we pay little attention to it. Rain is as nothing to us, snow is white and fluffy and appealing. We are indoors with the central heating on watching tapes of old one-day internationals. As long as the fridge is full we are happy.

But as soon as April arrives and with it the prospect of a new cricket season, meteorology suddenly becomes our favourite branch of science. From now until September we will check the weather forecast a dozen times a day, referring to at least two different newspapers as well as Ceefax and Ian McCaskill on an hourly basis. Everything has to be right for the next game.

Well last week it wasn't………………..

Anyhow I hear you say, what of this week. Well…… it was a cracking game really, with some controversy to boot.

The sun came out, Jackie had her first Ribena of the season, Abi is taller than a basketball player and Jane is darker than a night in Blackpool, shut in a cellar bereft of lights or windows, with your eyes shut…and that is dark!!

Sutton were stronger than ever before, seasoned cricketers, strength in depth, overseas players and Andy "crash the ball" Curtis. Despite this the Skipper won the toss and elected to drink a Fosters Ice (goes without saying) whilst Ben Reuben and DJ went out to bat. The strength of the Sutton bowling kept runs to a premium. OCs popped along around 5 an over thanks to the intelligent running of "Hamstring" and "five-bellies".

Reuben Senior, followed by Collett and Doyle departed in quick succession before Danny Boy Reuben added some unusual off side attacking shots to his usual one shot array and gave the score some impetus. Dan (24 n.o.) and DJ (41), aided by Nathan, at the end took the score to 107-4. This was frankly not enough on paper. So grass being the preferred surface we had a chance.

The Skipper realised that slow bowling could be the way forward. Especially useful as the Team Secretary had ensured OCs only had slow bowlers in the team. The man is no fool.

Bolland was in miserly form taking 1 wicket for 13 runs in 4 overs whilst James kept similar control at the other end. After 10 overs Sutton were struggling on 38. Doyle came into the attack and took 3 wickets for bugger all, including the prize of Curtis, and briefly flirted with a hat-trick.

Just as OCs thought the game could be theirs Sutton's overseas player came to the wicket and commenced, with his young colleague, to blaze the hapless Bisson and Ahmed around the ground. Some excellent hitting here.

To forget Munawar Ahmed's priceless ability to drag gold from a pile of dross, and crucially almost always manage to get the best players out when you least expect it, is a mistake many have made.

Just as things were getting out of control Munawar bowled the main protagonist at one end and Bisson bowled his partner at the other end, a fact he celebrated loudly and vocally, at which point the batsman sent out his dad to deal with the issue. Bisson narrowly failed to achieve a second hat-trick attempt.

Despite Sutton's spirited display and Ben's attempt to bring them back into it, Wilson's boys fell 12 runs short of the target, on 95 all out. Doyle finished with 4 runs for 4 wickets, Bisson 2-26 and Ahmed 2-21.

All 10 wickets in the innings were bowled, maybe this reflects on the team's ability to catch. However this only happened thanks to John Bolland's rub your eyes, have a little yawn, stretch the arms, drink a pint laid back attempt to pouch a skier.

Next week brings the might of the Panthers…………………….


Date: 8th May 2007

Versus: Kingston Taxes

Venue: Wandgas

Result: OCs win by 39 runs


OCs batting first: Collett 22, caught in the slips - first time that's happened.  Parker starred with 41 runs before being stumped.  James supported with 31.  The two junior Reubens brought the 20 overs to a close well, Dan finishing unbeaten on 15 and Nathan eventually caught for a useful 10.

OCs setting a target of 135.

The Taxes innings was eventful; the OCs bowlers and fielders kept control.  There were two missed run out opportunities when keeper Collett failed to collect throws aimed about 3 feet below the top of the stumps, 3 feet above would have been perfect.  The keeper's reputation was restored with his his contribution to 3 of 4 successful OCs run outs.

With James taking 2 wickets for 11 and 1 wickets each for Reuben Senior and Bolland The Taxes were well short of the target at the end of their 20.

The champagne moment was undisputed:  Fielding at extra cover Nathan R. looked confident of taking the ball that was struck in the air his way, the Taxes supporters were delighted to see him spill it; their joy turned to misery when his ever alert brother picked up the ball and returned it to uncle Trev behind the stumps for a clear run out - priceless cricket.


Date: 1st May 2007

Versus: Epsom

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs lose by 7 Wickets


OCs total of 120.  Parker top- scored with 64 not out.

James best bowler with 2 for 22.  Several dropped catches by OCs.


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