By John Skinner
There was a mixture of trepidation and excitement as the teams lined up for the photocall in front of the historic pavilion on Tuesday prior to the MCC match with OUWCC.
Under leaden clouds the MCC lost early wickets before the sun glimpsed through, whilst Claire Taylor (41) and EM Porter (20) repaired the early damage with a stand of 68.
There were three wickets apiece for A Hearn, EA Harbourne and CE Dack, ably backed up by ME Bouchier and AVB Skinner. Quality bowling led to three of the top five MCC order falling without scoring and being in difficulty at 25-4 and 41-6, before the class of the former England captain told, helping the MCC to a defendable total of 127. The Oxford fielding was exceptional at times, as was that of the MCC later, including two catches of the highest standard.
Oxford started cautiously, building a stable base through the openers by the break. A century opening partnership and a huge 6 from Bouchier settled any nerves there might have been in the student camp. Bouchier, the Southern Vipers and Hampshire player, fell for 82 after brutally dispatching the MCC bowlers to various parts of the ground. Her partnership with VM Picker saw the Dark Blues home by 9 wickets to cap a memorable day, where every player did themselves justice.