Charlbury 2nd 138-9 (45 overs)
Charlie Sinton 32
Oxford Downs 3rd 79 (31.5 overs)
Ellie Norton 5-31
Andy Glass 3-22
A new season begins with Charlbury’s first venture into the Cherwell League. On a warm bank holiday weekend Charlbury welcomed Oxford Downs 3rd team. Charlbury batted first and so Ajit and Paul Quibell-Smith opened the batting. With the recent wet weather it was always going to be hard to bat first up. The pitch was slow and did not come on to the bat and the outfield was slow meaning boundaries were at a premium and hard running would be required to set a defendable total. Ajit started in his usual manner looking to defend the many good deliveries, but also pushing singles around to try and keep the scoreboard ticking over. Paul too was looking good as he stroked the ball around for a few singles. Ajit hit the first boundary of the season as he cut one delivery to the boundary for four. Both the opening bowlers for Downs had by now settled into a good line and length and with a good field set Charlbury were finding it to get the ball away for many runs. Paul was looking the busier batsman as he pushed a few singles around and he too smashed one delivery to the boundary for four. Charlbury were setting a useful platform from which to build a good score. A change in the bowling was made from one end. Then disaster struck as Ajit was wrapped on the pads and given out adjudged LBW. Andy now entered the fray. The outfield had dried up from the overnight dew, but was still slow and with the ball not coming on the score was only moving along slowly. The fifty mark was passed, but soon afterwards Andy hit one in the air off of the new bowler and was caught. The captain, Charlie, now came to the crease to join Paul. Charlie hit an early boundary to try and get the score moving, but it was hard work. Then disaster struck as Paul edged one and was caught by the wicket-keeper for a fine 28. Richard Nash now came to the wicket to try and help Charlbury re-build their innings after losing three quick wickets. Charlie was his usual busy self, always looking to score a run and attack the bowling. Richard was playing a more defensive innings to make sure Charlbury did not throw away their good start. Another change in the bowling was made as the first change bowler came off and a new bowler entered the attack. Charlie hit a boundary off of the new bowler early in his spell. Richard then hit one in the air and was caught. Neil now came to the crease as Downs made an enforced change in the bowling after their opening bowler had completed his fifteen overs. Charlie was looking good as he stroked the ball around and with Neil just trying to give him the strike the score started to rise. Neil looked in good form as he stroked the ball around. The hundred mark was reached when Neil hit a delivery to the boundary. The overs were now beginning to run out and Charlbury were going to have to push on hard if they were to set a defendable total. Charlie hit one in the air and was caught for a great 32. Carla now came to the crease. The running was hard as Charlbury tried to push the score along in the last few overs. Then disaster struck. First Neil was bowled for a good 20 and then next over Carla suffered the same fate. Matt and Ian were now in, but Matt was not there too long as he was wrapped on the pads and given out adjudged LBW. Abi now entered the fray. A couple of overs left and the running was frantic as Charlbury went for every last run. Ian ran for a quick single, but did not quite make his ground and was run out. Ellie came in for the last few deliveries as Charlbury ended their innings on 138-9.
Charlbury were going to have to bowl well if they were to defend their total. Matt and Ellie opened the bowling and got Charlbury off to a good start. Both bowlers quickly dropped into good lines and lengths and started to cause problems for the batsmen. The pitch was still slow and the ball was not coming on to the bat making things even harder foe the batsmen. Ellie got the first breakthrough when she found the edge of the bat and Abi took the catch behind the stumps. Matt came out of the attack as the pitch was too sluggish for him and Andy entered it. Andy dropped straight into a great line and length and with a bit of movement started to cause problems for both batsmen. Shortly afterwards Ellie got her second wicket when Neil took a good catch. Next over Andy got his first wicket when he clean bowled one batsmen to leave Downs 16-3. The two batsmen now just tried to see a few overs out as they sought to re-build their innings. Run scoring was still difficult, but a couple of boundaries came pushing the score along. The overs ticked by and Downs were just slightly behind the required rate and that was going to be difficult to catch up on such a slow wicket. Then Ellie got the breakthrough as she clean bowled her third victim of the day. Andy was bowling a great spell, getting the ball to move around a bit while bowling everything on a great line and length. Ellie too was bowling a great spell, causing problems for the batsmen every over and making them play and miss often. A couple more fours were hit as the score started to get a move on. Ellie made sure things did not get out of hand though as she clean bowled another batsmen and then in her next over she got her fifth victim when she wrapped a batsman on the pads and he was given out LBW. One batsmen took a stride down to Andy in the next over, missed the ball and quick as a flash Abi whipped the bails off to stump him. Ellie left the attack and Ajit now entered it. The overs were now starting to run out and Downs still had a chance to win the game if they pushed hard. A quick run was taken, but the batsmen did not count on the quick fielding and great arm of Neil who threw the ball in for a run out leaving Downs 63-8. Andy then wrapped a batsman on the pads and he was given out adjudged LBW. Ajit now made way for Paul in the attack and Andy came out of it after his magnificent spell and Charlie entered it. Only one wicket to get and plenty of time to do it. Charlie bowled a great over. Paul then left the attack and Carla got an over. Next over the game was over as Charlie had the last man caught by Abi and Downs were all out for 79.
A great win for the seconds on their debut in the Cherwell League. A great batting performance from Paul and Charlie set up a total and then Ellie, with a magnificent five wicket haul, and Andy tore the heart out of the Downs batting – well played lads and ladies.
Charlbury 2nd 25 points