4s v Oxford Brookes 2s

Cricket and exams. A power struggle that has been ongoing since the dawn of time. On that fateful day, Wednesday 15th May 2019, it was clear that exams had got the better of the game that we all so love…

As a cobbled together ‘4s’ arrived at Cryfield, the Cricketing Gods shed a tear. Players that should never have a BUCS game to their name walked onto that Lakeside pitch – Shiv Gupta, Matt Thomas, Marcus Foux and Kiwi Ben all made the side as over half the club sacked off cricket for exams (any of squads players capitalising on a whole winter’s worth of coaching and training by actually playing a game?!) The most disgraceful thing amongst this omnishambles was Ridge racking up a second BUCS cap and Birdy having to play either side of his maths exam, buying the teas and sorting the admin, all of this taking place on his birthday. Birdy surely making a strong bid for clubman of the year.

Under the supreme leadership of Muncy, who really didn’t want to be there at all, we warmed up and surprisingly didn’t look that village, unlike Brookes who rocked up in their whites. Muncy lost the toss – the first of many Ls that afternoon – and we were put into bat. The boys were delighted to bat first as it meant we could be back in the library by 4pm. Birdy and Rory opened up with Bird looking to spank as many quick runs as possible. The Brookes boys were rattled by Birdy’s slogging, hammering him with chat about him not being able to play proper shots, little did they know he was due in Desso Hall for his Norms, Metrics and Topologies exam by the 17th over. The umpires were loving it. Rory, on one leg, was digging in at the other end with the pair really hitting off a good cop-bad cop vibe. Despite getting the call to come in to head off to his exam, Birdy hacked away for a few more overs and soon departed for a swift 38. Ridge was brought to the crease and together with Rory bored everyone out of their minds for about 10 overs. Having made good relations with the umpire at the top end, Ridge had failed to strike a relationship with the umpire at the bottom end which proved fatal, manifesting itself in a shocking LBW decision being given from around the wicket. Any. This sparked the typical Warwick collapse, with Cheeky, One Beer Rav, DSG, the Foux-meister General and MT all going for fuck all runs. Rory hung on for a while before the boredom proved too much and he succumbed for 11. SJ the highlight of the middle order with a great knock for 8. Shiv and Kiwi Ben provided some resistance at the end, with Kiwi playing some lovely golf shots to end 16* when the last wicket fell. We were bowled out for 104, a great success considering a strong 3s team got skittled for 58 a couple of weeks ago (#HosGOte #AmoghOut). Arguably the best effort of the innings was the sublime chicken and cheese roll making committee of Murphy, Ridge and MT who managed to bash out 24 rolls during the 10th wicket partnership. Sensational scenes.

After a typically bang av tea, Muncy rallied the boys and pumped them up with inspiring words such as ‘let’s just give it a go’ and ‘it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be so far’. DSG, out of cricketing circles for 12 months, opened up with his darts, accompanied by the rogue googlies of SJ from the far end. On another day with a full team of fielders a couple of wickets could’ve been taken early, with snicks going through the vacant slip cordon off both bowlers. The fielding was fairly tight, Mallows’ work with the Development boys in Desso clearly coming good. Ravi replaced DSG but it appeared to be too little too late as the Brookes openers kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely. After SJ put down a catch off of his own bowling, Muncy decided it was time to just kill the game and put everyone out of their misery, asking Shiv to turn his arm over. Shiv channelled his inner Jinesh and was thoroughly sent to the pumphouse, getting carted to Kenilworth three times in his first over. One of the Brookes openers brought up a very tidy 50 and with that they completed the chase, winning by 10 wickets inside 15 overs.

Not a great day for the 4s in a cricketing sense, but MT was able to get back in the library by 4:30 to revise for his British Problem exam at 9am on Thursday morning and Birdy had no need to rush back to field. I suppose that is a minor W. The 4s go again on Wednesday against Trent. I have vivid memories of last year’s 4s away trip to Trent…

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