Old Millfieldian CC Vs Old Bedfordian CC – 1st June 2014

After the usual worry of selecting (well, scrabbling about) for a suitable eleven for the 4th annual fixture against the Old Bedfordians, a very strong batting line-up was ready to face the challenge of Alistair Cook’s alma mater.  It was a worrying sight when Alex Wakely (the current Northamptonshire T20 captain and OB) arrived at the ground; thankfully, he was only there to lend some kit to a friend!

On winning the toss, the OB skipper, Will Notley, elected to bat on a green wicket.  Bedford is not known for producing wickets that give excessive aid to the bowling side and so it was with great relief that the OMs extracted the competent opening pair with the score at 32.  After this there was a period of patient batting from the Bedford top order, but they never managed to dominate the fine bowling and fielding performance of the men from Somerset (and Dorset, and Bedfordshire…).  In disbelief, whilst ruminating on the boundary, the Membership Secretary said to the Treasurer, “We didn’t even drop one catch”.  In addition, a particularly impressive performance from Sean Copperhead yielded figures of 12-6-15-6.  Chris Hellings, arguably the OM man-of-the-match, took two sharp catches and a stumping to round-off a fine display of fielding.  The OMs kept the tempo up throughout and bowled 49.2 overs in three hours to dismiss the OBs for 186.

Lunch was taken in the long room of Bedford’s large pavilion before Hellings and Esson opened the innings.  To be frank, neither batsman looked particularly troubled by the conditions.  Both played well off the front foot on a slow, low wicket.  Whilst the purist may have bemoaned a preponderance of leg-side shots, the Old Millfieldians watching simply purred with pleasure.  When Esson fell leg before wicket for his half-century, Ben Compton joined Hellings and the two of them brought victory in the 33rd over.  Hellings was presented his colours before the game in a prescient act by the committee as he went on to score 98*.

So, it was a 9 wicket win on the 1st of June which was also the 9th wedding anniversary of the match manager and his long-suffering wife, Mrs Fixtures.  She was delighted to drive the family on the six-hour round trip from Brighton and can’t wait to be at Warnford for the Hogs next week.  Lucky girl!