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7 Up, 7 Down

  OSCC, 52 all out, lost to Ickwell, 53-0, by 10 wickets with 175 balls to spare Once upon a time there was an advert for Ragu pasta sauce which finished with the catchy slogan, "Ragu, Ragu, Ragu brings the Italian out in you!" After the debacle at Ickwell that slogan should perhaps be changed to, "Raju, Raju, Raju gets the batsman out that's you!" That would be Anish Raju, the Ickwell opening bowler who ran through the Offley middle order and blew away the tail to take 7-16. In comparison Offley's opening bowler, Peter Gilkes, bowled one over for 14 and was withdrawn from the attack. Speaking to reporters after the game Offley's disgruntled skipper responded to an inquiry as to whether Raju was actually the devastating bowler he seemed. The response was enlightening.  "He was fucking useless. Worst five-for I've ever seen, yet he took fucking seven. He didn't move it and just kept bowling short half-track shit." Fighting talk from the
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Orange Crush

  Big shout out to Adam Ward on his maiden century for the club on Sunday. Adam's 145 was not only the fifth highest score in club history, it was also the highest score by an Offley batsman since 2006. Prior to Sunday Adam had a career average of 13.44 from 97 innings (not to mention a single-figure average for the season) so he was either due or it really was a sign that the apocalypse is at hand and we're all as fucked as the Queen's Park bowlers. Regardless, the limited edition Adam Ward 145 should soon be available from all leading cricket bat manufacturers. 102 of Ward's 145 came in boundaries (24 4s and a 6) which means he scored more runs in boundaries in one afternoon than 22 Offley batters combined for last weekend (96). It also means that three of the five highest scores in club history have been recorded by gingers. 

Player Profile #22: C. J. McIlveen

  His name is C. J. Mac and his bowling's pretty mean But his real passion's as a rap machine He's honey with the ladies so they keep their fannies clean Cos every girl wants to be Mrs Courtney McIlveen C. J. McIlveen splits his time between dropping tunes in the studio and dropping catches in the outfield and is the only man ever to open the bowling for Offley while wearing a du rag. This accessory is complemented by a youthful mustache that pays tribute to two of the aspiring rapper's musical influences, Freddie Mercury and the Village People. C. J. thinks he looks like Tupac.  Everyone else thinks he looks like a fortune teller who has misplaced his crystal ball. McIlveen invariably misses the first part of the season through injury (who knows, maybe every Easter he drops his crystal ball and smashes it and cuts his foot to ribbons) before turning up in August to bolster the latest Offley survival bid. McIlveen is the youngest bowler in Offley history to take 100 wic

WANTED!

  Have you seen this man? Rehaan Samdani is wanted by NASA for his part in deliberately attempting to damage satellites by serving up pies to dangerous batsmen.  On Sunday Mr Samdani willfully conspired to send down several utterly woeful short-pitched deliveries that jeopardised the safety of a number of aircraft in the vicinity of Luton Airport and also threatened to damage the International Space Station. Greenpeace are also calling for Mr Samdani to be investigated and prosecuted for deliberately damaging the ozone layer by allowing it to be perforated by cricket balls. In addition to intergalactic space terrorism and environmental piracy, Mr Samdani is also wanted for questioning by the Hertfordshire Constabulary on multiple counts of impersonating a batsman. For the record Mr Samdani is currently Offley's leading wicket taker this season. 

81 Balls

  If one works on the principle that a quick game is a good game, Offley could be deemed to have had an excellent weekend.  Quite how you manage to lose a pair of 40-over matches where you bowl a combined total of 13.3 overs is something that really ought not to be possible. A combination of spectacularly inept batting (Marc Ward excepted) and toothless bowling ensured we only had to spend 43 deliveries on the sandy beaches of Old Minchendenians on Saturday. Not content with capitulating to the quickest ever defeat in the club's 25-year history, Offley contrived to plumb new depths on Sunday with a 38-ball surrender against Harrold as the visitors chased down a so-called target of 59 in 6.2 overs. In the space of 24 hours Josh Scott led Offley to the swiftest defeat in history only for Scott Boatwright to cruise past it. Who would have guessed having two Captain Scotts would ever lead to disaster? I'm still not sure whether Harrold's decision to invite us to bat constituted

Run Out Kings

  Even before Ben Wiles barbecued the tail in the final over at Langford for the greater good, OSCC had been racking up the run outs with aplomb this year. There have been some absolute classics, ranging from Luke Munt's lemming-like suicide at Harrold to Kaiz Ul Haq's gormless attempt to get off the mark at Gaddesden and of course perhaps the moment that eclipsed all others, the likely skirt of the year debacle at Aldenham featuring Messrs Hook and Bexfield. The latter incident was particularly impressive as all that was at stake was a leg bye. Run outs are nothing new for Offley.  And speaking as someone who has probably survived more of them than any other batter in Offley history I should know. The club's debut season saw the little incident at Wardown Park where the entire middle order was decimated in a succession of misadventures that culminated in four run outs and left the man who survived all four incidents feeling that somehow or other he might have been somewhat

The Binary Boys

  So let's be honest, the weekend did not exactly go according to plan. We managed four wickets across two matches, dropped four catches, accumulated five points out of a potential 60, tightened our grip on bottom spot in one league, deep-sixed our promotion hopes in the other and spent precisely 38.2 overs in the field trying to defend woefully inadequate scores. Let's face it, it was not the Alamo. Which brings us on to the batting.  It was perhaps the most inept batting display since the Black Sunday weekend of August 2009 where 29 Offley batsmen registered 22 single-figure dismissals including nine ducks. 19 batsmen were dismissed last weekend, 14 failed to reach double figures and six failed to get off the mark. Perhaps even more impressive was that half of those batters failed to score more than 1, including Vince Neale and Callum Winters who both actually recorded their highest score for Offley; one apiece. Even Ben Wiles, the one batsman who did score some runs - Ben ac