Away at Wooton and Boar’s Hill the 1’s were asked to bat first and posted 223 for 7 thanks to 53 for Sahil Jamnadas, 38* for Mark Child and 30 for Richie. This proved too far for the home side as once Nik King and Anthony Benson were out, they folded to 177 all out with their chief tormentors being Yusuf Rahim (3 for 31 and match hero Sahil J – 3 for 34). This means the 1’s finish 3rd in Division 5C.
Having overhauled Kidlington last week, the 2’s needed to beat 6th placed Sandford St Martin to maintain the top spot in Division 5B. Given that we had a tense run chase at the damp away fixture in July and only won in the final over of the rain-reduced game thanks to a beautifully paced 73* from Darren, this had the potential to go awry. The Sandford skipper helpfully lost the toss and Babbs elected to make use of the overhead conditions and bowl first. This was quickly justified as Yatish (4 for 14), returning to the fold, reduced Sandford to 19 for 5. Sandford fought back as their talented left hander made 34 with a series of fierce drives, which were mostly stopped by Usman at mid off and flicks to the vacant square leg area. However, drinks brough the wicket as Usman, in an inspired fielding change brought Darren out of slip and into short cover and proceeded to bowl a jucy full-toss outside off, which drew a full-blooded drive straight into Darren’s stinging hands. Whether by design or Mother Cricket’s good offices, that was the cue for Samir to wrap up the Sandford innings as he dismantled the lower order, just as surely as we’d dealt with Tom Murray’s shed in the morning, to finish up with 3 for 21. Sandford brought a serious bowling attack with them and Madden showed patience and respect as we suffered an early wobble as Tom Murray was trapped LBW by Richard Murrey to lose the battle of the mints. Sandford’s nemesis Darren strode to the wicket and batted circumspectly and well within the box at first, before opening his shoulders to crash 2 gigantic sixes, the second of which sealed our place as top of the division. This rounded off a remarkable 5 match winning streak, which included 3 of the top 4 teams in the league. The final result of top spot is a fitting one for an extremely enterprising, supportive and generous bunch of Wolves that I have been extremely proud to be associated with this season.
Report by CB.
The Third XI triumphed over Oxford 3’s by chasing down 177 with 2 wickets in hand. Ajay was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 25, whilst the run chase was a real team effort with Tom Akerman (33), Sajad Khan (27), Irfan (36*), Dan Shaw (20) and Captain Fantastic Naseer Khan (17) all helping the 3’s get over the line and up off the bottom of Divsion 6C.
At home, but in unknown surroundings in Fringford, the 4s finally lost a toss and were asked to field first by promotion chasing Oxford 4s. The opening overs contained plenty of intrigue, including the recalling of a batter that had edged the ball onto his pad, a brute of a delivery that exploded off the pitch, and a succession of bowlers struggling to adjust to the uneven runup at the far end, helping extras to another unwelcome half century. At 52-4 in the 12th over, we were in the ascendancy, but 14 year old Patrick had other ideas, pacing his innings beautifully to score a maiden century before Tom B safely held onto a catch to dismiss him. Pick of our bowlers was Hijrat M (5-32 off 8); Julius C’s direct hit from extra cover to run out the obdurate opener was electric, and the scorebook entry “ct D Robinson, b S Robinson” makes for particularly happy reading.
Set 237 for an unlikely victory, Alex B (23) confidently knocked off the runs he needed to nudge him to over 300 for the season while our innings got off to a stuttering start (51-4 after 14 overs). Skipper Phil L (63) completed his personal mission of hitting a maiden 50 before he turns 50, with great knocks (and lung-busting running!) from Danny R (21) and Hugo dP (17) providing lower order resistance. We were all out in the 40th over for 195, giving Miles B just enough time to send the ball screeching over the boundary from the first delivery he faced.
Big shout out to our wolves of the day: Simon P had only just gotten to Fringford before we asked him to turn around and help the 3s off the bottom of the table, and Tom B stepped in at no notice to make sure we had a full strength XI in the 4s. Big thanks also to Ramesh who umpired calmly and with a smile throughout!
Report by PL