Our second fixture of the season, and always a favourite, took us to Oxfordshire to play Sir Tim Rice’s Heartaches. After a late change of ground to Chinnor (Aston Rowant being double booked), the Allstars batted first.
Openers Pete Cresswell and Dave Halladay began steadily, the grassy outfield slowing run scoring, before both were dismissed to spark an early collapse – skipper Paul Bowman and our Lord’s scoreboard star Umar Asghar also falling early to leave us on a perilous 9 for 4.
Joe Silmon and Sirmad Shafique mounted a spirited Allstars fightback. Sirmad, on his Allstars debut, took the attack to the opposition with some crunching drives, and Joe provided solid support and also began to find the boundary. Their dismissals brought together perhaps the Allstars’ oldest batting partnership – Tony Grant being joined by KP’s dad Derek, making a Father’s Day appearance while visiting from New Zealand – but the Heartaches bowling continued to send Allstars on their way. Even their 11 year old Jackson was a pretty handy bowler, finishing off the tail as we were bowled out for 64.
The Heartaches’ tea is always the best of the Allstars season, and was enjoyed as much as ever. We needed early wickets to give us a chance, and Haroon Khalid and KP both opened with excellent spells. But Heartaches’ opener Torquil Riley-Smith has been a tough opponent over many years – we’re still yet to dismiss him – and he began to find his touch with some thundering off drives. TG came on and struck with his second delivery, trapping AD Fox lbw – but we just didn’t have enough to defend as Heartaches eased home by 9 wickets.
Generous hosts as ever, and we’ll look forward to playing them again next season. We will get Torquil out one day…