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President's Match

Sunday 4 July 2010

Phil Knox (143x173, 5773)

Original Report by Phil Knox

President Secures Victory over Captain

On the day of the year that Americans were celebrating their Independence, Holton and Wheatley Cricket Club were celebrating their annual Captain’s XI vs President’s XI match.

Both teams lined up with a mixture of past and present Holton players, as well as a couple of guest players to fill in the gaps! The Captain’s XI, led by skipper Guy Burford, won the toss and elected to field, putting current club President, David Peddy and his men into bat.

After much discussion at previous committee meetings, it was decided to stick with the tried and tested 45 over format, with our much welcomed County umpires commencing play at around 11:30am.

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Graham Nichols (Mark Fenn in the field)

Graham Nichols and Simon Switala opened the batting for the President’s XI, facing somewhat contrasting styles of bowling from Kiran at one end and Sean Shannon from the other. Kiran was the first to find out how unsympathetic County umpires are to wide bowling and this would turn out to set the tone for the remainder of the day. Sean was deploying his calculated, looping deliveries, often yorking the batsmen on the second bounce, which initially proved problematic for the opening pair. However, both batsmen soon gained confidence and began to find the boundary on regular occasions. The President’s XI were 58 for 0 at the end of the first 10 overs.

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Sean Shannon bowling "cartwheels" 

John Simpson and Binoy were introduced into the bowling attack in hope of reducing the run rate and ending the ever growing partnership. It wasn’t long before the change brought rewards and in his third over, John took the much needed wicket of Graham Nichols, bowling him for 29.

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Graham Nichols eyes up a short one 

Mahesh now entered the fray but two further wickets soon fell in quick succession. Having taken over from his fellow countryman, Kiran, Binoy took two wickets in the 19th over. The first saw the other opener, Simon Switala, bowled out by an unplayable Yorker for 30 runs. The President’s son and former Oxfordshire CCC player, Giles Peddy, came in at no. 4 but much to the delight of the Captain’s XI, soon found himself following Simon back the pavilion, without having troubled the scorers.

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Kiran puts his back into it

Simon Littlewood joined the action with his side at 85 for 3, keen to maintain the good form he had already shown so far this season. With the President looking on, he and Mahesh didn’t disappoint, putting on a 4th wicket partnership of 45 runs from 53 balls. It was all-rounder Mark Fenn that brought an end to the partnership; Mahesh out lbw for 24 and his side now 130 for 4. This wicket brought an end to the morning session and the two sides left the field of play to indulge in the culinary delights of Guy and Alison Burford.

Alan Banyard took to the field after the lunch break and was tasked with facing the bowling Sean, now in his second spell of the day. Having survived a number of tricky balls, Alan decided to go for the pull to try and get off the mark, but found Phil Knox fielding at deep square leg and was victim to the only catch of the innings.

John Kelly was next to partner Simon in the middle, but both batsmen would soon be walking back to the pavilion, as two more quick wickets were to fall. Simon was the first to depart, Mark Fenn knocking his stumps over. Simon’s 32 would turn out to be the highest contribution of the day, well, behind extras that is! The President’s XI were now 151 for 6 and that would soon become 7, as John Kelly became Binoy’s third wicket of the day.

Now it was down to Mark Deacon and Graham Hawkins to attempt to raise the target with 10 overs remaining. With Mark remaining defensive at one end, Graham was keen to score runs at every opportunity and aided by a very generous decision by the umpires, found the boundary on three occasions. However, Graham’s stay was short lived, as Binoy struck yet again, bowling his opponent for 14 runs.

John Simpson was re-introduced to the bowling attack in hope of finishing off the tail enders. Sure enough, another wicket was to fall, Mark Deacon unable to score from the 18 balls he faced. The Captain’s side now confident of setting themselves a gettable target, chasing the final wicket at 174 for 9.

