1st XI off to a great start in the Home Counties Premier League

The first team had the best possible start to their Home Counties Premier League campaign with a closely fought victory over Reading. The 2004 HCPL Runners up won by 3 wickets with 5 balls to spare to come out on top in a closely fought contest.

Reading had a solid start with Perkins and Shaw putting on 52 for the opening partnership.

John Wolstenholme picked up his first league wicket for the Club in dismissing opener J Perkins (32) in his second over to provide the breakthrough with the score on 52 and then in the very next over Paul Taylor had S Shaw (18) caught by Craig Haupt at 2nd slip without any addition to the score.

Two more wickets fell with Taylor picking up both, Fray (21) and Barr (6), which left Reading on 85 for 4. However, resistance came from Reading with a fine 5th wicket partnership between J Neilson (44) and D Barnes (31) who put on 70 runs between them. Young left-arm spinner, Luke Ryan also on his Premier League debut broke the partnership picking up the wicket of Barnes, stumped by Danny Harding with the score on 155.

V Aeri (29) and R Kirk (32) then produced another partnership of substance worth 51 for the 7th wicket taking the total to 218. But it was the return of Taylor that brought a swift conclusion to the Reading innings. With the addition of only six more runs, the veteran left-arm seamer firstly dismissed Kirk, then with the very next ball comprehensively bowled Mike O’Sullivan and David Harltey was also bowled completing Taylor’s first ever hatrick in a career spanning 25 years.

Banbury’s Director of Cricket finished with figures of 6 for 54 off 16 overs that rounded off a solid Banbury performance in the field.

Banbury’s innings got off to the worst possible start with Mark Rorich being run out by Paul Taylor with the score on 11. Taylor (24) and Craig Haupt (43) then took the score to 48 before Taylor was caught at the wicket off the bowling of Hartley.

Haupt and skipper, Richard Kaufman (78) then produced a fine partnership of 58 to take the score to 106 but then the dangerous Hartley struck dismissing both Haupt and Steve Beck in successive deliveries to leave Banbury on 106 for 4. Kaufman and the in-form John Wolstenholme (47) then produced the partnership of the match. They batted for 20 overs together scoring 96 match winning runs before Wolstenholme was run out.

With 22 still needed off only 4 remaining overs the game was still finely balanced but sensible batting by the lower order brought the scores closer together and it was Ollie Murray, hitting the first ball of the last over for 4 that clinched victory.

It was a great all-round team performance that sets things up nicely for the visit of HCPL champions, Henley, to Whitepost Road this Saturday.

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