SKIPPER Stuart Dickenson was left bemused after umpires told Himbleton to bat through ‘appalling conditions’, a decision he felt played a factor in the defeat to Worcestershire County League Division Two title hopefuls Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social.
Having impressed with the ball, Dickenson’s side floundered with the bat to lose the game by 56 runs.
O&SS had settled on 178 all out and Himbleton were always ahead of the run rate in their reply.
However, when the rain fell the umpires continued play with Himbleton folding at 122 all out.
Dickenson said: “I’m not quite sure what happened. I don’t ever remember playing on in such appalling conditions.
“I can only think the umpires wanted to reach a natural conclusion to the game but it affected our batting as we were chasing a moving target and the nature of the wicket changed.
“Looking at the positives, Guysie (Paul Guy) and Critch (Jon Crithlow) bowled superbly and that was three weeks in a row where we’ve fielded well.”
Having decided to bat the hosts had to battle against Himbleton’s opening bowlers Rob Perrins and Greg Dale.
The opening partnership was broken on 80 as George Clifton (2-28) had Tom Blunt (38) caught behind smartly by wicket-keeper Sean Jenkins and Clifton followed that up with another quick wicket.
With OSSCC at 90-2 at the halfway stage, Dickenson took the bold decision to bring on both spinners at the same time.
The plan worked as Critchlow (3-27) and Guy (4-44) bowled superbly in tandem and their parsimonious bowling brought a flood of wickets as the hosts floundered to 150-9.
A late flurry from Rauheel Iqbal (30) took their final total to 178.
Critchlow and Rich Pretty gave the Meadow Boys a solid start but at 50-3 the rain began to fall steadily.
As a result, their game had to change as they needed to be above the run rate of 3.5 an over to win the game should the umpires take the players off.
In attempting to execute this plan wickets fell regularly and only Ali Pretty (32) made any headway.
Himbleton were always ahead of the rate but despite the continued rainfall, which could have stopped most games, the umpires kept the players out in the middle.
The Meadow Boys finally ran out of wickets, finishing on 122 all out after 32 overs.
Himbleton host fellow strugglers Bartestree & Lugwardine on Saturday looking to avenge an early season defeat caused by having to field a weakened team.