Now it was time for the President himself, David Peddy, to remind everyone of his ability with the bat. Joined by Ahmad, another of the ever growing Indian contingent, the two frustrated the fielding side and put on a last wicket partnership of 41 from just 32 balls. With thanks to the newly implemented scoring software used by the club, I can tell you that Ahmad ended with a very impressive strike rate of 108.3!

The Captain’s side were unable to secure the final wicket they desired and the President and his men were able to see out the remaining overs, ending with a score of 215 for 9.

Peter Cowdrey and the skipper himself, Guy Burford, opened the batting for the Captain’s XI, chasing a target of 216 to win the match. Things started well for the pair, their side ahead of the required run rate after the first five overs, 26 without loss. However, it was the sixth over that would see the first wicket fall, Guy trapped lbw from the bowling of John Kelly for 16 runs. The President’s XI had taken a crucial wicket; Guy more than capable of putting in a match winning performance.

Having lasted just three balls with the bat, Giles Peddy was given the opportunity to redeem himself with the ball. The move paid dividends and Peter was soon exiting the scene with his bat under his arm, another successful lbw appeal. 59 for 2.

John Simpson came in at number four to join Mark Fenn at the crease. Mark, having hit a 50 in his only other game for the club, was again showing his obvious class, regularly despatching the ball to the boundary with ease. However, the third wicket was not far around the corner and, moments after an appeal for a catch behind the stumps was turned down, the fielding side finally did get their man. It was the bowling of Ahmad that did the damage; Mark Fenn out for 25 from just 27 balls.

Next in for the Captain’s XI was Phil Knox, a player desperate to find some form with the bat this season. He will be pleased that, along with the experienced John Simpson, the pair were able to keep the bowling attack at bay and built a decent partnership of 35. But that was to come to an end, having just scored a nicely swept 4, Phil was deceived by one of John Kelly’s slower balls and was stumped by the ever alert Simon Switala. The Captain’s XI now found themselves 117 for 4 with 20 overs remaining.

Simon Robinson was next in line to join John in the middle. Yet again, a reasonable partnership was forged as 26 runs were scored in 5 overs. However, the promising display was soon ended and with it perhaps the Captain’s hopes of overcoming the President and his side. The crucial wicket of John had been taken, Simon Littlewood taking a good catch out on the boundary from the bowling of Graham Hawkins. Just moments later and another wicket had fallen, Simon bowled in the same Hawkins over. 144 for 6 now.

The batting side’s fate now lay in the hands of their two Indians, Kiran and Binoy, both capable of scoring runs and mounting a challenge to save the game. The team were on a slippery slope, though, and were unable to regain their footing. Binoy lasted just four balls, after being tempted by an Alan Banyard delivery, who had been brought into the bowling attack. Kiran’s new partner, the young Robin Taylor, was unfortunately run out just 5 runs later; Kiran attempting a quick single that caught the youngster unaware.

Simon Taylor passed his son on the way out into the middle, desperate to halt the flow of wickets. The tide was not to turn and the re-introduction of Giles Peddy would ensure a swift end to the proceedings. The damage was done with two successive deliveries. Simon the first to go, his stumps unprotected, before Sean Shannon made the briefest appearance of the day, out lbw the very next ball, leaving Kiran the only man left standing on 14. The President had secured a well deserved victory and despite making a reasonable start to their innings, the Captain’s XI had fallen well short of the required target, ending up all out for 166 from just 37 overs.

Due to the excessive number of extras awarded and the subsequent extended length of play, the teams were more than ready to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. The majority advanced onto Robert and Sonja Barter’s for a BBQ and the club were most grateful for their hospitality yet again. The President and the Umpires delivered their traditional speeches, before the President himself collected the victor’s trophy. This year, the Man of The Match award was presented to Simon Littlewood for his contribution of 32 with the bat and for taking the crucial catch of John Simpson. As ever, the day had been enjoyed by all who took part and the club move on looking forward to the remainder of the season.