Will Budge will debutise in the skipper role today; promptly losing the toss but inevitably, as is the custom of this fixture, batting first. He takes to the field with long time Reckitt-house-roommate, Nick Hayles, and they make a steady start of fending off the openers; who are the now 'fully fledged OL's' of Will Mackay and Toby Gilbey. Hayles finds success through the off side from Mackay, Budge the same with any thing wide from Gilbey. But Toby's waywardness does not last and Will Budge, 11 months out from last knock, is served up a fantastic full ball to clip his off stump. Hayles, much enjoying the RMF of Mackay, does not feel quite a comfortable facing the Left Arm Swing of Gilbey and he's caught low at backward point off the drive. An unusual partnership at the crease for numbers 3 and 4; Doraisamy and Guttieriez not having met until the latter walks to the crease - but they get to know each other much better over the next few hours as they rapidly put on a fantastic 158 partnership. Dilly ultimately falls for a well earned 63, which causes a bit of flurry of wickets (2x Narayansamy and G.Carter) but Geoff Samuels arrives to solidify an end. His 24 make up another 50 partnership, as Oscar reaches a magnificent 111 in contribution to the OL's 254 for 9. There is even a little time for 3x Run Outs; Joe Groom calling Vikesh Patel through for a suicidal two. Will Budge calls Joe in after 55 overs and the school will have to face 40 minutes of batting before tea.
Shash and Vikesh waste no time, with wickets falling in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th over. Vikesh gets dangerous Aaron Stewart caught behind without score, before Shash traps Mackay infront for two and finally Vikesh lures Marcus Lang into an uppish cover drive. 15 for 3 at tea. The OL's have been here before with the school and know full the school batting lineup can hold it's own these days. Gilbey first offers stubborn resistance with his 20, until Shreyas gets him caught behind cutting one that bounces. But it is George Lee (37) and Joe Blundell (70 - on his birthday) that take the key time out of the game, batting with both solid defence and putting away anything loose. The OLCC only manage the seven wickets and on reflection may have stopped 5 overs earlier - but a strong 400+ run game is played in great spirits and chat!
Joe Blundell is the hard earned recipient of the OLCC Development Award for 2017 for his contributions to LPS cricket this season and a match saving batting innings! Nick Hayles collects his bottle of champagne from OLCC President Graham Carter for becoming the 24th (and 2nd fastest) to 100 games for the OLCC.