Match Reports

Pre-season friendly v Kingston Bagpuize.

A beautiful sunny afternoon saw a combination of 2nd and 3rd XI players travel to near Abingdon to take on Kingston Bagpuize from the Cherwell League. The Wolfpack opted to bat first and Madden and Walshy shared an opening stand of 46 before the latter departed to an absolute jaffa (his word!).

Madden went on to retire at 50 and this heralded the rather youthful partnership of Conor O’Hickey and Tohsif Manzoor at the crease. The pair looked well set but then both were dismissed when in the early teens. O’Hickey was out to an outstanding low catch by Matt Warner, whom we later learned is a Home Counties player!

The next two wickets to fall were those of Potter and Lardner (on debut). They both met the same fate and neither was happy to get the trigger from Wolvercote’s own umpire. Our next debutant, Amit, then set about compiling his runs, also making it to the 50 mark before being asked to retire. Captain Oliver joined him at the crease and accompanied him for some time whilst never looking at all comfortable. Those watching discussed the possibility that the weight of captaincy might be sitting heavy for the Iceman, until they were reminded of the number of pints (and tequilas!) he had sunk at the social the evening before.

Naseer and Murgatroyd added some quick runs before departing, leaving Luis stranded in the last over. This brought Madden back from retirement only for him to attempt a single to the aforementioned Warner who simply threw down one stump to bring Amit back in for the last 2 balls.

The final score was 199-9 off 40 overs.

The home side’s reply started following a delightful tea in the sunshine. Bizarrely, Luke managed just a 1 over spell before handing over to Potter. Contrastingly, Lardner opened from the other end and bowled well, conceding 22 runs from his 6 overs.

Bagpuize were progressing nicely, a little behind the rate but knowing that they had a secret weapon up their sleeve. Beatrix improved his contribution once he had installed his radar but, nevertheless, their opener grabbed his half-century and duly went for a rest.

Naseer and Amit then tightened the screws for 14 overs bowling some really tight stuff with Naseer taking a solitary wicket for his efforts. Tohsif then contributed 4 overs and he managed to grab 2 scalps whereupon our Columbian leg spinner was unleashed and Velasquez duly worked his magic.

At this stage, the ‘Baggies’ were well behind the rate but we were well aware that Warner was still to come. Luis chose to beguile his opponents by asking them to first locate the ball in its rather odd parabolas before nipping it past them into the quick (also Walshy’s word) hands of the keeper (Walsh!) who gratefully snaffled Walls, out stumped.

Warner then appeared, smashing the ball around the park before the Velasquez – Walsh partnership struck again. Luis got him running down the pitch, he missed, and the bails were removed before he could retrieve his ground.

We were then treated to 2 overs from the ever chatty O’Hickey, the 2nd being a vast improvement on the 1st. The death over had our opposition needing 16 to win and Potter was handed the by now rather mangled cherry. He produced classic wicket taking deliveries with his 4th and 5th balls and the game was won. He was on a hat trick for the final ball of the game which the batsman clobbered to Amit at cover. A suicidal run ensued, Amit did the honours and we ended the game with another wicket although not the hat trick that Potter had yearned for.

A great game, played in the right spirit and a wonderful way to start the new season.


Wolvercote – 199-9 (B.Madden 54, A.Bolrikar 54 no)

Kingston Bagpuize – 185 (L.Velasquez 3-36)

01/04/17 – City of Oxford Indoor Tournament: Finals Day

Summary of tournament results: 

Wolvercote 46 All out vs Risinghurst 23 All out; Wolvercote won

Wolvercote 84 for 3 vs Twyford 45 for 5; Wolvercote won

Wolvercote 99 for 4 vs Oxenford 60 for 5; Wolvercote won

Wolvercote 29 for 2 vs Wytham 28 All out; Wolvercote won

Wolvercote vs Kidlington – Match conceded by Kidlington; Wolvercote won

Wolvercote 56 for 5 vs East Oxford 35 All out; Wolvercote won

thumbnail_Winning team

Semi –Final v Oxenford

So it had come down to this: will we carry on with our unbeaten run, now when it matters most? We were scheduled to play in the second semi-final of the day. In the first, East Oxford had won comfortably against Twyford.

