Holton & Wheatley
Sunday 16 August 2009
Original Report by Phil Knox
Holton Ease to 7 Wicket Victory
Following the final home game last week, Holton travelled to Charlton-on-Otmoor to resume the remaining five away fixtures of the season. On arrival, it wasn’t easy to distinguish quite where the cricket pitch actually began! Fortunately, the groundsman came, marked out the White lines and went, but not before driving over one of the opposition’s kit bag. That would later sum up Charlton’s afternoon!
Charlton won the toss and elected to bat, with the opening partnership of the Cooper brothers taking to the field. They made a composed start, although, without troubling the scorers, the breakthrough soon came with Phil Wood taking the wicket of W Cooper – a ball nicked down the leg side, caught by Simon Switala diving to his left. His brother was soon following him into the Pavilion, as the Captain, opting to open the bowling from the opposite end, was skied up into the air allowing Graham Nichols to take an easy catch at mid-wicket. Guy took another wicket soon after, before ‘The Grahams’ were introduced to the attack with immediate success! Two short balls from Nichols, both longing to be pulled to the boundary, were somehow missed by the batsmen and landed conveniently on top of the stumps.
Their relatively young batting line-up were struggling to accumulate runs and at five wickets down, were relying on the introduction of the experienced Robinson and Launchbury to steady the quickly sinking ship. Both players accelerated the run rate, but were having to play big shots to do so, which gave the bowlers hope of yet more wickets tumbling. Low and behold, with John Kelly taking over from Graham Nichols, Launchbury drove straight into the hands of Peter Cowdrey fielding in the covers. Holton were now into the tail and although Robinson tried to stay around, the wickets continued to follow and he fell victim to the bowling of John Kelly, given out lbw.
John Simpson was at the opposite end and succeeded in bowling out their under-12 tail enders! He finished with figures of 3-11, the first one going to an lbw decision and the other two batsmen outwitted by the guile of the bowler, both turning round to see the bails lying on the ground. Charlton-on-Otmoor all out for 72, with half an hour still to go before tea!
Bowler O M R W
P Wood 4 2 7 1
G Burford 6 2 11 2
G Nichols 5 1 18 2
G Hawkins 5 1 8 0
J Kelly 5 1 14 2
J Simpson 5 1 11 3
So, with a target of just 73 to win, Holton shuffled the batting order slightly, giving Simon Switala and Peter Cowdrey the chance to open. With no pressure to score quick runs, the batting was unhurried in the first few overs leading up to the tea break. Soon after the restart, Simon looked to step things up and struck a glorious six, only to be bowled for 14 by Launchbury just a couple of balls later, 24-1.
Matthew Johnston came in at no. 3 and signalled his intent to finish the match by playing some positive shots. However, it wasn’t too long before another wicket fell and Peter was also heading back to the Pavilion, finding the fielder at square leg, again off the bowling of Launchbury – Holton now 40-2.
Phil Knox was next in line and managed to survive the remainder of the over and avoid a second duck in a row! The following two overs added 23 runs and drew victory ever closer, Matt and Phil both taking advantage of the short bowling. In the 19th over, Matt looked to play over the top but hit his shot straight up in the air and was out for 21, Crawford taking the catch off his own bowling, 70-3.
With three runs left to win, John Simpson came in lower down the order at no. 5 and confirmed victory in the 21st over with a cover drive to score the winning run - a comfortable win for Holton & Wheatley!
Batsman 4s 6s
P Cowdrey caught b Launchbury 11 2
M Johnston caught b Crawford 21 4
P Knox Not Out 13 1
J Simpson Not Out 1
J Kelly did not bat
P Wood did not bat
G Hawkins did not bat
G Nichols did not bat
G Burford did not bat
Total 3 for 73