Charlbury 227 (48.4 overs)
Tom Nash 69
Tom Harris 61
Long Marston 2nd 224-7 (51 overs)
Charlbury won the toss and on a hot day elected to bat first. The two Tom’s Nash and Harris opened the batti9ng for Charlbury and got them off to a great start. Nash got the scoreboard moving when he cut one along the ground thru the slips and to the boundary for four. It took the Marston bowlers a couple of overs to find their lengths and lines. Harris then hit a four when he played a lovely shot thru the covers. Tom Nash was playing well, defending the good balls, but always on the lookout for the quick single. Tom Harris too was batting really well, again defending the good deliveries, but also pushing ones and twos around to keep the scoreboard ticking over. After 8 overs Charlbury had reached 26-0. Both players hit another boundary four as the scoreboard started to move along. Long Marston were bowling well, but both batsmen were able to punish the loose ball and with a quick outfield anything that beat the inner ring was flying to the boundary. After 14 overs a change in the bowling was made as a left arm bowler entered the attack. The new bowler struggled a bit with his line and bowled a couple of wide deliveries. Tom Harris was taking control of the innings, facing most of the deliveries and scoring at a good rate. Tom Nash was just looking to give Harris the strike, but when the ball was there to be put away he duly sent it to the boundary. After 18 overs Charlbury had reached 61-0 and had now set a good base from which to score a big total. The left armer was still struggling with his line and when he bowled several wides in one over he came out of the attack and a left arm spinner entered it. Tom Nash clattered the spinner to the cover boundary in his first over as he tried to dominate from the off. Tom Harris then played two lovely shots, one thru the covers and then the other to a wide mid-off and both shots went for four off the opening bowler. Another change in the bowling was made as another spinner entered the attack in place of the opening bowler. Both players now contented themselves with pushing a few singles to keep the score moving along. The 28th over was a big one with both batsmen finding the boundary as Charlbury reached 108-0 and Tom Harris reached a well deserved fifty. With a good base now set the batsmen had to push on hard to set up a defendable total. A couple of overs later Tom Nash pushed a single and he too reached a well deserved fifty. Then disaster struck as Tom Harris pushed at one and the ball flew straight to a close in fielder and he took the catch and Tom was out or a great 61. Graham now entered the fray. A couple of overs now ticked by as Charlbury tried to make sure they did not lose another quick wicket. Tom then reeled off three consecutive boundary fours to get the score moving again. Graham then followed this up in the next over with three fours in four balls as Charlbury started to push hard for home. One of the spinners now left the attack and another medium pacer entered it. Graham clattered him to the boundary for four, but next delivery in trying to go over the top and hit a six he was caught on the boundary leaving Charlbury 163-2 off 38 overs. Bimalka now entered the fray. Then Charlbury hit a sticky patch. A mix up in the calling saw Tom just short of his ground to a direct hit and run out for a magnificent 69. Next ball Barry jabbed down on it, but the ball spun back, hit the stumps and he was bowled. Marcus now joined Bimalka at the crease. Next over Bimalka was wrapped on the pads and given out LBW and so Ben Geeson-Brown entered the fray. Things then went from bad to worse when Marcus was wrapped on the pads and given out LBW meaning Steve had to come to the crease. After 42 overs Charlbury were 178-6 and still had eleven overs to bat. Ben then went on the attack. First he hit a massive six, then next ball he smashed it for four. Steve also joined in the fun hitting a couple of boundary fours off of the next over to take Charlbury over the 200 mark. A change in the bowling was made as the fourth change bowler came out of the attack and one of the opening bowlers entered it. In his first over back the new bowler clean bowled Ben for a hard hit 27. Ollie came to the crease. Steve then tried to hit the spinner for six, but did not quite get hold of it and was caught on the boundary. Dean now joined his captain at the wicket. The game was moving along quickly now as Ollie edged one and was caught by the wicket-keeper meaning Jake came to the crease. Then Charlbury got a bonus when one delivery alluded both Jake and the wicket-keeper and then as the fielder threw the ball in it hit the helmet and Charlbury were awarded five penalty runs. Next over Jake was wrapped on the pads and given out LBW to leave Charlbury 227 all out.
Charlbury were going to have to bowl well if they were to win the game as Long Marston gained all of the unused overs from Charlbury’s innings. Jake and Ollie opened the bowling and got Charlbury off to a reasonable start. Both batsmen attacked the ball from early on as they sought to get in front of the required rate. The outfield was still quick and so several deliveries flew to the boundary for four. Then in the sixth over Ollie got the breakthru when he wrapped a batsman on the pads and he was given out adjudged LBW leaving Marston 29-1. Both bowlers had settled into good lines and lengths and were causing some problems for the batsmen, who played and missed several times. The batsmen continued to attack and the boundaries continued to come , although not many singles were being taken. After twelve overs Ollie took himself out of the attack and brought Ben into it as Charlbury continued to search for wickets. Jake bowled one more over and then he was replaced by Bimalka. Ben quickly dropped into a good line and length and started to make run scoring more difficult for the batmen. Bimalka was unusually for him hit out at in his first over, but then he dropped into his usual miserly line and length. After 18 overs Marston had reached 91-1 and Charlbury were going to need to keep taking wickets if they were to stay in the game. Marston had 51 overs in which to reach their target so Charlbury were going to have to keep the pressure on. One batsman decided to attack Ben and hit some runs off of him to keep the run rate going. Ben left the attack and Barry entered it as Charlbury now began to get desperate to get the breakthru wicket. A couple of overs later Bimalka left the attack and Dean entered it. Dean made the vital breakthru as one batsman tried to smash him, missed the ball and was bowled, now Charlbury were back in the game. After 28 overs Marston were 135-2. Barry was bowling a great spell, getting some bounce and a little bit of movement. A double change in the bowling was then made as Bimalka re-entered the attack and Marcus entered it as Charlbury looked to strangle to life out of the Marston innings. In his second over back Bimalka grabbed a wicket when one batsman hit the ball in the air, Barry moved to his left, stuck out his big hands and took a good catch. A couple of overs later things got even better for Charlbury as the new batsman hit the ball straight back at Marcus and he gratefully took the catch. Long Marston were 165-4 off 36 overs, it was going to be tight. The number three batsman was still there and Charlbury would need him out if they were to stand any chance of victory. In his next over Marcus got another wicket when one batsman played a low drive, but hit the ball straight to a diving Bimalka who took a great catch. Charlbury were now right back in the game. The overs ticked by with the batsmen content to just push a few singles around and trying not to take any risks. Marcus was hit for a few runs in one over, but next over Bimalka kept Charlbury in the game when the new batsman lobbed the ball back at him for a catch. Long Marston were 195-6 off 43 overs. Marcus came out of the attack and Barry re-entered it. Barry was on the mark from ball one, he dropped straight into a fantastic line and length and immediately caused problems for the batsmen. Barry also got a bit of bounce out of the pitch which surprised the batsmen. Then Charlbury got the wicket they needed. The set batsman tried to hit out at Barry, but hit the ball high in the air and Tom Harris ran in from the square boundary to take a fantastic catch. Now it was down to the lower order to get the necessary runs. 216-7 off 49 overs, one a ball needed for the last two overs. An early boundary off of Barry looked to have sealed it for Marston, but Barry came back with some fantastic deliveries to mean Bimalka had six runs to defend. The batsman attacked too hard, looking for the boundary rather than the single and could only manage two in the last over as Charlbury hung on for a winning draw.
A great draw for the lads built on two fabulous innings at the start from the two Tom’s and then a great all round bowling and fielding display – well done lads.
Charlbury 15 points