We won the toss and decided to bat first. Darren Jones opened the innings with his mate Nick King. The order of the day was ‘not to get run out’. The first over was safely negotiated, scoring four runs. During the second over, King top edged into the roof and was replaced by Shafqat in the middle. Both batsmen made steady progress against some impressive bowling.

One of the tactical changes made by our opponents Oxenford was their wicketkeeper was now standing up to the stumps. We knew this was viable, as is amply demonstrated by our own AGM all the time, however, it made it difficult to step out of the crease, leaving their spinners to be able to pitch and turn the ball. Scoring became progressively more difficult but Jones and Shafqat held on and after eight over we had scored 40 runs.

Shafqat was eventually caught at long on at the start of the 9th over which brought Babbs to the crease. With our bowling attack we were confident of defending any total, but had set our batting aim to get more than 60 runs. Oxenford bowled well in the closing overs, and we were restricted to 52 runs. Was this enough to defend and progress to the final?

The Oxenford openers strode to the middle, very confident. Ahmed opened the bowling and gave away 4 runs in his first over. His partner in crime, Shelley, bowled the second over and conceded two runs. The third and the fourth overs were bowled by Ahmed and Shelley respectively. With one ball to go of the fourth over, the score had moved on to 15 without loss, and the openers were looking increasing comfortable. However, Shelley got the ball to rise off a good length and Hassan top edged into the roof.

We had the breakthrough we were looking for. The introduction of Jones into the attack for the fifth over brought further fruit for the team as he bowled the 2nd opener with a beautiful late away swinger. This left, the new man in the team, Sadiqi, and his captain Hiscock at the crease. Chris Babbs was to be the fourth bowler and was brought on to bowl the 6th over. He bowled a beautiful,

well thought and well planned over; well he is a research scientist! Five dot balls built up the pressure and the inevitable wicket, run out, was achieved off the final delivery.

Jones bowled the 7th over, in which he gave away 3 runs. This meant Oxenford needed 32 runs off the last 3 overs. It was now or never and Sadiqi decided to chance his luck. He hit aggressively through the line and a couple of overthrows meant we had given away 15 runs. 17 off the last two overs left the match on a knife edge. All were engrossed, including both teams from the first semi-final.

Jones was entrusted with the responsibility of bowling the 9th over. This was a good one, in which only 7 runs were scored by the aggressive Sadiqi. But this only tells half the story; fielding at Long On, Nick King was sensational. He stopped two certain sixes with last minute dives, which left all watching gobsmacked. If acts of individual brilliance were going to take the team to the final, these were certainly up there.

So it was a simple equation: 1 over and ten runs. Who will hold their nerves? Who will have the skill? Up stepped the second doctor of the team, Barkat Ahmed, against the dangerous Sidiqi. He started with a beautiful away swinger, dot ball: 5 balls, ten runs required. The second delivery was an inswinger, dot ball: 4 balls, ten runs required. The batsman deflected the third ball for a single: 3 balls, 9 runs required. The fourth ball resulted in a run out: 2 balls, 8 runs required. Fifth ball also resulted in a single, so one ball and seven to win and six to tie to force a super over. However, Ahmed bowled a beautiful yorker, which the batsman just managed to keep out. Wolvercote had sneaked home by six runs. This was a brilliant over by Ahmed against a very good batsman, and all those who viewed the match applauded both sides off the pitch. Surely, the best match of the whole series.

Final v East Oxford.

So we had made it to the final, against a very talented East Oxford team. They won the toss and decided to bat first. We knew the key was to keep their volatile batsmen quiet during the initial overs. It went to plan for the first two overs (8 runs scored), however, the margin for error against such explosive batsmen is very small and after the third over the score had jumped to 23. Just 3 more runs from the next two overs made it 26 at the half way stage of the innings for East Oxford. During overs 6 and 7, a further 13 runs were scored but in the process, through some great bowling and risky running, East Oxford lost 5 wickets.

