Batting first, the 1’s posted 212 for 8, based around scores of 40-odd for Tohsif, Mo and Chris Lynch, ably supported by a quickfire 26 for Yatish. The 1’s had the home side on the ropes at 158 for 9, but couldn’t quite deliver the knockout punch as the Clifton number 11 hung on for just over an over to deny the 1’s an outright victory. The 1’s maintain 3rd spot in the table, just 8 points behind Challow and Childrey in second place.
Hosting top of the table Kidlington 1’s at Cutteslowe, the 2’s narrowly lost the toss (owing to an especially springy patch of outfield that afforded an extra bounce of the coin) and were asked to bat. Sam Speight (24) and Ben Madden blunted the Kidlington pace attack before Darren joined Sam to up the tempo and built a partnership of 54 before Darren fell victim to a catch off a full toss that was adjudged to have been below waist-height. Sam fell shortly afterwards, which bought Richie (62) and Tom Murray (48) together for a stand of 106 that formed the backbone of the Wolvercote innings and allowed us to post a competitive 213. The Wolves fielding effort was a captain’s dream as catches stuck (Toby Shelly on the boundary, Usman taking a worldie in the slips, Ben at 2nd slip and Tom, secure behind the sticks), runout chances were taken (Darren stopping the ball after it was seemingly past him and pinging it back to Tom) and bowlers showing great versatility with Toby taking 2, Usman 3 and Samir 4. A very enjoyable game and a fantastic team win, which shows we can beat anyone in our division and moves us up to 5th place, just 2 points behind Shipton in 4th spot.
Away to Witney Swifts 2’s the 3rd XI batted first and posted a very competitive 198 thanks to 54 for Chris Potter and 34 to Will Symington. The Witney reply never got going and they extruded 111 from their 42 overs. Despite an excellent 4-30 from acting skipper Ayyaz, Swifts ran the clock down with 3 wickets in hand to deny the 3’s an outright win.
“Catches win matches” the old adage goes. The 4s learned that lesson at Kennington against Bicester and North Oxford 3, as the visitors scraped home for a 1 wicket win, while we were left to rue the 3 catches that went down. A solid team batting performance led by Toby Spriggings (44) set a par – if not imposing – target of 163 in 38 overs. BNO3 were off like a bullet (42-0 off 5), clearly keen to get to their club’s 150th anniversary celebration in a hurry. Simon P (5-48) rolled back the years and when Gareth took a stunning running catch at mid-on, belief coursed through the Wolfpack and our noses were in front at 107-7 in the 23rd over. The Wolves spurned the victory when the BNO3 number 11 was dropped when they were just a few runs short and the visitors got over the line with one wicket in hand.