25 May 2022

Having entertained the Oxfordshire Bulls U12 and U13 sides in two exciting games during the week, this weekend the Cricket Club took on Winchester College in a block of fixtures that is traditionally very competitive. At Winchester, the 1st XI lost the toss and were asked to field first and Winchester got off to an excellent start, scoring freely in the first power play. It took until the 16th over to claim the first wicket, when Connor Lamsdale spun one through the gate of one of the openers, with Winchester very well set on 86. The spinners bowled the majority of the middle overs and managed to reign the run rate back a little but some positive batting in partnerships ensured an extremely competitive target of 308 for the loss of 9 wickets. Tom Hughes (3 for 32) and Arthur Sheppard (2 for 51) being the pick of the bowlers.

Meanwhile, the 3rd XI started their match on the adjacent pitch, again asked to field first. Winchester batted well and maintained a healthy run rate throughout their innings, setting a ‘run a ball’ target of 180 for Abingdon to chase. Losing early wickets, it looked a tough ask to get close to the target, but some positive middle-order striking took the side to the brink of a magnificent chase. Sadly, the regular loss of wickets was to be their eventual downfall, with the final wicket being lost in the last over with 8 runs still required in a very exciting conclusion.

On War Memorial, Winchester batted first in the 2nd XI game with the visitors making 127 for 5, helped by some ‘friendly’ Abingdon fielding! The consistent loss of wickets in the chase meant that the hosts were always chasing the game and never quite up with the run rate, and despite Amar Mattu’s 36, the side fell 11 runs short for the loss of 8 wickets.

Starting their chase, the 1st XI lost two wickets quickly. The innings looked to be gathering some momentum for the 3rd wicket with some positive batting and running between the wickets until the unlucky dismissal of captain, Caspar Mannix, who was stumped down the leg side off a wide, which triggered a middle order collapse. With the target remaining a long way off, George Owen and Arthur Sheppard put up some rearguard resistance, with Arthur making 27, but the side fell a long way short of the target, bowled out in the 39th over.

The U15 sides, also away at Winchester, enjoyed success at both A and B team levels, whilst the C team lost by 16 runs, having been set 131 to win. Charlie Hunt starred with the bat for the A team, with 59 and spinners Arlo Hyman (3 for 19) and Ethan Barksfield (5 for 6) made short work of Winchester’s middle and lower order batsmen to bowl them out for 113, chasing 197 for victory. In the U15 B match, Abingdon batted first and were eventually bowled out for 131, with Roddy McVie top scoring with 33. In response, Winchester remained in the game right until the last few overs, but some excellent bowling from George Coombs (4 for 16) and Oliver Matthews (4 for 15, including a hat-trick!) meant that the hosts fell 8 runs short in an exciting and eventful innings.

At Cox’s Field, the U14 sides managed a clean sweep of victories. The U14 As won by 7 wickets having been set the target of 160. Sam Grocutt making 35, Charlie Sutton 30 and Ethan Day 40 not out to chase down the total comfortably. The U14 B and C teams both played in two-innings matches. The U14 B team won by 9 wickets, with Joe Evans taking 4 for 16 and Niam Scott-Ram making 32 not out, and the C team victorious by 8 wickets with Rob Lloyd taking 3 for 13 and Will Masterson 30 not out to finish the game.

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