Match Date & Time
|July 9, 2023||2:00 pm||2023|
Sunday cricket is all about bringing on young players and having fun. The game between MSCC and the Banbury Development Xl exemplified this perfectly – a wonderful day and two teams determined to enjoy themselves. There was a fair mix of ages with the combined ages of the first 4 Middleton bowlers failing to reach that of their captain, much to his chagrin.
Captain Joe from Banbury called the toss correctly and confidently elected to bat first. However, he had not reckoned on confronting quite such a sharp opening attack as Sam Norley and James Lyon. Both were right on the mark from the off with James yielding just 6 runs from his opening 5 overs (and only 26 from 9 overs overall) and Sam only 11 (ending with 4 for 23 overall). With the score at 17 for the loss of 4 wickets by the end of the tenth over thoughts were already turning to an early tea.
There was little respite for the Banbury youngsters as MSCC produced their change bowlers – two of the youngest ever to bowl in tandem for the club – George Robinson and Finley Moss. Next to fall was captain Joe bowled out by Finley’s fine off break for 9 to make the score 34 for 5. The scene was now set for a battle royal between the youthful Middleton bowlers and the Banbury number 7. Was there a certain familiarity about this man’s imposing physique, South African accent, and undoubted batting class. Yes indeed, this was Craig Haupt master batsman and mainstay of the Banbury Xl for a decade or more, scorer of literally tens of thousands of Premier League runs and terror of the finest attacks in the land. He may now be rather hobbled but his innings oozed class even on one leg. Playing studiously and with due deference to tight bowling on offer he and his partner Charlie Woodhead gradually took the score past 100. It was a real pleasure to watch the battle between off-spinner Finley and the experienced Craig, who was never slow to acknowledge the skill of his young opponent; Finley finished with the remarkable figures of 10-2-21-1. We’ll hear more of him, I think (that’s Finley not Craig).
Charlie’s long vigil finally came to an end bowled by “Two Step” Shah for 10 in another impressive but all too short spell of tight control. It wasn’t until the final over that Craig unleashed his full armoury of shots against Simmo sending successive reverse sweeps for four and a pulverising slog for 6 over mid-wicket that threatened to demolish one of the parked cars. Poetic justice for one of Yorkshire’s own since he had elected to bring himself on without the captain’s permission, thereby denying Sam the chance of a first “five for”. It also rather spoiled Simmo’s previously impressive bowling figures.
Notable contributions in the field came from Finley and James at the younger end of the spectrum and two slip catches from the evergreen Mark F-L (one of which was a real blinder). Craig’s polished 73 not out contributed the bulk of the Banbury total of 127-8 declared so after tea Middleton were left seeking 128 for victory. Colonel Mike (16) and Jamie Lumb (33) laid a firm foundation before the former contrived to get himself stumped AGAIN. Suffice it to say that the middle order contributed variably but sufficiently to see Middleton home comfortably enough for the loss of 7 wickets with useful contributions from Finley (14), Howard 18 and guest first-timer Andrew Bourne (25 not out) but not before Middleton’s numbers 10 and 11 had had to reconsider their rather hasty decision for an early change out of their whites.
All in all this was a most enjoyable game, played in an excellent spirit with some really enjoyable contributions from some of the younger players (notably Finley and James for MSCC, and Charlie for Banbury). However, the biggest vote of thanks goes to Craig Haupt for gracing our ground for the first time and really contributing in the best possible way to helping to make this game such a pleasure to play in.
|Banbury CC total||114|
|Banbury CC total||38||10||117||7|
|Richard Lumb||Chris Greer||Sam Norley|
|MSCC||187/4 - 135||Banbury CC|
|MSCC||180/3 - 161||Banbury CC|
|MSCC||82 - 92/5||Banbury CC|
|MSCC||231/7 - 189||Banbury CC|
|MSCC||206/9 - 209/6||Banbury CC|