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FORM went out of the window for Steve McComb when he hit 40 runs off the final over to snatch a seemingly impossible victory.
Dorchester-on-Thames needed 35 to win as McComb faced Swinbrook bowler Mihai Cucos at the death of the Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division Four match.
But the 54-year-old – helped by Cucos bowling two no-balls – hit seven boundaries, including sixes off each of the final three balls.
McComb’s 104 not out was made even more implausible by recent struggles at the crease, according to Dorchester captain Adrian Redhead.
“Steve hasn’t scored any runs all season, he used to open the batting but over the last couple of years he’s dropped down as his ankle has got worse,” explained Redhead.
“His form has been poor – that’s the first time he’s got over 50 in the league this season.
“It’s quite remarkable because he has basically got one leg – his ankle is so arthritic that he hops between the wickets!”
McComb recounted his extraordinary final over, revealing that victory was far from his mind as Cucos ran in for his first delivery.
“We’d all been quite resigned to losing, we’d never been in with a chance throughout the game,” said McComb.
“The boundary on one side was very small and I just thought I’d have a slog and see what happens.
“The first ball was a no-ball and that got us thinking, but we still needed 18 off the final three which was a tall order.
“But when he bowled the fourth ball it was a no-ball again, so that’s when I started to think there was a real chance.
“We had a few young lads playing for us and they got a bit excited and when that final six went over the boundary they ran out onto the pitch.”
McComb’s knock wasn’t the only story on a sunny Oxfordshire afternoon. Swinbrook’s star was Jack Grace, descendant of the great Victorian batsman W.G. Grace
“They do have one player who is very good – the great, great, great grandson of W.G. Grace,” added Redhead.
“He doesn’t play for them often, but on Saturday he scored a hundred and took four wickets.”
Yet even Grace’s performance was upstaged by McComb and Redhead revealed that the club have been inundated with media requests from all angles since Saturday.
“It’s been crazy the amount of people phoning and emailing to speak to Steve,” admitted the Dorch captain.
“He was on radio the other day and Test Match Special are going to mention him during the Test match this week!”
And the day was further sweetened for the club by a win for their second XI.
“We’d just been told that the second team had won by ten wickets in a topof-the-table match,” revealed McComb.
“It was a great day for the club – a ‘double Dorch’.”
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