Wright and Megson Lead Super-Banbury Past Kibworth

A fine all-round display from Ollie Wright and a devastating spell of quick bowling from Josh Megson saw Banbury pull off an improbable win at Kibworth yesterday (Sunday). Banbury travelled to Leicestershire to take on a side that has been to the national cup final three times in the last ten years, winning it in 2004. A daunting task at the best of times, but to make things harder, they were weakened as 6 of Saturday’s first XI were on Oxfordshire duty.

Kibworth started like a side that would live up to their credentials – as an organised and well balanced bowling attack made life very difficult for the Banbury batsman. Jamie Coles battled manfully, but the only specialist batter to make any real impact on the scoreboard was 2nd XI skipper Steve Beck who played some handsome shots on his way to 36, reminding the Banbury members present of what a fine player he can be.

When Beck edged a square drive through to the Kibworth keeper however, Banbury were reeling at 80-6 and looking down the barrel. Ollie Wright (40) had other ideas, and he began Banbury’s come back in a nerveless style. He needed a partner however, and he found an unlikely one in stand-in skipper and confirmed tail-ender Jimmy Phillips (24). The pair came together at 103-8 and rotated the strike well. This with the addition of the odd boundary saw their 43 run partnership take Banbury to a below par but competitive 161, Amir Mahmood was the pick of the Kibworth attack with 5 for 26.

Below par their total may have seemed, but Banbury had nothing to lose and tear-away young quick Megson had a stiff breeze at his back, the second innings of the match was a different story all together. After an indifferent first over, Megson hit his straps in over two and Kibworth skipper Craven slashed a quick ball into the chest of Ollie Murray at second slip. Murray juggled the catch twice, before Steve Beck pounced, Aguerro like, from first slip to set Banbury on their way. Ghurman and Ali were the next two to fall edging quick swinging deliveries through to Jonny Cater’s gloves – 16-3.

Banbury would need someone to run into the breeze however and they had a willing servant in batting hero Ollie Wright. His 9 over spell was exemplary as he targeted off-stump. His reward were wickets 4, 5 and 6 – LBW, bowled, bowled. 30-6 and Banbury were suddenly favourites. Wright finished with 3 for 11 and the (unofficial) Man-of-the-Match award.

Kibworth might have been seeking the rest-bite of Banbury’s change attack – but there was no let up. Murray didn’t err from his off-stump line and nagging length as he bagged two wickets to the three runs the Kibworth tail managed to earn from his five overs. At the other end, Phillips tossed his off breaks into the wind and hit Kibworth timber twice. The game was up, Banbury were in dreamland, Kibworth bundled out for 44.

There was an air of disbelief from all at Kibworth’s magnificent new ground. Make no mistake, they are a strong side who were at full strength, their Leicestershire academy students present. A collective off day from them maybe, but Banbury’s performance in the field will be the subject of a bar room story at White post Road for years to come.

Full scorecard here: http://banbury.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11557140

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