Charlbury 168 (45 overs)
Ian Johnston 39
East & West Hendred 136 (41.2 overs)
Ian Johnston 5-31
Stuart Atkins 3-20
On a grey day Charlbury entertained East & West Hendred in a top of the table clash. Charlbury won the toss and elected to bat first. Tom Nash and Graham opened the batting. Things started well for Charlbury as Tom hit his first delivery to the boundary for four. A couple of quick twos were pushed along with several singles as Charlbury started to get going. A couple of overs in and the Hendred bowlers started to find their length and line. Tom carved another shot to the boundary as Charlbury reached 17-0 off four overs. Then disaster struck as Graham was wrapped on the pads and given out adjudged LBW. Ashley now entered the fray. Ashley was not at the crease long as a couple of overs later he missed one and was bowled meaning Bimalka had to come to the wicket. Tom was batting in his usual style, defending the many good deliveries, but then looking for ones and twos off anything loose. The bowlers were now really on top of their game and being aided by some good fielding which was making run scoring tough. Bimalka threw the bat at a couple of deliveries, hitting consecutive boundary fours. Next over Tom got unlucky as one delivery kept a bit low and bowled him leaving Charlbury 32-3 off eleven overs. Stuart now joined Bimalka at the crease. Stuart clubbed an early delivery to the boundary for four. Runs were going to be at a premium today and so both players ran hard for every run knowing it could be vital in the final outcome. After sixteen overs a change in the bowling was made from one end. The new bowler quickly dropped into a good line and length and kept the pressure on the batsmen. After 20 overs Charlbury had reached 59-3 and were going to have to press on hard if they were to set a defendable total. Bimalka decided to attack the bowling and smashed a boundary four, but a couple of balls later he miss-hit one and was caught at mid-off for a good 28. Josh now came to the wicket. A couple of overs later a change in the bowling was made after one bowler completed his twelve over spell and so a left arm seamer entered the attack. First over from the new bowler and he clean bowled Stuart to put Charlbury on the back foot again. Ian now joined his captain at the wicket. The runs were coming, but it was still slow going on a difficult pitch against some good bowling. Josh hammered a delivery for four and then smashed two more of the same bowler’s next over as Charlbury reached 94-5 off 29 overs. Then disaster struck as josh tried to hit a big shot, but didn’t quite get hold of it and was caught on the boundary. Steve, returning from injury, now came to the wicket. Ian hit a delivery powerfully to the boundary as Charlbury brought up the hundred mark. A change in the bowling was now made as a spinner now entered the attack. Steve went on the offensive as the left-armer dropped one delivery in short and Steve smashed him over the boundary for six. In his next over Steve powerfully hammered him to the boundary for four. Then disaster struck as Steve danced down the wicket at the spinner, missed the ball and was stumped. Ian was batting really well, defending the good balls, but always on the lookout for a quick single. Tom Eaton now entered the fray. After 38 overs Charlbury had reached 125-7 and still had some way to go to set the total they wanted. Tom hit out at one early on and was caught bringing Barry to the wicket. With the overs now running out fast both players began to run for everything. the spinner had now left the attack and the opening bowler was back on. The left-armer had also left the attack with the first change bowler re-entering it. Both batsmen found a boundary four as the score started to rise quickly. lots of quick ones and twos were also being taken. Last ball of the 44th over and Ian hit a massive six out of the ground. The last over was all about running hard. Ian called Barry thru for a quick two, but the fielding was good and Barry could not quite get back in time and was run out. Jake came to the crease and got Ian back on strike for the last ball. Ian hit out at the ball, but was caught for a great 39 leaving Charlbury 168 all out.
Charlbury were going to need to bowl well if they were to win the game. Jake and Ian opened the bowling and got Charlbury off to a good start. In the second over of the innings Ian found the edge and a fantastic diving catch from Steve saw the catch taken. The batsmen now took a couple of overs just to make sure no more wickets went down before attacking. Jake was bowling a good spell, getting the ball to move around a bit and causing some problems for the batsmen. Ian too was bowling a good spell, using his extra pace to cause some problems, to go with the movement off the pitch. Charlbury were having to attack and this was leaving the boundary open and a few deliveries shot to the boundary. After ten overs Hendred had reached 40-1 and Charlbury were going to need to keep taking wickets if they were to stay in the game. Then Charlbury made the breakthrough that they needed. Ian managed to find the edge of the batsmen scoring most of the runs and Ashley dived forward at gully and took a great catch. In his next over The new batsman just prodded at the ball and pushed it straight to Bimalka who took the catch and Hendred were three wickets down. Jake had now left the attack and Bimalka had entered it. Bimalka dropped straight into a great line and length and with some turn as well he became very hard to play. Charlbury were now fielding well and putting all the pressure on the batsmen as Hendred now started to find runs hard to come by. Bimalka then clean bowled the new batsmen as Hendred lost their fourth wicket. Ian now left the attack and Stuart entered it. In his first over Stuart grabbed a wicket as the set batsman tried to hit out, but could only find Tom Nash at mid-off and he gratefully took the catch leaving Hendred 59-5 off twenty overs. Bimalka was bowling a magnificent spell going for only one run in his first six overs. In Stuart’s third over he found the edge of the bat and wicket-keeper Steve took his second catch of the match. Stuart was bowling a great spell, getting the ball to zip around a bit and using any inconsistencies in the bounce. Then one batsman tried to sweep Bimalka, but hit the ball straight to Josh at square-leg and was caught leaving Hendred 78-7 off 29 overs. The overs were now staring to run out and the required rate was still going up. Finally the batsmen had to attack as the required rate hovered around seven an over, three boundaries were smashed off Bimalka’s last over as Hendred reached 107-7 off 35 overs. Hendred were still in with a chance and Charlbury needed to break this partnership if they were to win the game. A double change in the bowling was made as Ian came on in place of Stuart and Josh brought himself on to replace Bimalka after his fine twelve over spell. In Ian’s second over the breakthrough came as first he got one batsman caught at mid-off by Stuart and then after the batsmen had crossed, next ball he clean bowled the other set batsman leaving Hendred nine wickets down. With the last pair at the wicket and still more than fifty runs required the batsmen just went for it and hit a couple of boundaries as they reached 129-9 off 40 overs. A double change in the bowling was made again as Stuart replaced Ian after his fabulous twelve over spell and then Jake replaced Josh. Jake bowled a good over and gave nothing away, with the batmen forced to run quick singles to score. Second ball of Stuart’s new spell and he clean bowled the number 11 and Hendred were all out for 136.
A great win for the lads built on an all round batting display with Ian the stand out score and then a fabulous bowling and fielding display, with Ian grabbing a five wicket haul took Charlbury too victory – well played lads.
Charlbury 28 points