With the last batsman in, Ahmed was given the responsibility to finish the innings off quickly. He obliged with an inswinging Yorker with his first delivery, to set Wolvercote a target of 40 runs to win the inaugural City of Oxford indoor league. The other 3 bowlers had also played a large part in keeping the opposition to such a manageable target; Shelly 2 overs, 2 runs; Jones 2 overs, 10 runs; and Babbs 1 over, 3 runs – fantastic figures.

We planned not to take the chase beyond the eighth over. The openers executed this plan with such efficiency, had there been some youngsters present, they could have learnt their five times tables! We won the match in the eighth over, without any loss, thus the securing the first silverware of the season for the club.

All the players from the club who took part in the league would like to say a massive thank you to Shaz Khan, without whom, none of this would have been possible.

There is a wolf currently sharpening his claws in Cardiff, who would have been the first name on the team sheet for the indoor league. Rhys, you are always in our thoughts and prayers, and I am sure next year you will play in the indoor league with us. This one is for you!

12/02/2017 Match Report : City Indoor League

 vs Risinghurst at Matthew Arnold School


Toby Shelley

Barkat Ahmed

Mohammed Shafqat

Darren Jones

Nick King

Cameron King

In the first indoor league match of the season, Wolvercote took on the might of Risinghurst Cricket club. Having lost the toss, we were invited to bat first and Darren Jones opened the batting with Nick King. On the second ball of the match Jones called King for a quick single and we were reduced to 0 for 1. Shafqat joined Jones in the middle and safely negotiated the remainder of the first over.

However, during the next over, Jones perished to another run out. Shelley now joined Shafqat in middle but shortly after he was also out, yes, you’ve guessed correctly, to a run out!

(Note to the indoor league team: Unlike outdoor cricket where, if the ball has beaten the fielder, taking a single is generally a good idea, indoor cricket has walls and the ball bounces back to the fielder!!!!)

Anyway back to the matter in hand and after the second over we had lost three wickets and scored 7 runs, with brothers Ahmed and Shafqat joined at the wicket. Both dug in for a long haul, cutting out any risk. At the end of the eighth over, the score had moved on to 43 without further loss.

With 9 balls to go, Shafqat (15) was out, hit ball into roof, and was replaced by Cameron King. In the last over, Ahmed (17) was caught on the boundary and it was left to King junior to score as many runs as he could off the last three deliveries. However, old habits die hard and Cameron was also, yes, run out. The side were skittled for 46 with one delivery of the 10 overs remaining.

Despite the low score, we were quietly confident as, in the earlier matches, scores of 53 and 85 were not successfully defended. Thinking back to last year’s winning formula of opening the bowling with Ahmed, who relies on finer subtleties to plot the downfall of the opposition, in concert with an out and out quickie, relying on pace and bounce from the pitch, we decided to open the bowling with said Ahmed and Toby Shelley.

‘Barkie’ bowled a very tight first over to openers who had chased down 85 in the previous match. Shelley opened from the other end and, following in the footsteps of the Great Welsh Dragon, bowled with real hostility and fire.

After 4 overs, the opposition had scored just 10 runs and lost two wickets: One to an off stump yorker from Ahmed, and the other by hitting the ball into the roof. If the opposition were thinking there was easier bowling to follow, Jones put an end to that idea very quickly by bowling a tight fifth over.

In a ten over match, with a limit of 3 per bowler, a minimum of 4 exponents are required. Cameron King was called upon to be the fourth such and he took the 8th over. Coming in cold, he delivered 6 almost perfect balls, giving away two runs and taking out middle stump with a beautiful off-cutter.

Only two overs remaining and still 24 runs required, Jones trapped the fifth opposition batsmen LBW and off the very next delivery bowled the last man in to seal a great victory.

It was a terrific match enjoyed by all, played in great spirit, with the opposition actually applauding Wolvercote off the pitch.

