Banbury Win amid Traffic Chaos

Banbury triumphed over Burnham last night (Wednesday) in a game reduced to 8 overs a side due to a lorry fire on the M40. In what turned in to a surreal evening, Banbury were left with only 5 players at the ground 15 minutes after the official start time of 6pm with the other 6 players either stuck on the crawling M40 or trying to navigate the congested back roads, which were not helped by Henley regatta traffic and road closures.

Eventually at 7.15pm, as our 9th player arrived at the ground I (captaining in Hawts’ absence) agreed to start an 8 over a side game rather than wait for our last two men, Luke Ryan and Shahbaz Ali, who were still caught up in the congestion.

We batted first and had 2 overs of ‘Powerplay’ fielding restrictions before a further 6 overs, it is fair to say that we had no idea what a good score was. Simon Hole (21) got us going though as, harnessing the frustration of a 3 hour drive where someone drove in to him, he hoisted the 2nd ball of the game over mid-wicket for 6! Ashley Blanchard (24) then hit the first 5 balls of the second Powerplay over to the boundary and we had an ideal start. After the openers had fallen Ed Phillips (21 not out) and Steve Beck (28) continued on our good start and we posted 101 off of our 8.

Thankfully Shahbaz and Luke arrived about a minute before we went out to defend out total, we would need all 11 men on the field, even if Burnham did need more than 12.5 an over!

Burnham however, having shown exceptional patience waiting for us since 5.30, were not about to give up without a fight. They also knew the importance of the Powerplay overs and opener Fazal hit 18 off the first over and with 12 and 13 coming of overs 2 and 3 – it was game on! The worm began to turn in over 4 as Jimmy Phillips conceded only 4 runs of the over and took 2 wickets (in consecutive balls). Joe White then finished the job, replacing Phillips and bowling an excellent ‘spell’ of 2 overs 1 for 10. Burnham eventually reached 87 for 5.

So, after all that, it was job done and we face Oxford in the next round on the 22nd July.

Huge thanks must go to all of lads for sticking at it though the traffic madness, some due to circumstance, did not get a bat or bowl but we needed every man out there. But extra thanks go to Burnham CC and the Umpires for their understanding of our predicament; I wish them all the best for the season.

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