Holton & Wheatley vs Appleton
Sunday 8 August 2010
Original Report by Simon Switala
Holton score of 200 is just too much for Appleton
So, after what seems like no time at all, it was time for the last home game of the season. Our opponents, Appleton, usually put out a pretty strong team, but like quite a few teams this season they played a couple of youngsters, something H&W can only dream of! Unbelievably, H&W actually won the toss! Despite some dodgy pitches at Brookes this season, the strip looked in reasonable shape and captain Guy Burford decided that H&W would bat.
In a rare outing this season, Peter Cowdrey looked in fine form, stroking the ball to the boundary on a number of occasions. His opening partner. Alan Banyard, found the going a bit tougher and struggled to put bat on ball. In the 13th over, Alan eventually departed for 8, clean bowled. This brought Simon Switala to the crease. He featured in two strong partnerships - firstly putting on 63 with Peter and then a further 88 with Binoy Master. Peter just missed out on a half-century, unluckily bowled off his body with the ball trickling up against the stumps. Binoy played forcefully, hitting 6 fours in his knock of 37. Simon completed his second half century of the season and H&W reached the psychologically important milestone of 200 with two runs off the final ball of the innings.
Appleton got off to a good start, with both openers looking comfortable at the crease. Then with the score on 31, the batsmen attempted a cheeky single to a leg glance. However, wicketkeeper Simon Switala swooped on the ball and then had a shy at the wicket and, to everyone's amazement, actually hit the stumps and run out the non-striking batsman. The next batsman also looked strong and at 104-1 the game seemed to be drifting away from H&W. Then Guy Burford brought himself on and immediately turned the game back in H&W's favour, taking three vital wickets, one of them with the help of a fine diving catch behind the stumps by Simon. Then Mahesh P and Kiran Nair picked up two wickets each as Appleton's run chase began to falter. Despite some sloppy fielding, including a dropped catch when Guy and Binoy collided with each other, the visitors began to fall behind the required run rate and by the time of the last over they needed around 20 to win. They finished on 186 for 9, falling 14 runs short, giving H&W a fine win to conclude the campaign this season at Brookes.