Finally, many thanks to father and son King for stepping in at the last minute.

4th May 2016, Wolvercote CC vs Far from the MCC

Iceman in the ice
Season debut for Iceman

A glorious sunny evening on Lower 3, decent batting track, spirited and good-humoured opponents and the cultured duo of Campo and Doctor Rich making their seasonal debuts. What’s not to like!

Anyway, losing the toss clearly disorientated the Iceman and, mistakenly believing that Yusuf bowled pace, opened with our resident ‘Pipe Smoker of the Year’ from the Woodstock Road End.

Equally perplexed, particularly by the vast distance to the slip cordon with the bowler coming in off just a couple of paces, opening bat, ‘The Judge’, was bowled neck and crop by an Ashraf ‘Doosra’.

End of the over and Far From The M.C.C’s position was positively binary: one for one from one.

Yusuf “pipe smoker of the year”

Taking the new ball from the Railway End, Elliott was looking slightly furtive, nervously surveying the surrounding bushes for any sign of his new found arch-enemy, Naseer Khan. Three wides in his opening salvo betrayed his disquiet but upon receiving the reassurance that ‘er indoors’ does not permit the Asian Assassin out two nights in a row, he became a model of parsimony thereafter.

The innings was reasonably dull to be honest. It was heartening, however, to witness the vast array of slow-bowling talent on offer. In addition to our own Harold Wilson, there was Campo, who was a bit too good and was whipped off after a couple of overs, the Colombian Magician and sometime artist, Velasquez and, playing his final game for the Wolves, G.I John.

Fittingly, he took a wicket. It’s there, in the book:

‘Lego’ stumped Oliver, bowled Elsner

The opposition had nicknames emblazoned on their shirts. ‘Lego’ is a builder, ‘Tall Bob’ is well, tall, (they are not hot on irony) and then there was ‘Wood Boy’. After my experience the previous evening of the Wildman’s erotic yelp when caught, I took this for a demanding sexual instruction but it turns out he’s a ‘Chippy’!

Appropriately enough, ‘Goat Boy’ produced a number of agricultural heaves that helped push the total to 88-9. Thereupon, Iceman settled into one of G.I.John’s opulent deck chairs to cheerfully tick off the required and I was sent out to ump.

Another shell, Potter, opened with Doctor Rich and did well although he looked a mite miffed with the skipper when unceremoniously and without forewarning was retired mid-over on thirty.

G.I.John, more Babe Ruth than Sir Geoffrey, came and went, but exited to a bat raised Guard of Honour. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, well except the Iceman – he doesn’t do sentiment.

Waterhole, Refurbished

Walshy and Campo, our resident hobbits, polished off the runs and we were all done by 8.15pm.

Off down the refurbished Dewey and Walshy was texted by Elliott to say he was now in the Twos for Saturday.

Shifting uneasily in his seat, Beatrix, the evening’s batting hero, looked more than a little displeased. With an ever-growing list of the disgruntled, there will soon be no place left for the 2nd XI Captain to hide.

03/05/16 Wolvercote CC vs Oxford University Press (OUP)

After three successive cancellations, finally a midweek friendly and a first match of the season at Cutteslowe Park.

Wildman & Ben
Ben “newly ensnared” & Wildman “erotic groans”

The square looked to have been extended by a couple of pitches but preparation was good and in spite of the recent poor weather the newly ensnared (sorry – engaged) skipper ‘Gentle’ Ben Procter, who appears to have wintered rather too well, was keen to play on turf rather than artificial.

Toss won, first part of the Procter strategy successfully executed, Oxford University Press were condemned to field in full knowledge they would be batting in fading light at the fag end of the day.

However, best laid plans and all…The Wildman gently caressed a full bunger to square leg off the first ball of the innings – our 73 run thrashing of the same opponents last July fast becoming a distant memory. His groans of disappointment were understandable although somewhat strangely erotic. I may look at him in a different light henceforth!

