Charlbury 222-9 (42 overs)
Graham Atkins 74
Stuart Atkins 67
Oxenford 91 (36.1 overs)
Ian Johnston 5-15
Oxenford won the toss and with rain expected later in the day elected to field first. Tom Nash and Graham opened the batting for Charlbury. Things did not start well for Charlbury as in the third over Tom miss-hit one straight to a fielder and was caught meaning Nik had to come to the crease. Graham had started slowly as he was just trying to get himself in on a pitch that was doing quite a bit. Graham eventually got going in the fourth over when he pushed a couple of hard run twos and also hammered one to the boundary for four. The outfield was slow after a heavy shower in the morning, so to get value for your shots hard running was required. The Oxenford bowlers had slipped into a good line and length early on and with the movement they were getting off the pitch run scoring was becoming tough. After eight overs Charlbury were 24-1 and some light rain was now beginning to fall. Then Nik edged one and was caught low down in the slips and Charlbury had lost their second wicket. Steve now strode to the crease and was off the mark first ball when the bowler dropped it in short and Steve pulled it to the boundary for four. Both batsmen were on the lookout for the quick single and ran several twos. Graham flicked one down the leg-side and to the boundary for four before Steve finished the over pulling the ball for another boundary four. The rain was now coming down harder and so the players left the field with Charlbury 52-2 off 14 overs. After a short break the players returned and it was decided to shorten the match to 42 overs a side. Quickly after the resumption Charlbury decided to put their foot down. Graham hammered another boundary before Steve finished the over off with consecutive boundaries. A double change in the bowling was made and this made the breakthrough. Steve smashed one bowler for four, but in trying to repeat the feat next delivery he skied the ball and the wicket-keeper took the catch. Stuart now strode to the wicket. Graham was looking in good form now and was confidently playing his shots on both sides of the wicket. Stuart looked in good form from the off as he crashed an early boundary. More runs followed as Charlbury pressed hard to set a defendable total. Graham pulled a no-ball to the boundary for four and reached a well deserved fifty. After 20 overs Charlbury had reached 97-3. Both batsmen were looking for the quick single and with some hard running were picking up a few twos as well. Stuart hit another couple of deliveries to the boundary to take Charlbury over the hundred mark. Another change in the bowling was made as the first change came off and a spinner entered the attack. The spinner settled straight into a good length and line and both batsmen were finding him hard to get away. Stuart was now batting really well, stroking the ball on both sides of the wicket and picking up singles and hitting boundaries. Another change in the bowling was then made as another spinner entered the attack in place of the second change bowler. The new bowler struggled with his line in his first over, bowling several wides. After 30 overs Charlbury had reached 150-3 and with the overs now running out Charlbury were going to need to accelerate their innings if they were to set a defendable score. Then disaster struck as Graham edged one to first slip and he took a very good catch low down and Graham was out for a fantastic 74. Ian now entered the fray, but wasn’t there too long as he hit one in the air and was caught. Ollie now entered the fray. After 35 overs Charlbury had reached 163-5. Stuart now started to put his foot down, hitting two fours off one of the spinners. Next over Stuart hit a massive six to go to a well deserved fifty and then followed it up by hitting a four. Ollie was just looking for the single to get Stuart on strike. Next over Stuart hit another massive six before pushing a two. Then disaster struck as Stuart tried to hit another six, but did not quite get hold of it and was caught on the boundary for a great 67. Barry now joined his captain at the wicket. Both batsmen were looking for the quick single in the final couple of overs. Ollie called for a quick single, but the ball was quickly fielded and Barry was run out. Dean now came to the crease. In the penultimate over Ollie was bowled meaning Jake came to the crease. Dean was looking good as he stroked a couple of singles around and then hammered a boundary four. Jake edged one to the keeper and was out and so Max came to the crease for the last ball. Max smashed the ball over the fielders heads and it flew off for four as Charlbury finished on an impressive 222-9.
Charlbury were going to have to bowl well if they were to win the game and so Jake and Ian opened the bowling. Charlbury got off to a fantastic start with the ball as in the first over Jake clean bowled one batsman. In his second over the other opening batsman edged one down the leg-side and Steve took a fantastic catch. After six overs Oxenford were 5-2. Jake had settled into a great line and length and was causing problems for the batsmen with every delivery he bowled. Ian too had settled into a good line and length and was getting the batsmen to play and miss several times an over. None of the Oxenford batsmen were finding things easy and with the wicket drying out from the earlier rain the bowlers were finding some movement off the pitch. Then Ian had a massive over. Second ball of his fifth over and Ian found the edge and Steve took the catch. Next ball he clean bowled the new batsman. Now on a hat-trick the field was brought in and the batsmen surrounded, Ian ran in and bowled, the batsmen missed the ball and was bowled giving Ian his first ever hat-trick and leaving the Oxenford innings shattered at 7-5 off 10 overs. Charlbury were now in total control of the game. A couple of overs later and Ian grabbed his fourth wicket when one delivery kept a bit low and bowled one batsmen. Jake now came out of the attack and Stuart entered it. Ian then grabbed his fifth wicket when one batsman edged the ball and Barry caught it in the slips leaving Oxenford 17-7 and giving Ian the incredible figures of 5 wickets for 2 runs off eight overs. The two new batsman now just dug in and made sure no more quick wickets fell, they also now looked to just try and play Ian out. Stuart came out of the attack and Dean entered it as Charlbury looked to finish the innings off. The overs ticked by with the score moving along slowly and by the time Ian finished off his magnificent spell Oxenford had reached 49-7 off 24 overs. Now it was just a matter of time to see if Charlbury could take the remaining wickets before the overs ran out. Barry now replaced Ian in the attack. The batsmen had been playing very cautiously, only looking for singles and the odd boundary. In his second over Barry made the breakthrough. Barry had been taking the ball away from the batsmen, but suddenly he bowled one that came back in, the batsman left it thinking it was going away from him and was bowled. Dean was bowling a good spell, tossing the ball up and teasing the batsmen to try and go after him. Barry too was bowling a good spell, getting the ball to move around a bit and not conceding many runs. After 30 overs Oxenford had reached 66-8. A couple of overs later Barry grabbed another vital wicket when he clean bowled one batsman to leave Oxenford nine wickets down. Barry now came out of the attack and Max entered it. The game was soon over when the last man tried to hit out at Dean, but could only find Ian who took a good catch and Oxenford were 91 all out.
A great win for the lads set up by some fantastic batting by the brothers Atkins and then an outstanding display with the ball from Ian, backed up beautifully by Jake, Barry and Dean – well played lads.
Charlbury 30 points