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“The MAD Meet the Woman in Black

 

 

Match:  21 / 533

Lost by 72 runs

 

 

Team

 

Total

OUCCC

154 - 5

D. Shorten  1 - 18

 

FFTMCC

82 - 7

I. Howarth  36*

 

 

 

 

 

The Woman in Black is a supernatural thriller set in a remote seaside village where the spirit of a wealthy deceased woman returns to kill off the locals. Weirdly the chilling story has some similarities with this game of cricket in the sense that Oxford is a wealthy city, surrounded by water it and is said to be booming with paranormal activity, Cricketers have been somewhat deceased in the last year and the OUCCC team delight in beating a bunch of locals. Coincidence?

 

The cost of street parking in the paranormal city is extortionate. Having made his feelings quite clear about the difficulty of circumnavigating Oxford a couple of weeks ago (see match report 531), Ian Howarth, armed with a can of Strongbow, boldly pronounced “£8.90 to park the car, I ain’t fucking paying that, the robbing bastards!” However, as the early evening light descended the charge mysteriously reduced to £5.70 – was this a sign of paranormal activity?

 

 

 

 

As we gathered at the entrance to the ground looking as though we were waiting for the next Oxford Ghost Tour, an OUCCC player suddenly appeared like the shopkeeper in *Mr Benn and asked us if we were here for cricket. Seeing all our kit bags in toe and realising the obvious, he politely tried to redeem his oversight by explaining to us in great detail directions of how to get to the pitch, only for Gary to reply, “Yes it’s okay we’ve played here before!”

 

* Mr Benn was a children’s TV programme in the early 70s. He (Mr Benn) would go to a fancy-dress shop choose a costume and on stepping out of the changing room he would be in an adventure relevant to the costume. Unfortunately, due to previous breaches of copyright by The MAD and subsequent fines no pictures are available. However….

 

 

A person wearing a suit and tie

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Some awesome artwork from Giant Duck.

 

 

The OUCCC skipper Abdullah seemed a bit obsessed with following the T20 rules to the book, so MAD firsts included powerplays and fielder restrictions in an (imaginary) circle. However, all legside bowling being called a wide was immediately quashed by skipper Turner. A quite bizarre coin toss then followed, as a coinless (typical fucking student) Abdullah refused to use Turners’ coin due to COVID, so it was agreed that Turner would toss and call, only for his opponent to call the same but quicker and win! – OUCCC elected or were “possessed” to bat?

 

Howarth (2-0-9-0) and Rundle (4-0-1-39) opened the bowling and although Rundle took some tap from the big hitting Malhortra he eventually got his man, Cartwright making a tricky skyer at cover look very simple. Reeves (4-0-20-1) performed his now trademark “skippy” thing wicket celebration after rattling opener Akrams’ stumps and Shorten (4-0-18-1) got the ball to move around like room keys at a swingers’ convention hitting middle peg in the process. MOTM Cartwright crowned an excellent fielding performance with a 2nd catch and a run out combining with Timms on both occasions. A confused Howarth was brought back on for death overs 18 & 20 then taken off even before bowling a ball as Turner (2-0-20-0) preferred to consume the buffet (as always) rather than Timms (4-0-38-1). OUCCC ending 154 for 5.

 

 

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At one stage in the proceedings, a slogged four to cow rolled under a metal fence. Timms unable to find an opening only managed to retrieve the ball after Howarth and Rundle suddenly acquired superhuman strength lifting the fence for him to slide under. All of this as the so-called intelligent students looking on couldn’t comprehend or be arsed to throw the ball back.

 

OUCCC had stressed a new pink ball to be used for each innings and they could provide one at a cost of £10.00 if it was a problem. Therefore, Turner was surprised when asked at the interval if he preferred them to use the same pink ball used in the first innings or a new red one, as their new pink ball had somehow disappeared – was this another example of paranormal activity? – Turner’s comment of “I can sell you one for a tenner” didn’t seem to go down very well. In the end the old pink ball was chosen, a wise choice – advantage MAD?

 

155 was a tough ask and using an old ball made no difference to opening bowlers Mir (4-0-14-1) and especially Rene (3-1-2-5) who were pretty much unplayable, the later getting Williams (0) to chop on an excellent in-swinging yorker, Timms (2) and Hotson (0) followed leaving The MAD 15-3 after 6.

 

Howarth, on a dismal run of form looked back to his best retired on 36. An eventful innings included sending Rene to the boundary with a glorious cover drive, nearly passing out when made to run 4 by “Lightning” Timms and a slog to long-on only for the ball to stop inches from the rope and then be thrown in to run out Cartwright (7) at the striker’s end. There was slight delay at one point as the wicket keeper suddenly went AWOL, on his return a teammate enquired “Where did you go, we nearly didn’t have a keeper for an over?” to which he replied, “They didn’t have a keeper for 20 overs!”

 

 

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Gripping stuff.

 

 

Shorten 10 off 12 claimed the Champagne Moment with a huge 6 to cow, Bullock (2) fell to an excellent C&B and Reeves (8) was run out by a one-handed pick up and throw with only 1 stump to aim at. However, very few of The MAD looking on from the boundary witnessed the smart piece of fielding as they had been confronted by an angry young lady dressed all in black – was this “THE” Woman in Black?

