Yarnton & Cowley 236-9 (45 overs)
Bimalka Liyanarachchi 3-28
Charlbury 237-7 (43.2 overs)
Bimalka Liyanarachchi 66
Josh Hornsby 72
Ollie Hollings 35 not out
Charlbury won the toss and elected to bowl first. On a wicket with a lot of grass on it Charlbury decided for the first time this season to bowl first. Jake and Max opened the bowling, but things did not go how Charlbury planned. The batsmen set off like it was a 20-twenty match, throwing the bat at nearly everything and finding several early boundaries. After five overs Yarnton had reached 31-0 and Charlbury had already realised that if they didn’t start taking wickets then it would be a long afternoon and they would be chasing a massive score. Max was managing to get some control over the batsmen, slowing the scoring rate down slightly. A change in the bowling was made after eight overs as Jake came out of the attack and Ellie entered it. The batsmen took a couple of overs to see what Ellie was bowling before trying to attack her. As the batsmen grew in confidence so they began to attack more and Charlbury were going to need to break this partnership quickly if they were to stay in the game. After 13 overs Yarnton had raced to 85-0 and Charlbury were getting more desperate by the over for a wicket. Max now left the attack and Bimalka entered it. Bimalka dropped straight into a great line and length, immediately making run scoring more difficult. A couple of overs later Ellie came out of the attack and Josh entered it. Finally Charlbury got the breakthrough wicket when Bimalka clean bowled one batsman. Things got even better for Charlbury in the next over when the other opening batsman skied one and wicket-keeper Ben took a good catch running backwards. Josh had now settled into a good line and length and with two new batsmen at the crease he was able to control things a bit better. Bimalka was bowling another great spell, getting the ball to turn and getting the batmen in two minds as to whether to attack or defend. After twenty overs Yarnton were 120-2 and if Charlbury could keep taking wickets then they might start getting back into the game. A few overs ticked by and with both bowlers now finding a good rhythm, backed up by some good fielding Charlbury were coming back into the game. One batsman then tried to defend one of Bimalka’s deliveries, missed the ball and was bowled. Josh now took himself out of the attack and brought on Barry. In Bimalka’s next over he managed to get a little bit of extra turn and bounce and all the batsman could do was lob the ball gently to Ellie who gratefully took the catch leaving Yarnton 147-4 off 30 overs. By now Barry had slipped into a good line and length and was starting to cause some problems for the batsmen with his extra pace. With the overs now starting to run out and Charlbury starting to exert some control the batsmen tried to hit their way out of it. A few quick singles were taken and a couple of boundaries hit as the score started to rise. One batsman played the ball out towards Tom Nash and ran, Tom dived to stop the ball and then was quickly up and throwing it at the wicket-keepers end. The batsman was sent back by his partner, but Tom’s great throw had done for him and Ben whipped the bails off to run him out. Next over and Barry grabbed his wicket when he got one to bounce a bit more and the new batman could only lob the ball up in the air for Ashley to take a good catch. Bimalka had now finished his great spell which had got Charlbury back into the game and so Max re-entered the attack. Max was quickly among the wickets when he clean bowled one batsman to leave Yarnton 184-7 off 40 overs. The new batsman threw caution to the wind and just went for it. Barry took the brunt of this attack, despite variations in line and length to mix things up. In the 44th over Charlbury got a bonus when the batsman missed the ball, Ben threw at the stumps, but missed, the batsman tried for a single, but Max grabbed the ball and threw the stumps down at the bowlers end for the eighth wicket. Josh brought himself back on for the last over. With two balls left Josh clean bowled the hard-hitting batsman and this left Yarnton on 236-9.
Charlbury were going to have to bat really well to win the game. Tom Nash and Graham opened the batting for Charlbury. Things started well as Graham smashed the first delivery for four and then in the next over Tom cut one for four. It started to go downhill after that as in the third over one stuck in the pitch a bit and Graham could only lob one back to the bowler to be caught. Ashley now arrived at the crease. In the next over Tom edged one top the wicket-keeper and was caught meaning Ben already had to come to the wicket. Ashley seemed to have calmed things down when he smashed an early delivery to the boundary for four, but two deliveries later he tried to smash the ball back over the bowler’s head, but could only find mid-on who took the catch leaving Charlbury in trouble at 23-3 off five overs. Bimalka now joined Ben at the wicket to try and re-build the innings. Ben smashed one delivery powerfully to the boundary and Bimalka did the same in the next over as Charlbury started to get things back on track. Then disaster struck as Ben miss-hit one and was caught leaving Charlbury 47-4 off eleven overs. Josh now strode to the crease. Josh was quickly off the mark with a single. Josh then launched out hitting a boundary four before launching the bowler back over his head for a big six. A change of bowling was made, but it made little difference to Josh as he put the pressure on the new bowler by hitting his first delivery back over his head for six. A couple of overs later another change was made as the other opening bowler left the attack and Yarnton’s spinner entered it. Josh did not give him time to settle by first smashing him for a big six and then running hard for a three off the last ball of the over. Bimalka was also batting well, just looking for the single when he could get it, but also hitting anything loose to the boundary for four. Josh hammered another big six in the next over and then repeated the feat off the spinner’s second over as Charlbury reached 110-4 off twenty overs. Josh was looking in top form as he hammered the ball to all parts of the ground and with Bimalka finding a couple boundaries as well the score was rising quickly. Another change in the bowling was made as the first change bowler left the attack and another spinner entered it. Josh hit a four off the new bowler to bring up a well deserved fifty. In the spinner’s next two overs Josh hit a massive six in each of them and so he left the attack and one of the opening bowlers came back on. Bimalka smashed another boundary four to keep the pressure on the bowling side. Then disaster struck as Josh missed one and was bowled for a fabulous 72 leaving Charlbury 155-5 off 28 overs. Ollie now entered the fray. Ollie was cautious at first, just looking to either defend or get a single so Bimalka could have the strike, but when a couple of loose deliveries were bowlelld at him he smashed them to the boundary for four. Both batsmen were running hard for every run and the score was still going up quickly. Then a change in the bowling was made as the opening bowler left the attack and the first spinner re-entered it. Bimalka pushed another single and reached a well deserved fifty as Charlbury reached 194-5 off 35 overs. Bimalka then decided to hit out smashing two consecutive, enormous sixes. In trying for a third six of the over Bimalka missed the ball and was bowled for a great 66. Ollie was still there and batting really well, playing defensively when needed, but also running hard for every run. Another change in the bowling was made as the first spinner again left the attack and the other opening bowler re-entered it. Barry had come to the crease, but was not there too long as he prodded one to a close fielder and was caught. Jake now joined Ollie at the wicket with Charlbury 216-7 off 39 overs. It was getting tense as both players prodded the ball around, just pushing the odd single. Ollie then went for it hitting consecutive twos before smashing the next ball to the boundary for four to relieve some of the nerves. Jake calmed things down even more when first ball of the next over he hammered a four to take Charlbury to the brink of victory. The other opening bowler now entered the attack for the 44th over, but he did not worry Ollie as first he hit him for a two and then with scores tied Ollie pushed him away for a single and Charlbury had won by three wickets.
A great win for the firsts built on some great bowling from Bimalka, ably backed up by the rest of the attack and then two great innings from Bimalka and Josh to get Charlbury close before a magnificent knock by Oliver saw Charlbury home – well played lads and lass.
Charlbury 29 points