Horspath vs Holton & Wheatley
Sunday 19 April 2009
Original Report by Alan Banyard
Encouraging start to season, but Holton come second.
As far as we know, this is the earliest in the year that Holton have played cricket. Yet, by good fortune, after some mid week rain, the weather was absolutely glorious with sunshine reminiscent of a nice day in June.
One problem with playing so early is with raising a team, what with the football season reaching its climax. As it turned out, two players were ill on the day and so we found ourselves a bit short.
Now by good fortune, this was one of our favourite fixtures, and Horspath being the very sporting club they are, had no problem bringing in a couple of talented youngsters to take us up to full strength.
The wicket was only slightly damp and played well, although a few kept low. The outfield was surprisingly quick.
Vice captain Neil Robinson was in charge, won the toss and promptly elected to bat.
John Simpson opened the batting as usual and was joined by a new partner, Phil Knox. Horspath opened with fast medium Moon and Ealey. John played out a maiden for the first over and Phil got us off the mark with two in the next. The pattern continued with good resistance from John to see off the new ball and Phil playing a few shots and after 10 overs we were 24 for none. After that, Phil took a few risks and hit eight boundaries in all, many of them deliveries short of a length pulled over the infield. At half way drinks, we were a promising 69 for none. John had given a single chance, but was dropped.
Horspath brought on left arm leg break bowler Krol, who managed to get a lot of turn from the drying wicket. Soon after, Phil lobbed one too many and was out for an excellent 47 (out of 69 for 1), his highest score since joining Holton a couple of years ago. Hugh Kitchen came in next and was caught off the same bowler.
That brought in Mark Fenn in his first game for Holton. After a few deliveries, it was clear that he knew how to bat and before long had hit three successive boundaries. But with the score at 106, John finally holed out for 22 and Horspath guest, Matt followed on the same score. As we tried to push up the rate towards the end of the innings, wickets fell rapidly as Alan Banyard, guest M Sadiqi, Graham Hawkins and Mark Deacon came and departed. However, meanwhile, Mark was still batting beautifully hitting three more boundaries and a couple of big sixes (one hitting the roof of the pavilion) and reached a magnificent debut 53 not out. Neil Robinson achieved a single off the last ball to complete Holton's innings at 162 for 8 after 40 overs.
TOTAL (40 overs) 8 for 162
1 - 69 2 - 76 2 - 106 4 - 106 5 - 111 6 - 126 7 for 132 8 - not recorded
10 overs 24 for 0 20 overs 63 for 0 30 overs 107 for 4
Holton have not so far won a game against Horspath in about four attempts, however the mood in the camp was that we had posted a reasonable score on a slightly damp wicket, which should make for a good challenge.
With both Holton keepers absent, Mark Fenn took the gloves. Graham Hawkins opened the bowling and bowled a very tidy spell of line and length for five overs. Mid spell, Graham should have had a wicket, but the opportunity was put down. At the other end, the young lad M Sadiqi (guest) was bowling some good medium pace. Very soon, he had embarrassed a couple of his more experienced league playing colleagues with two fine deliveries, one an in swinging yorker, the other a shorter delivery which also came in. Horspath were 45 for 2 and Holton were definitely in the game.
Next up were John Simpson and Matt Herman (guest). Both bowled well and kept the run rate down, but they couldn't quite achieve a break through (partly due to some dropped catches). One of the chances was a difficult one to Phil Knox at square leg. Phil got a "little" finger to it, and ouch, dislocated finger. By good fortune, the Horspath umpire was an expert at dislocated fingers and provided a quick and painless fix (twist!).
Neil then brought on himself and Alan Banyard to see if a reduction in pace could achieve a desperately needed breakthrough. It was Holton's good fortune that Eason, having scored a quick fire 53 retired with a slight injury and next over Krol was bowled by Banyard for 39. The two top scorers had left the field and when the fourth wicket then fell to the same bowler the score was 127 for 4 and Holton were just about in it.
Despite a very accurate spell from Neil Robinson and a second spell from John Simpson, Holton couldn't make any further inroads. Horspath reached the required target with just 13 balls remaining.
Horspath won by 5 wkts (ten aside game)
Some Match statistics