1st XI

With Barkat sequestered away in deepest darkest Wales for the weekend vice captain Brian won the toss on an overcast morning at Cutteslowe and asked Kidlington to bat first. On a fast and true Cutteslowe track (yes, you read that right) wickets fell regularly to prevent Kidlington getting much momentum. Rahul bowled with express pace, Toby floated up his away swingers and Kunal strived for the elusive yorker and all three deserved more than the two wickets that they took between them. The Kiddy opener rode his luck, including a possible catch off the back of his bat when sweeping Amit, which was taken behind the stumps by Gus. After that he never looked back and became increasingly confident in working the ball around, taking 157 balls to carry his bat for 110 and help his team post 219 for 6 in their allotted 50 overs. The Wolvercote response could have made an omelette with 5 duck eggs on the scorecard, only Toby showed any resistance to make 31* before he ran out of partners in the 29th over and the 1’s came off second best in a tense, and ocassionally terse, encounter. The 1’s finished 7th in a tightly grouped division 5c, with only 20 points separating them from 4th place. The day finished with both teams retiring to the White Hart where all differences were reconciled.

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2nd XI

The 2’s had the tightest finish off the day. They were delighted to restrict Brill to just 109 from 34 overs with Payno being the pick of the bowlers, claiming 4 for 24 in 9 overs and Madhav (2 for 14) and Darren (3 for 21) accounting for the rest of Brill’s batting line up. After a solid 42-run opening partnership from Cam and Ben there was a middle order collapse until skipper Rich ‘ice man’ Oliver stopped the rot and together with number 11 Sam Payne saw the 2’s home with just one wicket in hand in the 36th over. Proper squeaky bum time! Great finishing skills. This means the 2’s finished 2nd in their division and are guaranteed promotion to tier 5 next year. Huge congrats on an awesome season!

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3rd XI

Away to Hook Norton the 3’s batted first and posted a very creditable 222 for 7 off their 45 overs. This was a real team effort, anchored by a solid 58 from Marc Lewis and five of the top six making more than 20 and Ajay and Abeer getting into the paper with 30 plus. All the bowlers were miserly, with Ayaaz taking 4 for 12 being the pick of the bunch. Not all superheros wear capes as the 3’s factored in rescuing a dog from the back of a car whilst gaining their richly deserved win. All this means they finish in 2nd place, well clear of the pack and guaranteed promotion to Division 5. Brilliant work!

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4th XI

After Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts 3 forfeited last week, we were delighted they were able to field a side for the final game of the season. We put them into bat under heavy skies, and while we weren’t quite able to tease out any early wickets, we enjoyed drinks after 20 overs with the opposition having made no more than steady progress against the express pace of Miles B and Tom S (82-0). Once Norm made the breakthrough to open up one end, wickets fell at regular intervals with Ibi’s running catch of Ben Harkness’s cunning leg spin and a quite brilliant run-out by Hashim A the highlights. Towards the latter part of the Nondies’ innings the set opening batsmen (126*) accelerated away in partnership with their missing eleventh player (Extras 58*) to post a formidable 245.

As the sun threatened to make an appearance, Alex B and Ali D got our chase underway with a chanceless half century partnership. We went to drinks marginally ahead on the worm chart, but without four of our batsmen (87-4 after 20). Phil L and Tom S set about steadying the ship until the skipper missed a straight one (134-5). Contributions from the lower order brought the equation down to 46 runs from 2 overs, and as the first ball of the penultimate over sailed for 6 the impossible suddenly seemed thinkable. Tom S (58) was last man out trying to repeat the trick next ball having played beautifully for his maiden half century.

Beaten on the day, but very proud for posting our highest ever score (206), the 4s have come a long way from the first game of the season where we struggled to 65 runs for the loss of our entire team. Climbing to our highest position in the league on the final day (6th out of 12 teams) feels like a fine reward for a wonderful first season. Thank you to all who turned out for the 4s, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

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