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Home » Match Reports: 17 June 2023

Match Reports: 17 June 2023

First XI

Every hour wounds and the last one kills.

Well, it had to end sometime and this week marked the first defeat of the season for the 1’s. As our bowling has been so effective this season, our batting line-up has been denied a fair crack of the whip. This turned out to be the week we were tested as Kingston won the toss and elected to bowl in near 30 degree heat. Our top order had a wobble, with some uncharacteristic failures and we found ourselves at the dreaded 40 for 4. Richie and Sahil did a fantastic job of rebuilding, adding 56 for the 5th wicket and when Richie fell for 31, Mo continued the good work with Sahil, shepherding us to the 43rd over and adding 47 for the 6th wicket, taking the score to 132. This put us back in the game and meant we could have a dash in the last 10 overs with 5 wickets in hand and try to get the score up to the 200, which we reckoned was par. Unfortunately, we suffered a tail end wobble as we lost 3 quick wickets in the next 3 overs and when Kalpa fell LBW in the 49th, Babbs and Barkat were left to navigate the last 4 overs and managed to get us up to 173 after taking the last over for 13 to give us some momentum going into the break.
There was rain during the interval, but thankfully not enough to deter anyone from recommencing battle. The Kingston openers clearly liked pace on the ball and our 173 began to look slim as they raced to 85 without loss after the first 15 overs. The introduction of spin from both ends changed the dynamic completely and Kingston first began to labour and then wickets fell as Ben, Yatish and Gus all held their chances and we were back in the hunt. The pressure built as Sahil and Kalpa bowled their hearts out for the team, vocally supported by the victorious 3’s (lead by the especially loquacious Phil Walsh). By the 34th over Kingston were running through treacle and were 134 for 4, the extra 40 needed to win seeming a long way off.  However, they persevered and the runs started to trickle again. One last roll of the dice brought Barkat and Muaz back into the attack and claimed an extra wicket, however, Kingston got over the line with 5 wickets in hand and three overs to spare. Overall, although we were little behind the game all the way through, we fought hard right to the end and I think we can take pride in that. If I’d have had the nous to introduce spin even earlier than I did, we might yet have pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Next week, we’re off to Farringdon to try and get back on track.
Report by CB

Second XI

After travelling to the wrong Banbury ground (that’s why I publish the post code Bri!) we arrived at the ground, ready to take on Banbury 4s. Another hot day, another toss won, the 2s took the field first.

Opening up this week was our skipper…the returning Toby. Early pressure was applied again at both ends leading to two early wickets for Toby, putting Banbury on the back foot. Quick changes came again as the openers were replaced by Tariq and Majid with Toby finishing with an impressive 2-12 off 5. Brian also finished on 7-2-15-0. This meant at 20-2, the opposition decided to drop the anchor. Over after over passed, with the score hardly changing until a brilliant piece of fielding broke the partnership. Brian, brilliantly flying through the air with a salmon dive to strike the middle stump just in time, removed #4. Despite Tariq and Majid continuing to apply the pressure, the opener remained. After another long, but not costly partnership, the opener finally left the crease after an innings that [redacted at request of author] would have been proud of, and leaving the opposition in need of some acceleration. Tariq finishing the day on 8-3-11-0.

Changes in the attack continued as the Green Goblin struggled to remember which strip he was bowling on this week, most likely due to him partying like it was 1998 the prior evening. The next wicket fell as the club’s history teacher bowled an old timey slower ball that was met with an equally old school celebration as the bail split on impact with the ground. As the run rate slowly built, Grandad managed to finally select the right set of stumps to claim a brilliant run out from a direct hit from the boundary. Deepak was brought on as a specialist closing bowling. Majid picked up another, however Banbury survived the overs setting 146. Majid finished his day on 15-2-38-2, whilst Deepak ended on 3-0-18-0

The chase began with Tohsif and Sam Ryder’s long lost brother at the crease. Tohsif began the attack with 2 big 4s but was caught out. However, the pair had set the tone well. Dan was the next man in. The pair did a great job of seeing the shine of the ball. Sam was the next to go as he was beaten by a very good ball. Deepak fired a quick dozen before Chris joined Dan with the Wolves 58-3. With Potter’s long strides and Dan dabbing the ball round the pitch the runs piled on. Dan achieved his first 50 for the club and Chris played a fantastic supporting role, not giving the opposition any chances. A partnership of 89 saw us across the line to remain top of the 5B table.

This week the MOTM, despite many great performances, was Daniel D’Hotman with his score of 73* meaning we eased to victory.

Report by SP

Third XI

Four on the bounce leaves Wolvercote 3s suffering from altitude sickness at number three in the league, just the one point shy of second-placed Vale.

The 3s bowling unit accosted Shyju before the match and convinced him that, despite dream batting conditions, we should have a bowl. I suppose, begrudgingly, that, given how things transpired, they may have had a point, and I should now shut up and quit moaning… what followed was something of a massacre.

