Holton vs Wytham

Sunday 15 June 2008

Edited from the original report by John Simpson

Photos donated by Mike Oxlade (not to be copied)


We approached the game against Wytham with some trepidation, as last year we’d beaten them convincingly by ten wickets (it was the game in which Andy Small scored over 200 for us). There was little doubt they’d turn up with a super-strong side to pay us a lesson. And sure enough I didn’t recognize many of their players, who were warming up in the nets as we arrived, and generally looking threatening.

With Alan Clark unavailable this week, we were captained by Neil Robinson. The weather was sunny, and (this week without the promise of a million-dollar bonus per player) we got ourselves ready for the game.

Neil lost the toss, and Wytham decided to bat. Ominous, we thought – they must have a very strong, confident, and largely helmeted batting line-up. Neil’s first trick was to surprise them with a mixed fast/slow attack, so he alerted Guy and me that we were opening the bowling in order to restrict the run rate (?).

But the trick seemed to work. In no time Guy had dismissed one of their openers, to a chance behind to Simon Switala (5-1) and an over or so later I trapped No 3 lbw. Guy continued to bowl in extremely miserly fashion (as far as runs were concerned), and finished his first five overs conceding only two runs. Overall, with ten overs down Wytham stood at 22-2, and we wondered if they’d finished their innings with under 100 runs.

That’s always a dangerous thought, but Neil had cleverly held back Mike Jackson to first change, and when he took over from Guy he continued in miserly strain, conceding only nine runs and picking up two wickets.

At this point, one Mike Oxlade, a photographer based in Holton, popped along on the off-chance and took a few pictures. You can find more of Mike's work if you click here.

Graham replaced me at the uphill end and after a couple of loosener overs settled into a rhythm, ending with 0-21.


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1 . 16.08 Circa Over 16, Bowler Hawkins?

Neil Robinson looks on as the Wytham middle order batsman sweeps Graham Hawkins.

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2. 16.21 Circa Over 19, Bowler jackson

Mike Jackson's good line forces a backward defensive shot. Simon Robinson defends the gully and Mark Williams looks on from square leg.

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4. 16.45 Circa Over 25 Bowler Jackson

Mike Jackson approaching delivery stride.

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5 16.49 Circa Over 26 Bowler Hawkins

Keeper Simon Switala stops a quick one from Graham Hawkins

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6. 16.50 Circa Over 27 Bowler Jackson

Beaten all end up, a good delivery from Mike Jackson for wicket number 4 (?)

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8. 17.11 Over 31 Bowler N Robinson

Neil Robinson is brings himself into the attack.


By twenty overs Wytham had scraped to 54-4, and this time we wondered if their blazing batsmen had been secreted in the lower order. But to counter any chance of that, Neil brought himself on, paired with our 2007 bowler of the year Alan Banyard. Soon enough Neil was on a hat trick (just missed), and ended up with 3-16, with Alan clinically sorting out two of the other tail-enders (2-18).

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9. 17.11 Over 31 Bowler N Robinson,Wicket 5, Bowled A

Tempted by a slow one .....

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10. 17.11 Over 31 Bowler N Robinson,Wicket 5, Bowled B

........ and Neil Robinson has his first wicket and number five for Holton.



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11. 17.12

Guy Burford and Mike Jackson congratulate the young spinner!

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12. 17.13 Over 31 Bowler N Robinson,Wicket 6, Bowled A

Neil Robinson follows that with a long hop..........

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13. 17.13 Over 31 Bowler N Robinson, Wicket 6, Bowled B

..........The Wytham batsman can't believe it as he is beaten by lack of pace and the genius of a master (?). Six down.........

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14. 17.13

............Peter Cowdrey acknowledges the masterclass! Neil is on a hatrick

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15. 17.15 Over 31 Bowler N Robinson

Wytham take no chances against Robinson's accuracy - the hatrick is avoided

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16. 17.18 Over 32, Bowler Banyard, Wicket 7 Caught? A

Alan Banyard is brought into the attack with Robinson and soon takes an edge........

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17. 17.18 Over 32, Bowler Banyard, Wicket 7 Caught? B

...........Caught! Nice one Simon Switala. It's 78 for 7.

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18. 17.22 Over 33 Bowler N Robinson

At the other end, there's no stopping Neil Robinson

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19. 17.27 Over 34, Bowler Banyard

Banyard put one past the Wytham left hander.


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20. 17.29 Over 35 Bowler N Robinson, Wicket 8? Stumped A

How's that! Switala has a stumping off Neil Robinson. It's 94 for 8.

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21. 17.32 Over 36 Bowler Banyard

Five overs to go and the left hander tries to score some quick runs off Alan Banyard.

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22. 17.33 Over 36 Bowler Banyard, Wicket 9? Stumped A

But a couple of balls later the right hander comes down the wicket to try and force the pace - and is well beaten - over to you Switala..........

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23. 17.33 Over 36, Bowler Banyard, Wicket 9? Stumped B

.........Stumped! Nice work Simon Switala.


To close things Neil brought back Guy, and the innings ended with Mark Deacon taking a neat catch of Guy in the gully. Wytham’s wickets fell fairly regularly throughout the innings, and they ended on 100 all out – giving us hope that some steady batting at under three an over would see us home. It was the start of a good day for Simon Switala, who took two catches behind and notched up two stumpings.

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24. 17.38

Off for tea. The correct score is 100 for 10!




Tea was provided by the Cowdrey family, and it set us up for the task ahead. We opened with me and Simon Switala. Wytham’s opening bowlers are always tight, and this was no exception. Nevertheless, the score moved on satisfactorily, and with ten overs gone we stood at 31-0. But soon after I cut the wrong ball to gully and retuned to the pavilion (35-1, and over a third of the way to a winning total). Next up with Alan Banyard. I’m afraid I missed his dismissal next ball, as I was removing my pads, but sad to relate we were then 35-2.

But that was our low point. Simon Switala is having a golden June, and he and Peter Cowdrey settled down to knock of the remaining runs with assurance and conviction. The score reached 63 at the twenty-over mark, and gradually rose to 88 at thirty overs. With the Wytham attack remaining tight, runs were hard to come by, but we were ahead of the rate throughout, and victory looked likely. A couple of firm fours from Simon and some excellent play around the wicket from Peter saw the hundred mark passed and we recorded our second win in a row in June. We retired to the Cricketers in Littleworth with the opposition to celebrate our success over beer, chips, and rolls.

Wytham 100 (36.2 overs)

Guy Burford 6.2 3 2 15

John Simpson 8 1 25 1

Mike Jackson 8 3 9 2

Graham Hawkins 6 1 21 0

Neil Robinson 4 1 16 3

Alan Banyard 4 0 18 2

Catches: Simon Robinson, Simon Switala (2), Mark Deacon

Stumpings: Simon Switala (2)

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-12, 3-54, 4-54, 5-73, 6-73, 7-78, 8-94, 9-95, 10-100

Run rate: 10 overs – 22; 20 – 54, 30 – 64

Holton 102-2 (32.1 overs)

John Simpson caught 13

Simon Switala not out 46

Alan Banyard bowled 0

Peter Cowdrey not out 12

Extras 13

Did not bat: Simon Robinson, Guy Burford, Mark Deacon, Graham Hawkins, Mark Williams, Neil Robinson, Mike Jackson

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-35

Run rate: 10 - 31, 20 – 63, 30 – 88

7. 16.53 Circa over 27 Bowler Jackson

Mike Jackson keeps up the pressure.

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3. 16.34 Circa Over 23 Bowler Jackson

Wicket for Mike Jackson, clean bowled middle stump. Wytham are 54 for 3.