Andy makes 87, Jed takes 4 and Terry bags the match ball in Kidlington 2nds’ most convincing victory for 2 years!
By Kamran Ramzan
By Jonah Clarke
With the firsts’ game having been called off for rain on Thursday, the second team were lucky enough to get a game in the Cotswold hills, albeit the chance of 90 overs being played was essentially zero. Hook Norton won the toss and chose to field first, perhaps with an eye on the limited overs hoping that they could chase down a lower total in the late afternoon sunshine.Andy Oliver
and Josh Swadling
headed out to a drizzly pitch to open. After blocking out the first few deliveries, Swadling was bowled out in the first over as the ball eluded his straight bat and debutant Terry Bagnall
came out. He and Oliver began to settle and really go through the gears, hitting some fine shots and rotating strike well, managing to score frequent boundaries on a very slow and soggy outfield. Their impressive partnership came to an end when Bagnall was bowled out for 37 with the scoreboard on 98, a solid foundation for the team. The middle order had an unfortunate time as the weather was tricky, and some wickets fell to the middle order batsmen with Oliver still going but the new batsmen failing to add much to the scorecard for themselves. After Jack Launchbury
and Jed Launchbury
respectively dragged on to their wickets, a batting collapse was on the cards, but Jonah Clarke
came on and managed to get bat to ball; he and Oliver ran well and as the overs approached the reduced deadline of 30, the pair agreed to hit everything and run ambitiously with a view to adding as much to the scorecard as possible. This proved effective as they ran plenty of doubles where there might otherwise have been singles and squeezed quick singles out of nothing shots. Around the 28th over, Oliver, undoubtedly tired having batted well from the start, swung and missed in a continued attempt to add quick runs to the scoreboard and was bowled out for 87 by Reeve who eventually took 6 wickets in total on the day. Clarke encouraged Jacob Oliver
to continue his Dad’s tactic of smashing and running and Oliver Jr. got 2 before being bowled by Reeve and then Aman Kalyan
took to the crease and got a single out of nothing as Clarke was keen to have strike for the final ball, as the rain started to pour. Two runs from the final ball left Kidlington with a very respectable 163 from 30 overs, given the conditions.
Both teams spent a good hour in the changing rooms after tea and it didn’t look likely that we were going to get any more cricket with one end of the track where the keeper would have to stand and the other bowler would have to bowl from was very squelchy and wet. Eventually, after another 45 minutes of good sunlight the umpires decided to let the game go ahead.
Hook Norton’s first 3 batsmen showed signs of quality and could have been a real threat, but first changes Jed Launchbury
at one end and Bagnall at the other snuffed out any danger of the openers really getting their eyes in and accelerating through the gears with both taking wickets soon after coming on and keeping the pressure up. Credit has to go to the whole team, though, as the fielding was exceptional at times, with Nick Jeacock
taking a good catch and Tim Rodway
saving three runs with a superb diving stop low to his right that a Premier League goalkeeper would have been proud of. Kidlington’s bowlers bowled admirably and there was quality fielding all round with Clarke and Oliver Jr. patrolling the downhill boundary and saving lots of fours. Hook Norton batsman Lovat was looking dangerous, having survived two dropped catches and a couple of strong LBW shouts (some more genuine than others) he hit some good shots including a huge six, but eventually he was caught by Oliver Jr. who held on well. For the second game running Clarke took a big catch to help turn the innings in Kidlington’s favour but they Kiddy boys kept the pressure up as the required run rate began to slip away from Hook Norton, who only managed 98 from 25 overs having required 143. Kidlington only got 9 wickets and 10 would have been nicer but the victory was secured, and we now have back to back wins under our belt which is a nice feeling. Notable performances include Andy Oliver
who scored half our runs, Terry Bagnall
who helped get the scoreboard ticking with a 96 partnership with Andy as well as taking 3 key wickets, Jed Launchbury
who took four wickets and Josh Swadling
whose solid keeping allowed us to keep the Hook Norton runs to a minimum and win more comfortably than we otherwise might have.