Ajay started brightly, demolishing the stumps of Challow and Childrey opener Hales in his fourth over, and dismissing his partner, caught Scott, in his sixth, while, first, 3s debutant Miles Bratby, and then The Irf, toiled up the hill at the other end without making inroads. It wasn’t until the eleventh over, with the introduction of Jamie Scott, that the visitors’ innings fell apart. The young all-rounder is very keen for me to point out that, in the main, he bowled beautifully (2 for 15 off 5). However, proving the old adage that “s&@t takes wickets”, it was with, first, a full bunger, and, then, a rank long-hop, that the opposition’s numbers 4 & 5 were caught skying a ball to Shyju and, bizarrely, surrendering their middle stump respectively. Irfan then came to the party as the young Harkness held on to one of Kollituta’s more aerial efforts with the bat. The Challow number 3 never looked comfortable at the crease, so it is a testament to what came next that he ended by top scoring for the visiting team with 17. What came next I hear you ask? Harkness came next. Channelling the spirit of the late Shane Warne, the Wolvercote Leggy dispatched the Challow middle order before they could work out what happened. First Hill stood slack-jawed and befuddled as he was bowled round his legs, then Roache, who had just sent one delivery straight back down the ground, ran out of gorm and tried the same trick twice, only to find the waiting hands of the Wolvercote skipper. That same skipper then, wisely, brought back Bratby, but this time with the assistance of gravity, and both were rewarded with the scalp of the slightly obdurate older Westmorland, whose son had opened the batting, for 15, and a maiden 3s wicket for Miles. Challow, in recompense, were rewarded with a rare five as one of Bratby’s deliveries found the discarded helmet of Darren Jones, who was kindly standing in in standing behind the sticks. Ben then made short work of the final two – the first bowled, and the second caught in the slips by Quinn (a man over four times his senior) – to finish with the decidedly unshabby Wolf-of-the-Week figures of 4 for 6 off 2.3. A bowling masterclass.

The Wolvercote reply began with Shyju smashing a quickfire 16 (including a dismissive swipe for a maximum) before he was caught behind off the bowling of Roache. His partner, the left-handed Crouch, unaccustomed to facing genuine outswing, struggled for fluency against the same bowler. It was, therefore, a bit weird when Challow removed their opener from the attack after only four overs. Relieved of his tormentor, Crouch then drove and cut his replacement, including a brutal on-drive, and a cheeky uppercut over the slip corden, either one of which would, with all humility, be this author’s candidate for shot of the week. The occasional elegance of his stroke play was not, however, matched by his running between the wickets: There are geologists working on the San Andreas subduction zone that are now puzzled by the sudden spike on their seismographs that we know to have been caused by a “quick” single that would have been three on a different pair of legs! At the other end, Walsh rode his luck and toyed with the Challow slip array; sending not one, but three, chances their way, and picking up 9 runs in the process. With the Wolves within sight of victory, and Walsh starting to find his radar, The Chairman decided to try to wake the prostrate Ajay, who was supposed to be moving the effing sight screen, and aimed to biff Geekie straight back over his head to where Ajay lay a slumber. He missed. Geekie hit. And Symington (4) was left to mop up the final few as Crouch departed with 31, and Walsh remained undefeated on 17 or 21, depending on whether you believe the book or the batter. Either way, the damn scores still don’t add up, but nobody cares as it was obvious who had won! Next week: Harwell International.

Report by DC

Fourth XI

The question, as the 4s departed victorious from beautiful Shipton-under-Wychwood, was whether any of opposition had played with Sam Mendes in the side that lost the 1997 final of The National Village Knockout, or perhaps in the victorious Shipton teams of 2002 or 2003? While some of their players certainly were of the right vintage, it appears that their collective claim to fame comes courtesy of J Woods who returned figures of 3-17 when he led the attack for Shipton 2s against our 2s a few weeks back. He took 3 wickets again yesterday, but also leaked 46 runs. Which surely settles the question of who would win in a straight contest between the 2s and the 4s. Consider the gauntlet thrown down, Brian!

Skipper Lohan lost his 3rd toss on the trot and, push-ups for late arrivals out of the way, we were soon in trouble at 16-3 after 9 overs as we replaced our traditional middle order collapse with a top order wobble. Opener Marc L (24) smartly realised that in boy-of-the-match Jim L (77) he had found a batting partner in fine touch and rotated the strike cleverly in a 53-run partnership. After Marc fell stumped with his bat stuck on the crease line, Phil L (28) was talked through his innings by Jim who visibly grew in confidence as he displayed a full range of strokes all around the wicket, highlighted by 11 fours with his punishing pull shots particularly pleasing on the eye. We were well placed at 147-5 after 29 overs and Jim accelerated beautifully in the company of returning wolf Naveed G who looked fluent after 3 cricketless seasons in a fine knock of 36*. Tom B’s sharp running at the death threatened a runout for his out-of-breath senior batting partner, but they stayed together and we were able to declare our innings closed after 40 overs with 3 wickets in hand and a mighty 218 runs on the board.
Shipton’s reply got off to a stuttering start as our opening bowlers Stuart R (2-26) and Tom (2-24) accounted for their openers before either had troubled the scorers. Enter our change bowlers Simon “Senior Citizen” Palmer (3-23) and Samarth “Rashid” Agnihotri (3-19), who nipped every budding partnership in the bud, bowling with remarkable control and no little guile. They were backed up brilliantly in the field where Hugo dP saved at least 20 runs patrolling the vast leg side, and not a single catch was dropped – even though Alex Bs juggle in the slips to gift Samarth his first senior wicket for the club had hearts in mouths. Tom B held onto an absolute stunner running backwards up the hill to prevent a certain 6 at deep long on, and after a ball had dropped just in front him, followed by one just over his head, Simon finally manoeuvred the skipper into the right position at short cover to take a simple catch at the third time of asking (86-7 off 20). Keeping the pressure on by taking wickets at crucial moments, the task of batting out for a draw was just beyond Shipton and we wrapped things up in the 27th over when returning opener Tom had the last man caught by Ibi Z at short cover – a ball the batsmen certainly saw crashing into the boundary boards before Ibi grabbed the bullet around his ankles to win us the game by 101 runs.
Moment of the match came when virtually the entire Shipton team walked over to congratulate Jim on a fine knock when he was finally dismissed after a 27-over stay at the crease. Dad Nigel L had the best seat in the house, umpiring both ends and beaming from ear to ear. The win sees us remain in 5th, but only 1 point behind 3rd!
Report by PL

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