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Scalped

OSCC 50 all out (Ul-Haq 12) lost to Langford 134-9 (Tattersall 3-6) by 84 runs


A stunning burst of 3-6 from Mark Tattersall and a doughty effort with the blade from Kaiz Ul-Haq who top-scored for Offley for the first time in his career, weren't enough to prevent Scott Boatwright's men from slipping to another defeat in the Bedfordshire League.

For the moment they remain fourth in the table (God knows how) after a fifth defeat in a row and face a crunch match with seventh-placed Aspley Guise next week.

Langford won the toss and elected to bat on a miserable day with rain forecast throughout. Despite the absence of notorious Offley-abuser Adam Parkins, the hosts made a solid start (more than solid actually as Jamie Cummins allowed two sixes in his opening over) and reached 80-1 at drinks. 

Offley fought back after the break and restricted the hosts to 134-9. 

Missed By Wiles found his line and length to devastating effect as he claimed 2-17, Tattersall frolicked among the rabbits, James Barker picked up a couple.

Boatwright performed both heroics and acrobatics behind the stumps. The captain held four catches and added a stumping as Offley stormed back into contention.

One of those catches, a one-handed diving affair off Wiles, will live long in the memory of anyone lucky enough to have seen it - or been told about it by Boaty.

135 to win, 40 overs to get them, just 3.37 runs per over. Surely a target that was within reach?

Unfortunately not, as it happens.

Umpire Boatwright set the tone for the innings by adjudging Josh Hook LBW for 0 in the second over of the innings.

This appears to have been a slightly contentious decision but regardless of whether the umpire triggered Hook or not, his departure triggered the beginning of the end.

James Barker was soon in a position to ask Hook for his thoughts on his dismissal as he went for 2 to leave Offley in some trouble at 7-2.

Darren Lunney, a man who reputedly paid thousands for his hairstyle, and John Davis, a man who judging by his latest style, offered a blind man with some shears tuppence, dug in and added 10 priceless runs for the third wicket.

Unfortunately things deteriorated rapidly from the prosperity of 17-2 to 18-5.

Lunney offered a catch and fell for 8 (as it's the Olympics we'll say he got the bronze medal for batting).

Mr Mohawk discovered a new way of getting out as his dogged defensive approach was finally undone by a delivery that struck him on the pad and Umpire Tattersall raised the dreaded finger. 

Davis was left with no choice but to sadly return to the pavilion to see if there was any message from his agent about his haircut being cast in a new theatrical production of Trainspotting

At the other end Roger the Dodger Piepenstock came and went without troubling the scorers - to be fair it's not the easiest name to spell so perhaps he caused them some trouble. 

Roger the Dodger - so named due to his bat's habit of dodging straight balls - had his stumps rearranged as Offley tumbled further into the mire.

Wiles and Boatwright steadied the ship with a gritty partnership of three before Wiles departed for a well-made 1. 

However, Boatwright and Tattersall battled their way through to drinks, Offley reaching the break on 27-6. 

The partnership ended in the second over after the break when Tattersall was caught for 6 (in Olympic parlance he finished narrowly outside the medals).

With nothing to lose - the match was now effectively long gone - Boatwright and Ul-Haq came together and produced the best partnership of the innings.

Boatwright channeled the spirit of Chris Austin as he churned out dot after dot, while Kaiz flashed and slashed away in his customary manner.

Kaiz survived one confident appeal for a stumping but ultimately made 12 (all of which came via boundaries) which earned him the Offley gold medal for the highest score.

The pair added 23 runs for the eighth wicket to take the score up to 50 (Huzzah!) before things ended somewhat abruptly. 

Kaiz was caught, Boatwright fell for an 18-over 11 (and the silver medal) and the game ended with Cummins goings back to the hutch as soon as he'd arrived at the middle as the last three wickets fell without a run being added to the total.

There's not a lot to say about a performance that produced as many runs (6) from seven batsmen (Hook, Barker, Davis, Wiles, Gilkes, Piepenstock & Cummins) as Boaty claimed wickets (4 catches, 1 stumping & 1 LBW😂😂😂).

Offley, like John Davis, were scalped.

However, Boatwright's Boys will go again next week against Aspley Guise knowing a victory will rubber-stamp their ticket to another exciting season of Division Four cricket in 2022.

Or they might just opt to keep it interesting for another week and fuck it up again. 

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