After overnight rain we arrived in Banbury where things looked a little green, a good toss to win was promptly lost and we were invited to bat. Conditions were tough for the openers with the pitch playing lower than expected and the damp outfield not allowing full value unless the ball was really timed. Early on Paul was bowled by one that kept pretty low, and shortly after Mikey was pinned in front by another that didn’t really get up.
Adriaan Victor joined Tom Smith but found runs hard to come by, and was caught for just 4 of 23, Rich came and went soon after, also trapped in front by another that didn’t get up. At the other end Tom looked relatively untroubled, punishing the rare bad balls and resolute in defence to anything straight. He and Matt led a mini revival and took us past 60 before Matt slapped some buffet leg spin straight to cover, and shortly after, Dave Victor perished in similar fashion.
Kieran Rawlings was next in, he batted patiently and resiliently while Tom accumulated, before Tom finally holed out for 45. Having held back our engine room of Harry and Lala, they found themselves performing a rearguard action instead of upping the rate and both were bowled by impressive young leggie Shiva, Bobby Preston also perishing to him caught prodding in front, but only after having whipped him backward of square for 4. Kieran finished undefeated, surviving 45 balls in a selfless innings for the good of the team.
We finished all out 93 so the dressing room at tea was pretty sober. The atmosphere soured further when it transpired that Victor Bros. Catering had lost the order for Rob Preston’s tuna sandwich and the opening bowler would have to go hungry. Meanwhile the sun shone and the wicket dried….
Matt and Rob opened in defence of our low total, and we struck pretty quickly. Having been talked up by his old club, former Deddy opener Gerry Duncan facing his first ball went for a wild and slash outside off stump and was caught by Victor D off Matt for the 4th duck of the day, but the first primary. You can take the man out of Deddy, but not the Deddy out of the man it seems.
Hungry for more than just tuna, Preston bounded in from the North End (unintentional) and soon knocked over the other opener, and when Matt bowled Banbury’s Cross (again unintentional) for just 3 Banbury were reeling at 20-3.
With a little less juice in the pitch at 5pm, Miller and Prior played some positive shots and soon the scoreboard was ticking over. Without runs to defend we turned to Harry and Tom to keep tight but more shots were played, Prior finally holing out to another good catch from Matt at deep long off for 34 having almost taken the game away from the visitors.
There was still a glimmer when Harry pinned Miller in front, but we had to wait until the scores were level until he struck again with another LBW bringing a very grumpy keeper out to bat, much to everyone else’s amusement but his – but we could not dislodge any further batsmen and were beaten by 4 wickets.
Jedi – Keiran’s Innings batting for the team
MOTM – Tom, making it look easy when no one else could score
Dunce – Rich, losing the toss and failing to trouble the scorers