Banbury 4ths in convincing win over Oxford Downs 3rd’s

Banbury 4th’s hosted Oxford Downs 3rd’s at home in an important match for both teams in the top 3 of Division 8.

Banbury won the toss and elected to bat first.  With Down’s opening bowlers bowling a tight line to start with, Banbury made a steady start before Anas Ahmed was first to fall for 12, leaving Banbury 23-1 off 7 overs.   Jamie Mitchelmore and Kieran Scott then put together a solid partnership to put Banbury on the road to a good first inning score.  However, as the run rate slowed, the pressure started to mount on Banbury, with Mitchelmore finally out for an very well made 70 trying to force the scoring.  The partnership between Mitchelmore and Scott realised 96. Richard Lambden made a quick 22, after which Adnan Ahmed was run out, to leave Banbury on 155-4 off 35 overs.  Although Ollie Murray hit a couple of huge sixes, Banbury started to lose wickets regularly, including Kieran Scott for 50 followed by 3 wickets in one over.  After the excellent start, Banbury spluttered to 192-9 off their 45 overs.

With Banbury’s turn to bowl, a quick huddle before the start paid dividends as Ollie Murray struck with his 2nd ball, followed by Iain Woodworth dismissing the other Downs opening batsmen off the 1st ball of his second over to have Downs 2-2 in the 3rd over.  J West and D Hawes put together a recovery for Down’s, with Hawes being particularly brutal on anything wide.  Banbury however were putting in their best fielding performance of the year and kept the pressure on Down’s.  Ollie Murray finally achieved the breakthrough, dismissing West for 21.  This was quickly followed by the wicket of Hawes for 28, caught by Ollie at cover off Woody to have Downs 54-4 off 13 overs.  Two more quick wickets to Murray, one to a fantastic catch at 1st slip by Adnan Ahmed, reduced Downs to 64-6 off 20 overs.  W Bull and T Costley then scored some quick runs for Downs, particularly of the spin of James Morgan and Mitchelmore, to move along to 120-6 off 30 overs.  However, Mark Pallett finally picked up a wicket (after 3 wicketless weeks) to dismiss Bull for 28, after which Down’s last 3 wicket fell cheaply to Dan Bartlett and Mark Pallett, with Downs finally all out for 127 in the 36th over.

The best bowlers for Banbury were Ollie Murray returning from injury with 4-18 off 10 overs, Mark Pallett with 2-7 off 5 overs, Dan Bartlett with 2-16 off 5 overs and Woody with 2-44 off 10 overs.  Kieran Scott, Adnan and Ollie all finished with 2 catches each in an excellent fielding performance by Banbury.

The win kept Banbury in 2nd place in the Division 8 table with 3 matches remaining.

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