 

Thankfully no, but a very stressed student who seemed confused by a cricket match being played on actual cricket pitch outside her accommodation. She had been studying since 1.00pm and now the noise from the game was interrupting her study. Chairman Matt tried to defuse the situation with admirable diplomacy pointing out that we had only been playing since 6.00pm, only to be bombarded with questions of Who? What? Why? When? -  Her final question: “Are you going to be doing this every night” was met with the response of: “We don’t know you’d better ask them out there as we are the away team and it’s their ground.” With this our very own Woman in Black stormed off, maybe to confront the 5 unsuspecting lady rowers and 2 lads playing tennis on the opposite side of the ground for their part in “Noisegate,” or maybe just to return to her place of study and reflect on how our game of cricket may have just cost her a 1st and her annual £9000 student fee wasted. In any case she left several bemused cricketers safe from evil and nailed the games’ MAD Moment, of which Howarth disappointingly failed to catch anything on camera….

 

Interestingly, recent research has shown if you want to create and perform at your best consistently, learning is most effective between 10am and 2pm and from 4pm to 10pm when the brain is in an acquisition mode. So, with this in mind our Woman in Black may still end up underperforming, but on positive note for the future I can confirm that The MAD pre-season nets sessions are being held at the perfect time of the day.

 

In the meantime, Turner thinking the last over had been bowled, began to congratulate the opposition on their victory only to be told there was still one over remaining. With gloves back on a partnership of 2 bolstered his score to 10* with Rundle (0*) left at the bowlers end without facing a ball. MAD finishing on 82 for 7.

 

 

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COVID restrictions meant no bar, walking into Oxford and being told by various pubs; “no booking, no entry” then purchasing some cans from a Sainsbury’s Local to consume back at the ground. As the witching hour approached, the alcohol consumed by Howarth and Williams began to have a strange effect on them as they kept imagining a white rabbit in the undergrowth, but however many times they went looking they never found one. Strange very strange.

 

It is very clear that a game v OUCCC will always be one of the more challenging fixtures in The MAD cricketing calendar, so is it worth the £8.90 / £5.70 parking cost and a flutter with the paranormal? All will be revealed in 2022….

 

 

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Spooky!|!

 

 

 

‘Russ’

 

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

Statto Scorecards

 

 

 

Far from the MCC versus Oxford University Club CC

Played at Balliol College, 12 May 2021

 

Oxford University Club CC won the toss and elected to bat

Oxford University Club CC won by 72 runs

 

Far from the MCC debuts:  n/a

 

 

21 / 533

 

 

 

 

 

20 over match

 

 

 

Team

Oxford University Club CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

D. Malhotra

c Cartwright b Rundle

19

 

3

-

1-22

2

N. Akram

b Reeves

23

 

2

1

2-62

3

S. Pathak

retired

31

 

3

-

-

4

N. Saravanan †

c Cartwright b Timms

16

 

1

1

3-87

5

A. Reza *

retired

36

 

3

1

-

6

S. Joshi

b Shorten

0

 

-

-

4-111

7

V. Shankar

run out (Cartwright/Shorten)

2

 

-

-

5-130

8

M. Kad

not out

10

 

1

-

-

9

O. Gargrave

not out

2

 

-

-

-

10

R. Seegobin

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

W. Mir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

W5, LB3, B7

15

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(for 5 wickets, 20 overs)

154

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

Econ

 

1

Howarth

2

0

9

0

4.50

 

2

Rundle

4

0

39

1

9.75

 

3

Reeves

4

0

21

1

5.25

 

4

Shorten

4

0

18

1

4.50

 

5

Timms

4

0

38

1

9.50

 

6

Turner

2

0

20

0

10.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Far from the MCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

I. Howarth

retired

36

(45)

6

-

-

2

C. T. J. Williams

b Seegobin

0

(3)

-

-

1-2

3

G. J. Timms

b Mir

2

(7)

-

-

2-14

4

J. C. W. Hotson

b Seegobin

0

(7)

-

-

3-15

5

D. Shorten

b Kad

10

(11)

-

1

4-31

6

J. A. Cartwright

run out

7

(8)

1

-

5-47

7

M. Bullock

c and b Kad

2

(6)

-

-

6-61

8

M. K. Reeves

run out

8

(14)

1

-

7-79

9

R. P. Turner *

not out

10

(19)

1

-

-

10

M. S. Rundle

not out

0

(0)

-

-

-

11

G. Carter †

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

W5, B2

7

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(for 7 wickets, 20 overs)

82

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

Econ

 

1

Mir

4

0

14

1

3.50

 

2

Seegobin

3

1

5

2

1.67

 

3

Gargrave

4

0

17

0

4.25

 

4

Kad

4

0

22

2

5.50

 

5

Shankar

4

0

20

0

5.00

 

6

Joshi

1

0

3

0

3.00

 

7

Mir

4

0

14

1

3.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  I. Howarth retired at 60-5 (14.0 overs)

 

 

 

 

 

MOTM:  J. A. Cartwright

Champagne Moment:  D. Shorten’s maximum down to long on

Buffet Award:  R. P. Turner’s rather delicious pizza slices (extra pepperoni)

MAD Moment:  Mysterious Lady in Black (student) giving The MAD a bollocking for disturbing her studies with excessive noise levels (after 6pm)

 

 

Opposition:  V108 / 05

Ground:  G100 / 02

Captain:  C024 / 41

Match No:  20 / 148