Sat 21st May Charlbury vs Stonesfield

Stonesfield 128-8 (25 overs)

Hasula Prematilaka 3-11

Bimalka Liyanarachchi 3-32

 

Charlbury 129-3 (20.2 overs)

Graham Atkins 49

Ben Geeson-Brown 40 not out

 

On a drab, wet day Charlbury travelled the short distance to Stonesfield for their division one clash. With rain forecast for later in the day both captains agreed to a shortened match of 25 overs a side and tea at the end of the game. Charlbury won the toss and elected to bowl first. Barry and Ben opened the bowling and got Charlbury off to a reasonable start. With the game being shortened to 25 overs a side it meant that the batsmen had to start attacking from the off and after a couple of overs this is what they began to do. Both opening batsmen began playing their shots and with a damp outfield the ball skidded off of it quickly and several deliveries went to the boundary. After four overs Stonesfield had reached 24-0 and Charlbury were going to need some wickets if they were to slow things down. Next over Barry bowled a beauty, swinging the ball in a mile to flatten the stumps of one batsman. The new batsman started swinging from the off as Stonesfield knew they would need a big score. A change in the bowling was made as Hasula came into the attack in place of Ben. Soon afterwards Bimalka replaced Barry. Hasula dropped into a great line and length from the first ball, causing massive problems for all the batsmen. The batsmen attacked Bimalka’s first over hard as they tried to keep the run rate high. Then Hasula grabbed his first wicket when he clean bowled the dangerous opening batsman leaving Stonesfield 60-2 off ten overs. Bimalka now found the right length to bowl and he too started to cause a few problems. All the bowlers were finding it difficult to bat as the ball was getting wet from running over the damp outfield and light drizzle showers kept coming and going. With less pace on the ball the batsmen now started to find it hard to get away and were struggling to push more than the occasional single. Hasula then clean bowled his second victim of the day and Charlbury were now right back in the game. In the very next over Bimalka got in on the act when he bowled the new batsman and Stonesfield were suddenly rocking at 66-4 off 13 overs. The runs were now drying up as the overs began to run out and with the rain abating, for now, Charlbury started to take control. Hasula was bowling a magnificent display, getting a bit of turn on the ball and also finding an awkward length to get away. Bimalka had now also found a great length and line and with a little bit of turn was causing some big problems for the batsmen. Hasula clean bowled another batsman as Stonesfield lost their fifth wicket of the innings. Next over Bimalka grabbed his second wicket when he bowled the new batsman to leave Stonesfield in all sorts of trouble at 75-6 off 17 overs. The batsmen now seemed content to play Hasula out and make sure he didn’t take anymore wickets in his seven over spell. After 20 overs Hasula had finished his great spell and Stonesfield were 85-6 and with only five overs left they just had to go for it. One batsman hit out at Bimalka in his last over, but hit the ball high in the air and Barry came ran in from long off to take the catch. Charlie now came in to the attack in place of Hasula and Ben replaced Bimalka. The batsmen now just went for it, playing big shots to try and find twos and fours and then dabbing singles on anything else. The hundred mark was brought up and it started to look like Stonesfield might just get away from Charlbury. Ben grabbed a vital wicket in the last few overs when he clean bowled one batsman. The last couple of overs were some hard running from the batsman and lots of diving around in the outfield as the fielders desperately tried to stop boundaries. Stonesfield eventually finished their overs on 128-8.

 

Charlbury went straight out for the reply, with light drizzle in the air. Ajit and Alex opened the batting and got Charlbury off to a good start. Ajit was full of running from the off, looking for singles and twos off every ball. Alex too look good as he stroked the ball around for a few early singles. After four overs Charlbury had reached 19-0 and were just about on target. Then disaster struck as Alex was wrapped on the pads and given out adjudged LBW. Graham now strode to the crease and was quickly off the mark. Ajit found the first boundary when he straight drove a delivery for four. Graham attacked the bowling hard from the off, finding a couple of early boundary fours. Both batsmen were running hard for every run, putting pressure on both the bowlers and fielders. Ajit cut another delivery for four as Charlbury started to accelerate their innings. Then disaster struck as Ajit hit one and called for a run, but the close fielder stopped the ball and Ajit was stranded half way down the wicket and a good throw to the wicket-keeper saw him run out for a fine 23. Ben now entered the fray and was quickly off the mark with a hard run three. 56-2 off ten overs and Charlbury were now staring to take control as Stonesfield changed their bowling around from one end. Both batsmen were looking to attack at every opportunity, with Graham hammering the ball around for several ones and twos. Ben started with a couple of threes, but then began to find his timing and hammered a couple boundary fours. One bowler had now bowled his allotted seven over spell so he came out of the attack and the other opening bowler re-entered it. Charlbury continued to attack hard, pushing singles almost at will. Ben was now batting really well as he stroked the ball around, but he was still playing second fiddle to Graham who by now was in full flow. The rain was starting to get slightly heavier, but this should only benefit Charlbury as the ball would become harder to bowl with. After 16 overs Charlbury had reached 95-2 and were by now in total control. Stonesfield now made a double change in the bowling as they desperately searched for more wickets. The first new bowler got the wicket Stonesfield needed as Graham missed one and was bowled for a great 49, but had cost runs as Graham had already slapped him around for several runs. Nik now came to the crease to join Ben. Ben now took complete control of the innings. Nik hit a single to give Ben the strike and attack he did, finding several twos and a boundary to take Charlbury into the 120s. 121-3 off 19 overs and the game was nearly over. The rain was now coming down at its heaviest of the day, but with the game nearly at an end the umpires decided to keep both teams out on the pitch. Second ball of the 21st over a single was pushed and Charlbury had won by seven wickets.

 

A great win for the lads and lady inspired by Hasula’s fabulous spell of bowling which turned the first innings around and then some wonderful batting to see Charlbury home – well played.

 

Charlbury 29 points