Double Victory for the 1st XI

Banbury CC enjoyed a double success in the final weekend before the start of the 2009 league season. Preparing for an opening fixture against the very side that piped them to the HCPL title last season, High Wycombe, Banbury trounced Cherwell League sides Bicester and North Oxford and Abingdon Vale. The win at Abingdon saw Banbury through to the 2nd round of the ECB National Knock Out.

Damien Shirazi and Shahbaz Ali stared with the bat in Saturday’s friendly at Bicester making 100 and 73 respectively. Teenager Matt Woods bowled very well for the hosts taking 6-63 as Banbury posted 274.

Despite some aggressive stroke play at the top of the Bicester order from Australian Adam Yates (50) Banbury’s total always looked beyond Bicester. Yates was one of 3 victims for Ed Smith who bowled well and the rest of the wickets were shared around as Banbury completed a 133 run win.

At Abingdon the following day Banbury were without 5 players who were selected for County duty and Overseas Ant Bullick who is ineligible for the competition so Steve Beck, Ross Freeman, Liam Manly and Tim Smith stepped up from the seconds and openers Chris Smith and Simon Hole returned to action.

Ed Smith and Jamil Faruq set the tone for Banbury claiming 2 wickets a piece during an opening spell where both got the ball to swing and seam causing big problems for the Abingdon batsmen. Abingdon were 4 down for less than 40 runs when the opening bowlers finished their spells and from there Banbury chipped away at their hosts before Ross Freeman’s 3 quick wickets blew away the Abingdon tail and left Banbury a meagre target of 109 to progress to the next round.

Chris Smith’s 60 and Ian Tew’s 38, both unbeaten, saw Banbury home and set up a trip to Barnt Green on the 24th May

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