After the frenetic three matches that we’ve seen unfold at Test level so far, it was a differently-paced but equally hotly-contested Ashes that we witnessed in Thame last Wednesday 12th, at Church Meadow.
This time it was the turn of the “Seniors”, or over-60s, from England and Australia to do battle in the first one-day international (ODI) of this series, which stretches out over the month of July.
After Philie Mummery set the tone with rousing renditions of the two national anthems, the match started at 1pm, with England being asked to bat in overcast conditions. They struggled to build any big partnerships, not helped by one huge downpour which tested the powers of the ground staff (Max & Charlie) to get the square playable quickly. In the end, England could only manage 201-9 from the overs, reduced to 42, with Edward Gordon Lennox holding the innings together with 49. The pick of the Aussie bowlers was Blair with 4-42, coming down the hill.
In reply, after tea, the visitors made steady progress and, thanks to losing only 4 wickets, were able to accelerate at the right time, in the last 10 overs, with Peter Jenson dominating the bowling with an unbeaten 70. Although they reached 206-4 with only 2 balls to spare (41.4 overs), it felt like they were in control of their destiny.
There was a big crowd for most of the day at Church Meadow (despite the deluge), so huge thanks to all those who volunteered to help with putting on this event, especially Jackie & John Phippen, Philippa and Mark Fellowes on the PA system.
The 5-match series moved on to the 2nd ODI a few days later at Burton CC, where England won to square the series! If you want to follow the fortunes of England in the series, go to https://englandseniors.play-cricket.com/website/results
Written by Andy Jinman
Photos by Rob Phippen