Charlbury 213-8 (53 overs)
Ajit Shah 32
Ben Forrester 111 not out
Bletchley Town 203-9 (47 overs)
Ashley Rump 5-52
Charlbury won the toss and on a warm day decided to bat first. Tom Nash and Ajit opened the batting for Charlbury as the season moved from win-lose cricket to timed matches. The opening bowlers from Bletchley quickly found a good line and length and started to cause some problems for the batsmen. Tom hit the first boundary as he put one shot thru the covers. The disaster struck as Tom was wrapped on the pads and given out adjudged LBW. Ashley now came to the crease. Ajit got himself off of the mark by hitting one delivery over the slips heads and to the boundary for four. Ashley tried to whip one delivery away, but missed it and was bowled leaving Charlbury 15-2 off of seven overs. Ben now strode to the crease. Both batsmen now just took a couple of overs to make sure Charlbury did not lose any more early wickets. Ajit was looking good with the bat as he defended the good deliveries and then looked for ones and twos. After ten overs Bletchley made a change from one end a new bowler entered the attack. Ajit played a late cut and grabbed another boundary four and then next over Ben played a fantastic cover drive to the boundary for four. Ben was starting to look in a bit of form as he stroked the ball around for a few early singles, making sure the scoreboard kept on ticking round. After 17 overs Charlbury had reached 40-2 and were looking to set a good platform from which to build a good score. Ben played another couple of drives thru the covers and to the boundary for four. Another change in the bowling was made as the new bowler left the attack and a spinner entered it. The spinner quickly settled into a good length and line and Charlbury contented themselves with just pushing ones and twos around. Bletchley were bowling well and were making both batsmen work for every single run. Ajit played a very late cut to the spinner and the ball flew to the third man boundary for four. After 27 overs Charlbury had reached 70-2. Ben was by now batting superbly well, hitting the ball on both sides of the wicket and starting to find runs slightly more easily. Ajit too was batting well, constantly looking for the quick single. A change in the bowling was now made as the opening bowler finished his spell and the other opening bowler replaced him. Ben played another sumptuous cover drive to the boundary for four and then Ajit hit the returning bowler for four as well. The opening bowler was then replaced in the attack by a new spinner. Then disaster struck as Ajit tried to sweep the new bowler, missed the ball and was bowled for a good 32. Graham now entered the fray and pulled his first delivery to the boundary for four. Ben then hit another four to bring up a well deserved fifty. Graham tried to pull one more delivery, but it kept a bit low and bowled him meaning Bimalka had to come to the crease. Bimalka was now there too long as he was wrapped on the pads by another low delivery and was given out adjudged LBW. Marcus now joined Ben at the crease. After 37 overs Charlbury were 125-5 and now needed to start pushing on as the overs were beginning to run out. Both players now looked to push a few singles around as the bowling side looked to tighten their grip. Ben hammered another delivery to the boundary as Charlbury looked to start pushing on. Marcus was then wrapped on the pads and given out adjudged LBW and so the captain, Ollie, had to come to the crease. Bletchley now changed their bowling around again taking one spinner off and bringing on a medium pacer. The bowling change had the desired affect as the new bowler wrapped Ollie on the pads and he was given out adjudged LBW leaving Charlbury 143-7 off 43 overs. Barry now strode to the crease. Not many overs left, but now many wickets left either so Charlbury had to be careful how they approached it. Barry then attacked the ball, smashing two deliveries in one over to the boundary for four. One of the opening bowlers now returned to the attack. Both batsmen played him around for a couple of singles in his first over. Ben then launched the spinner for six before Barry repeated the dose with a huge six to end the over. Next over Barry hammered a boundary four before the batsmen exchanged singles. Ben then hit consecutive fours to end the over and bring up a well deserved hundred, the first by a Charlbury player in the Cherwell League. Next over Barry went to hit another six, but was caught on the boundary for a hard hit 26. Dean now came to the wicket for the last couple of overs. The opening bowler left the attack and the fourth change bowler re-entered it for the last over. Charlbury hit the ball around with Ben finding another boundary four to finish on a magnificent 111 not out and Charlbury ended their innings on 213-8.
Charlbury were going to have to bowl well if they were to win the game because if Bletchley did not want to go for the runs then they could just look for the draw. From the off it was clear Bletchley were not looking for the draw as they attacked from the off. Jake and Ollie opened the bowling and got Charlbury off to a reasonable start. A couple of early boundaries were hit as both bowlers slowly settled into a good line and length. Jake grabbed the first wicket when one batsman tried to smash him back over his head for six, but got too much loft on the ball. Dean ran back fast from his position at mid-on and took a brilliant catch low down and close to the boundary. Ollie took himself out of the attack and brought Marcus on in his place to try and keep the scoring down. The batsmen continued to hit out especially the other opening batsman, Charlbury would need to get him out if they were to get anything out of this game. Then Jake got his second wicket when the new batsman tried to go over the top of mid-off, but Ollie was wise to it and moved swiftly into position to take a good catch leaving Bletchley 55-2 off nine overs. Marcus took a couple of overs to settle down, but slowly started to find his length and line. Jake now came out of the attack and Bimalka now entered it. Bimalka quickly settled into a good line and length and between him and Marcus they managed to slow the run rate down. The hard hitting opening batsman managed to finds a couple of boundaries and both batsmen looked for a few singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Charlbury were fielding well and backing their bowlers up with many fine dives that saved runs. After 19 overs Bletchley were in command at 87-2 and Charlbury were going to need to start taking wickets if they were to make a game of it. The overs ticked by with both batsmen pushing singles and picking up the odd boundary, Charlbury were now getting desperate for the breakthru wicket. The hundred mark was passed and still no wicket and both batsmen were starting to grow in confidence. Marcus then came out of the attack and was replaced by his brother Ashley. Ashley made a quick impact on the game as in his second over he wrapped the hard hitting batsman on the pads and he was given out adjudged LBW. First ball of his next over the batsman ran a single, but a mix-up in the calling saw one batsman run for a second and the other now move. Tom quickly fielded the ball and threw it to wicket-keeper Barry, Barry threw the ball to Ashley who threw the stumps down to run the other set batsman out. Charlbury were back in the game as Bletchley now had to new batsmen at the crease and were 147-4 off 32 overs. Bimalka was still bowling beautifully, getting some turn and causing some problems. Ashley had now settled into a good line and length and the batsmen were finding him harder to get away. One batsman then tried to flick Bimalka for six, but could only find Ashley stood on the longest boundary and he gratefully took the catch. Next over things got even better for Charlbury as the new batsman tried to hit out at Ashley, but Jake was on the boundary and took a good running catch. Charlbury were now right back in the game and any one of three results were still possible. The batsmen now just looked to push a few runs around to keep them in touch. Then one batsman hit a big six to try and break the shackles the bowlers were starting to impose. Then there was a big over for Charlbury. First Ashley wrapped one batsman on the pads and he was given out LBW and then later in the over the new batsman had a big swing at one, missed the ball and was bowled leaving Bletchley 178-8 off 40 overs. Bimalka had now finished his allotted overs and so Jake re-entered the attack, but only for one over and then Marcus replaced him. Ashley then grabbed his fifth victim of the day when the middle order batsman who was looking to take the game away from Charlbury missed one and was bowled. 43 overs gone and Bletchley were 200-9, the game could still go either way. The batsmen now settled for the draw instead of taking risks which might have lost it and only a couple of runs were hit in the final few overs as they finished on 203-9.
A good result for the first team after recent games built on a fabulous innings by Ben and then backed up by Ashley’s great bowling display – well played lads on getting a winning draw.
Charlbury 16 points