Wolvercote has long had a penchant for horizontally challenging names: Patrick Boyd-Maunsell, Angus Gardner-Morrison and Ramesh Pomnambulam spring to mind. It makes the construction of Excel availability spreadsheets particularly testing and now the latest in the list, Thomas Stewart-Liberty joined Gentle Ben at the crease.

Having suitably punished Vickers, the Wildman’s assassin, with three sixes and a four in one over, the skipper copped a good ‘un from the pacey Ahmed and the Bomber was next in.

Bomber “Australian Lothario”

Our Australian lothario failed to obey orders from his partner about getting forward, perished middle stump and a fit-looking Patel made his way to the middle determined to atone for his inability to meet this correspondent’s administrative deadlines.

Umpiring from square leg provided little chance of revenge, no matter, the blighter succumbed first ball and TSL was doubtless left contemplating what sort of a club he had joined, 38-4, and the Ump telling him he REALLY needed to dig in now!

The much-aggrieved Naseer Khan now joined our latest hero muttering about what sort of criteria was used to select the 2nd XI and threatening all manner of retribution on skipper Elliott.

As is his wont, he kept gully busy for an over or two before being out, caught….in the gully, to be replaced by the nearest we have to celebrity, Ben de Glanville.

This energiser bunny was all action but with zero forward foot movement in his nevertheless useful partnership of 18 with TSL. Unsurprisingly, he was bowled whilst retreating so far to square he near trod on the umpire’s toes.

His Grace, Bishop Glenny (okay he’s fresh out of his novitiate but he’s very pious), who actually arrived to the game resplendent in dog collar, liberally showering complete absolution (nearly typed ablution there, now that would have been a sight!) to all who questioned his tardiness, was next up.

Unfortunately for him, his commandeering of the only run three in the entire match resulted in TSL retiring hurt on 43 with severe back pain. He will doubtless be summoned to appear before Ist XI Captain, Tim MacIntyre (aka the Big Diff), to account for his irreverent actions and no amount of holy rosaries is going to save your sorry arse dude.

Ben DGV 2
De Glanville “all action”

The innings mercifully concluded on 112-7 and I could go and have a welcome sit-down – more than poor TSL could manage.

Gentle Ben unleashed the twin pairing of Coles Minor and another of our ‘shells’ Alyn Davies on the OUP openers.

Despite the critical eye cast across the vast expanse by Coles Major, not to mention the filming he undertook of his lad’s action no doubt to be examined in forensic detail later prior to a supper of bread and water he should be bloody thankful for, the boy bowled superbly.

3-9 in four, he even triggered the umpire’s finger to give out his own player, something not expected given the opposition’s view that this writer’s officiating bordered on the somewhat myopic.

The Number 3, chap called Holford, put up some stout resistance but wickets tumbled at the other end. Hold on though, with victory in the bag and the light fading fast, Gentle Ben decided to make a game of it!

Bomber was brought on – not quite the picture of a man running the length of Britain (or something equally brainless) in a few weeks. It was only later, after a few beers, that I rumbled the plan. Chuck down a load of wides, Bomber obliged, and keep the visitors out there to bat in total and utter darkness.

So buoyed by the success of this tactic, Gentle Ben introduced Wildman from the other end. Such was the parabola of his grenades poor old Tim Peake hid for cover!

Anyway, we scraped home by six runs. Naseer departed, politely enquiring of those about as to Jason’s address while simultaneously sharpening his machete: Coles Minor was pretty relaxed about the Inquisition his Pa, Torquemada, was soon to inflict: I tottered off to the Plough and Gentle Ben returned to the Honeytrap! His Grace went into hiding.

Off to Lower 3 tonight. G.I. John is on the ‘mound’, sorry….wicket. Sadly, it’s his valedictory salute and I for one shall miss him. His antics on the field have kept me amused these past few summers. Do you remember the time….

