Five for Thwaites and a Sahil special help KCC off to a winning start
By Kamran Ramzan
72 from Sahil and 40* scored by Sam set up the Kidlington innings before Will rolled over Stonesfield.
Just like that the first game of the year had come already, it was time to put all those net sessions into practice. Kidlington rocked up at Stonesfield on a cool-ish day prepared to battle and welcoming a new member to the KCC family, debutant jamie stothard. Stonesfield put us into bat after winning the toss.
After a bit of deliberation, the opening pair was settled with Sahil Kalyan and Richard Walker reuniting in the middle. The wicket started off quite slow and throughout the innings was up and down with the bounce, not the nicest to start off the season with! Litten was very tight and only gave 2 runs in his first 5 overs. In the 8th over, Richard top edged a shorter ball which flew towards litten at third man who flung himself forward and took an absolute gem of a catch (unseen when he was at Kidlington) to send back Richard for 10. A helmet less Andy Oliver came in next, us all wondering what had happened to his helmet! Sahil and Andy played out the opening spells and then another old friend came on to bowl. Faz was played relatively well, going at 6 runs for his first few overs. The 50 partnership came along with a few boundaries being hit and good strike rotation. Spinner Gubbins successfully tempted Andy and he was bowled going for a big hit. Captain Edd Willmot joined Sahil and stormed off when given LBW to a ball which the keeper was halfway down the leg-side to collect, while the opener had crossed 50 at the other end. Sam Rodway came in at with 13 overs left and the total on 96. It didn't take long for the runs to start flowing from his bat and a wicket seemed unlikely. Sahil was tiring as the over side passed, deciding to retire on a well made 72 that held the innings together. jamie stothard strode out for his time and looked to attack the leg side boundary with some slog sweeps. After scoring a couple, a straighter ball was missed and Gubbins had a second scalp. Ben Bollig and Sam finished off the innings with some good running and a few boundaries to end our innings on 188-4, this felt like a safe total.
The first tea of the season was a pleasant one and we all knew that we now had to focus on the job in hand - to dismantle the Stonesfield top order. Will Thwaites and Kamran Ramzan shared the new ball duties and the first few runs came quickly due to a few loose deliveries. It didn't take long for some action though as Will drew the outside edge of Rednapp from a full toss delivery taken by a flying Edd in the slips to pull off another stunning catch in the day. it was a surprise to see Farrant in next, however Will knew what he had to do and sent him back on his first ball with a peach of a delivery. The hatrick ball was a bit of an anti-climax but the initial damage had already been done. With runs held up at the other end, Thwaites continued his attacking bowling with another wicket in his next over, Stonesfield now shaking at 28-3. Burns was steadily going at the other end and was joined by Gubbins. There was a bit of a quite section of overs after the triple strike and drop catches weren't helping our cause. Chris Graham and Michael Tippet bowled tidily, with a bit of controversy when Gubbins purposely blocked a run out as he ran to save himself. luck seemed to be on his side then Edd Willmot struck and Gubbins departed for 38. The lone warrior Burns had to watch on as Edd had another one, Townsend trapped in front. Ramzan returned for his final 3 overs and took his first wicket off his last delivery to end with a wicket maiden. Thwaites also had 3 overs left and was searching for more wickets. Not long after Burns brought up his half century, he fell as Will's fourth victim. The score was on 150-7 and Steve Litten was struggling to find the middle of his bat. Will had no trouble finding the poles though and knocked him over to complete his five wicket haul! The last few overs granted Sam the opportunity to bowl a couple of overs and we won by 8 runs to cap off a great day.
What a way to kick off the 2019 season! A solid batting, decent fielding and great bowling performance showed that we have the ability to beat a division 1 side. Hopefully this year is our year and and we will be re-enacting days like today all season.