Match Date & Time

Date Time Season
July 7, 2024 2:00 pm 2024

Match Report

At 11 am the ether was full of gloom, from spits in Ardley to tropical downpours in Chesterton. ” Not a chance” said one, “No way! said another” . But at 11.45 when the cover sheet was unfurled and the pitch inspected, the sun came out to greet it and a new more cheerful message of “game on” pinged into inboxes.  Matt Bazeley returned to the kitchen, grated cheese, sliced tomatoes and spread pickle in record time. Pleasingly for the skipper and Muktar Waris there were to be fresh cherries aplenty and crisps and pork pies for the more discerning diners.

Banbury always bring a young team, often with some very talented cricketers. Today was no exception. Middleton Stoney also had their share of good young players all of whom had a part to play. The pitch was softer than of late, and verdantly green after all the recent rain. It had sweated under the cover for three days so it was with some trepidation that the opening batsman, Gus Floyd and Howard Lancaster set out to bat. Gus looked in fine touch, glancing into the leg side for a first boundary whilst display a technically sound defence. Howard happily played second fiddle, dabbing to third man as Howard does. 

Gus was looking to accelerate when he clipped a ball into the leg side, unfortunately in the air straight to backward square leg who took the catch neatly. Since scoring 93 in May, James Lyon has struggled to find a run. Today he was given a life when he slapped the ball to extra cover, to be reprieved when the umpire called no ball and also when the fielder dropped it.  It was not the case from the very next ball when he middled a drive to the very same fielder who this time held on. Tea maker Bazeley came and went quickly, chopping onto to his stumps less elegantly than he chopped the pork pies earlier. 

In form Anirudh Sharma put bat to ball from the off. And very soon everything was off as a sharp shower approached.  The cover was back on in no time with many eager hands lent. In the interruption it was discovered that Banbury had only bowled 19 overs in the first 90 mins.  The sun came back out as the players returned with the innings to be extended by 10 mins. Howard’s patient innings came to close as he tried to force the pace. A combintation of Ahmad and Anirudh had the potential to see some fast scoring. Anirudh took full advantage of some shorter deliveries, one of which crashed into the forearm of a loyal spectator sat peacefully on the benches.

Ahmad was beaten by a full delivery, and then Anirudh beaten by a ball that kept low to Middleton in a spot of bother at 110 – 6. Another Sharma, this time Arvind, was joined by his Captain at the crease. Arvind was in very good touch with bat, enjoying some leg side deliveries at first and then getting stronger outside his off stump. He was not enjoying the amount of running his Captain was causing. He will sleep well tonight and be very stiff in the morning.  Together 45 runs were added in the highest partnership of the match before the skipped was stumped and the innings was declared.

Banbury made a good start against the opening attack of Hamidullah and Lyon. Both have bowled more threatening spell this season, but neither conceded runs quickly. Banbury needed to score at around four runs an over to reach the 162 target for victory. It took a change in the bowling for the first wicket to fall. Ahmad found the outside edge and for the first time this season the keeper held on.  Seril Shah came on to take two wickets of his own, one held by a carefully positioned Anirudh at short square leg, and the other by a flying Seril, leaping high to his right to hold onto a caught and bowled. Between Seril’s wickets came a second for Ahamad, fantastically caught by Anirudh at slip by his left ear.

Rather older than most of his team, Badger was the key to the Banbury chase. Ahmad found the perfect delivery to spin back in between bat and pad to hit middle and off. At 55 – 5 Banbury looked dead and buried. The batsman appeared to get younger and younger. In Acton and Demages they two players who were not daunted by the situation. The Middleton Keeper was a little aggrieved when three strident stumping appeals were turned down, but the batsman played well and worked the ball into the spaces left by the fielders crowding around the bat.

It took an over from Gus to break the deadlock and take the sixth wicket with 11 overs remaining. This time the stumping given out.  Paul Wordsworth took the seventh, it should have the over previous but the keeper decided on his third juggle to drop the ball.  Acton was run out by good work from Gus for a commendable 21 for a player so young. Ahmad bowled a fabulous over with 6 overs left, the final ball quicker and straighter and clearly LBW. 

Middleton had five overs to take the last wicket and win the game, Banbury had five overs to survive.  Number 10 Shiba has learnt cricket online. He has clearly learnt how to pick which ball to play at and which to leave. With his captain Matt Miller at the other end Banbury just survived as they learnt that not all cricket results are win and lose, and that a draw can indeed be honourable.

Once again Rona was magnificent on the Barbeque and Chris dependenble with the score book. We are as ever grateful to the many helpers and supporters we have at Middleton Park.

Bowling O M R W
James Lyon71150
Ahmed Jnr124194
Gus Floyd41201
Anirudh Sharma2120
Paul Wordsworth41131
Seril Shah71192

Banbury CC


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Chris Greer


Middleton Stoney Cricket Club | Middleton Park
Bullmarsh Cl, Middleton Stoney, Bicester OX25 4JF