Banbury Clinched the Oxfordshire indoor cricket title at Blackbird Leys last night.
Hostile pace bowling from Simon Launder and Ed Smith, well supported by the guile of Olly Murray, saw to a spirited and talented young Cumnor side who failed to chase Banbury’s 92.
Banbury’s innings started slowly despite some lusty blows from Murray, but the innings was revived by some excellent running by Smith and Launder. Smith was even involved in a rare ‘5 runs’ from one ball as he and Jimmy Phillips managed to run twice off the last ball of the Banbury innings, a very rare occurrence in indoor cricket.
In the end it was the quality of Banbury’s bowling that brought the title home.
Semi Final report by Steve Beck:
Our semi final against Sandford was due to start at 8.00, and 5 minutes before the start both teams only had 4 men. Fortunately for Sandford there two players were close to Blackbird Leys, only one turned up for us due to a communication breakdown.
Having agreed that we would field first with 5 men, early wickets proved vital, with 2 run outs (one with a very lucky bounce off a door frame straight back to the keeper!!)
Launder bowled 2 good overs, with the majority of the deliveries close to or just above shoulder height.
Sandford did recover well after the early setbacks, but with good bowling from all the 4 Banbury bowlers ( Launder, Smith, Murrey and Beck) they managed 83. Two very good innings from Cox and Smith. (both retiring on 25+)
The chase was always going to be a tricky one, and after a steady start we lost both Olly and Hawts with the score around 25. With some quick running and the occasional boundary the chase Launder and Becky reduced the rate to less than a run a ball. Becky retired needing 14 to win. The next ball launder was out caught. But the game was won with a over to spare as Crazy hit a 6. Launder finished with 20 and Beck 32 no.
After the final Banbury Captain Steve Beck had this to say:
“In the final Fielding with all 6 was a bonus, as the big hitting Cumnor team looked to play some extravagant shots… There was some good bowling by the Banbury boys, Olly deceiving the batsman with his slower ball first up (I’m not sure it was deliberate) and also some good work from Hawts behind the stumps.
A big thanks has to go out to Jimmy and Luke, who both turned up after the semi to ensure we had 6. And Luke did a great job as scorer, far better than his wicket keeping”
Unfortunately an understrength Banbury lost to Warwickshire Champions Stockton at Blackbird Leys on Sunday in the national competition.