Craig Haupt scored a superb century against Finchampstead to help Banbury’s season get back on track. After four consecutive defeats the Banbury team needed a good solid performance to help turn around what started out being a great season, but what has recently turned into somewhat of a huge disappointment to everyone at the Club.

The start was delayed due to the fact that the stumps were slightly out of line. This meant a 25 minute delay and consequently the match was reduced by 7 overs. So it meant the team batting first had a maximum of 62 overs to bat.

After winning the toss Banbury skipper Richard Kaufman elected to bat on what looked a very dry pitch at Whitepost Road. Banbury openers, Paul Taylor and Chris Smith found the going very tough against the opening attack of Nick Denning and Bloyce. The pitch was at times a little inconsistent in bounce and the opening bowlers caused problems for both batsmen.

The score had reached 27 when Smith edged Denning behind. This brought Haupt to the crease and after a very nervous start began to find his form and in a partnership with Taylor put on 70 for the 2nd wicket. The introduction of off-spinner Carter showed how dry the pitch was he was getting significant turn made scoring difficult for the Banbury pair. Taylor (37) was next to go with the score on 97 caught behind off the bowling of S. Taylor.

Skipper Richard Kaufman, who along with the rest of Banbury’s top order, has struggled for form, again failed. He was out without scoring attempting a sweep shot and was bowled middle stump. Nathan Hawkes (16) and Calum Taylor (32), the latter who has contributed significantly in recent weeks, shared excellent partnerships with Haupt to get the Banbury total past 250 and enable the Banbury bowlers to bowl attack the Finchampstead batsmen.

Haupt’s century came off 126 balls and his innings of 137 included 26 fours. Finchampstead’s most successful bowler was Carter who bowled 22 overs and finished with figures of 3 for 78.

Despite the off-spinner bowling all of these overs, Finchampstead’s over-rate was very slow, as it has been in recent weeks, and should have been liable for penalty points. But the umpires inexplicably found 10 minutes of allowable stoppages to leave their over-rate just within limits at 17.06.

Banbury elected to take the old ball and opened with Jimmy Phillips and Simon Launder. The Finchampstead openers of Stuart Seymore (55) and Brogan (24) played positively and took the attack to Banbury’s bowlers. Banbury elected to take the new ball after an initial spell of 7 overs which proved fruitless. At tea, Finchampstead were handily placed at 72 for 0 wicket in only 14 overs. Continuing they produced an opening stand of 90 as Finchampstead’s reply took shape.

Seymore was first to go with the score on 90, Launder picking up the wicket. Brogan soon followed as Banbury’s bowlers began to apply pressure. Jones (38), Kingstone (16), Hutchinson (12) and Carter (8) progressed the score along but were unable to keep up with the required rate. It was left to Nick Denning (23 not out) and Alan Jones (24 not out) to bat out the remaining overs. Finchampstead’s reply finished on 231 for 6 off their allotted 51 overs. Jimmy Phillips picked up 3 wickets and Luke Ryan 2 wickets as spin dominated the day.

It proved to be a good day for Banbury who finished with 13 points whilst Finchampstead only managed 8 points.

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