April 19th – Wolvercote CC v St Edward’s Colts ‘B’

Wild Man batting
Wild Man, 3 sixes and 4 fours

After the first scheduled game of the new season on Saturday was called off due to a soaked outfield, the portents were not too promising for last evening’s fixture surviving the conditions so soon after.

However, a welcome spot of sunshine and a drying wind worked to our benefit and the campaign was up and running.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, skipper Oliver sent in the 2 W’s, the rather uncaribbean looking pairing of Wilman and Walsh.

Surviving an easy chance dropped by wicketkeeper ‘Fingers’ (or should that be ‘Fingerless’) Valentine, formerly of this parish, Wilman, minus the bush hat but still looking every bit the Boer, made the Teddies Colts pay by bludgeoning 3 sixes and 4 fours on his way to….well, was it 48, their scorebook, or 50, ours? No matter to the hard-nosed captain, no post mortems, Wilman was retired, an air of uncertainty as to what posterity should record!

Next up, Bomber taxied to the wicket. This is a man worth knowing as he is frequently surrounded by an array of ravishing beauties, especially Friday nights in the Harcourt Arms! Sadly, not present on this occasion, they were unable to bear witness as our antipodean lothario smote three sumptuous boundaries on his way to 16.

At the school, new boys are referred to as ‘Shells’ and it was time for one of our own to make his way to the middle. Heaven knows why Tohsif is not studying for his exams but he may as well have been as he played all around a straight one, despatched back to the pavilion for 5 by a boy listed in the scorebook as ‘Pink Hat’.

Luke teaching
The Murgatron “exploits exceeded the classroom”

Whilst wickets tumbled at the other end, Walshy, making up for the crushing disappointment earlier when informed by the Iceman that he would not be wearing the ‘Big Gloves’ this game, was easing his way to 45 before succumbing to a catch off the bowling of, as the text relates, ‘Blonde and Tall’.

Not unusually for Wolvercote matches, at the end of the 20 overs, the scorebook recorded one innings total and the scoreboard another. Thankfully, as events unfolded, this was not pivotal.

Ben DGV.jpg
De Glanville “entrusted with the new ball”

Another ‘Shell’, de Glanville, and yes he is related to the 1987 England Rugby World Cup captain Phil, and the Murgatron were entrusted with the new ball.

Unlike the schoolboys, whose profligacy resulted in 31 extras, the Wolves openers bowled with precision and by the end of the ‘powerplay’ if there had been one, had reduced the opposition to 30-2.

Enter the Iceman’s trump card: Wellsy, otherwise known as ‘Trigger’, for whom the recent completion of an umpire’s course came not a moment too soon for the nation’s batsmen.

With 2-10 he effectively ended the tie as a ‘contest’, in the process compounding ‘Finger’s’ misery by having him caught by ‘Bucket Hands’ Pereira (compensating partially for an earlier howler) for an innocuous 4.

In deteriorating light, the change to a pink ball heralded the introduction to the attack of G.I John (aka Texan John). His purposeful creep to the popping crease, the perfect imitation of a soldier releasing the pin from his grenade together with the unerring accuracy with which he discharges his weapon bear all the hallmarks of man you would want beside you in the trenches.

You would also want him as a friend. He is loaded. He must be judging by the grandeur of the outdoor seating he brought along and in which Basil and his sister were luxuriating.

The G.I posted an impressive 2-11 and with 2 run outs in the pitch black, the school ended up on 128, victory going to Wolvercote, albeit by an uncertain margin.

Mo awards
Mr Shafqat “he of the flashing blade”

Thanks must go to Nick Pinhol, bedecked in shorts he withstood the near arctic conditions of the late evening to see out his scoring duties. No matter that eight of the opposition batters apparently have no name – mere detail!

He was supervised at one point by his superior at the Cherwell, Mr Shafqat – he of the flashing blade. There must be money in teaching maths. Sharp suit, gold cufflinks, immaculately polished pointy shoes so fashionable these days and a flouncy hairdo the envy of any Bollywood Matinee idol. He has something of the great ‘Afridi’ about him.

Anyway, a fine start to the season – roll on Saturday.