Report by: Nice T
So Salix descended on Woodstock for the annual season closer against Blenheim Park CC. The usual idyllic view of the Palace was somewhat blighted by a massive white marquee and collection of wheelie bins, but it was still as spectacular setting as you could hope for.
Captain Badmo won the toss, elected to field and then opened up alongside XCGC. Tight bowling met aggressive batting. A few boundaries were conceded but each picked up a well-deserved wicket, courtesy of two excellent catches - CK1 under a skier, and Elvis in the slips. Delilah joined the fray first change, and picked up another - again thanks to a cracking catch in the deep from his skipper. Blenheim's 4th wicket pair then accumulated steadily, with their captain reaching a quality 50, and at drinks the game looked finely poised at a hundred-odd for 3.
Cue Elvis. Charged by his skipper with breaking the partnership, he did that swiftly and then set about dismantling Blenheim's lower order, finishing with his first ever Salix Michelle. Ably supported by Tuffers at the other end, who picked up the oppo's captain with a beautifully flighted delivery amongst his two, and Dazzler at slip who took another excellent catch for the final wicket, Salix's spin twins restricted Blenheim to 141 all out. We all went to tea buoyed by a very solid bowling performance, along with some excellent work in the field (three catches went down, but they were all of the 'Very Tough' variety), and hopeful of a fine end-of-season victory.
The next 20 overs or so are best forgotten. Batsmen came and went to a succession of inept hoiks, slashes and prods. Competition for worst shot of the day was fierce; competition for Blenheim's admirably accurate bowlers was sadly lacking. At 49-9, the dreaded 59 - and the eternal infamy for any team who should fall short - was looming very large indeed. Cometh the hour, cometh the Smutmeister, as TC unfurled an array of mighty leg-side heaves to see us past that ignominious target (and see his own way to top scorer). Alas the target to actually win the match was still on the distant horizon when his, and our, innings was finally brought to a close.
Both teams then retired to the Kings Arms for some post-match beers and cheesy chips - and much Salix discussion about the worst ever winning percentages for a season. 2014 wasn't quite that, but there is perhaps some mojo to rediscover over the long cold winter. Here's to 2015!
And finally - on a personal note, as I move to the land of small bats and big gloves - I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at the club for being so friendly and welcoming over the past several years. Playing for Salix has always been a huge amount of fun, even when the cricket has been......well, when the cricket has been like our batting today. Best of luck to everyone in the future and I'll look forward to hopefully joining yous again sometime soon.
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YM left the following remarks on 24th September 2014For those of an uninitiated persuasion, a Michelle is a Michelle Pfeiffer - fiver - five wickets in a game. Enough to get your name on the Honours Board at Lords (and ours, of course) and a rare enough event. Elvis's contribution was the second best bowling performance in the clubs 24 years and well deserved indeed.
Winners left the following remarks on 24th September 2014Tremendous bowling by Pelvis, not just at this fixture but throughout the season. It is a surprise that this is his first Michelle.
In a circuit where slower bowlers are often introduced to buy wickets, Pelvis's accuracy and control is truly impressive. A strikeforce.
Now if only his cross-batted, paint-by-numbers agricultural mows can be better harnessed for meaningful contributions to the brittle batting order.... We just may break the 9-game losing streak not to far into the new season.
Michelle left the following remarks on 22nd September 2014The sun was hidden behind clouds at the time. I shouldn't mock though: a combination of Arsey dropping the last ball of the previous over and TYS taking an exceptional slip catch behind himself did mean that for the first time in 13 years I am Michelle. Pity it didn't come with a win though, which is rather more important.
Steve-O left the following remarks on 22nd September 2014There is a typo in the match report - it has Dazzler down for a catch; Dazzler doesn't take catches at Blenheim!
Tuffers left the following remarks on 22nd September 2014Really well bowled Elvis. His spell yesterday (and in Dorset) was top draw, i've not seen many triple-wicket maidens.
Also some great catching as well - all four catches were outstanding.
Just need to find some batting form next year....