Holton vs Wytham
20 June 2004
Original report written by Alan Banyard
Holton v. Wytham: Sunday 20 June 2004
Holton fight-back just too late!
Following two dire draws against Long Crendon and Islip (both games chasing modest totals which Holton could and probably should have won), this game was a completely different kettle of fish. Holton made 182 in the allotted time. Wytham gave us a good lesson in how to chase a total – which hopefully we will learn from.
In truth, this was a good and exciting match with the winning six coming with just four balls to spare.
As we came out of the Islip game, it was clear to me as match manager, that team selection against Wytham was going to be difficult. John Simpson was out with an injury sustained in that match and a couple of our regulars had opted for an outing with Richard Denner’s. This gave us an opportunity to bring in some younger players, Daf Howells (who’d managed to get picked previously for both rained off games!) in his first game – and one of Daf’s flat mates Andrew Small. As it turned out, another of our regulars reported being stuck at an airport in Sweden and so another flatmate, Mark Carroll got the call half hour into the match – and turned up as well. Thanks Mark! Three debutants in one game!
Rob McKinney, deputising for John, promptly lost the toss and we were put into bat. After a succession of good opening partnerships with John followed by forty with Neil last week, Rob decided to try and break the sequence and put me in with David Peddy. I duly obliged and was caught with the score 11 for 1.
David, fresh out of retirement (3rd time this season?) then proceeded to take the attack apart with a dashing 27 in double quick time reaching 40-2 with Simon Switala. David would be first to admit to being a reliable Boycott type of player rather than a Botham – however with the pressure of a full season and averages etc gone, seems to have found a new batting freedom – and a successful one.
James was next in – and out – top edging a dolly to the wicket keeper, who amazingly managed to drop it. In the confusion, both batsmen ended up at the same end and James was the unfortunate one to go. Meanwhile Simon batted well for his 21, falling at 91 for 4.
Then in came the newcomers – Andrew and Daf. I was umpiring at the time and chatting with one G Rippon fielding at square leg. I mentioned to GR that this was Wytham’s chance – two new players in their first game. “Oh yea” came the response, “ a couple more ringers I suppose”.
Daf duly top scored with 41 and Andrew came a close second with 36. Um yes. Andrew clearly has a very solid defensive technique, which can be quickly turned into attack. This was perfectly exemplified when a straight one was blocked off the back foot in front of middle – and beat bowler and mid-off to go for four. Even GR admitted that “that was a pretty good shot”. Meanwhile Daf started his innings with six boundaries from scoring shots. He looked good too – although I missed most of it having handed the umpires coat to someone else.
We lost a few wickets as one might expect towards the end, however there were useful contributions from Rob and Mark – and extras – 33 of them.
Holton 182-9 off 41.5 overs
Score 4s 6s
Alan Banyard caught 2
David Peddy bowled 27 5
Simon Switala caught 21 4
James Race run out 7 1
Andrew Small bowled 36 7
Daf Howells caught 41 8
Rob McKinney caught 9 1
Neil Robinson bowled 0
Mark Carroll bowled 6 1
Mike Shorthouse not out 0
Did not bat: Mike Jackson
Fall of wickets (where recorded): 1-11 (batsman 1), 2-40 (2), 3-? (4), 4-91 (3), 5-138 (5), 6-173 (7), 7-173 (6), 8 – 181 (9)
Run rate (where recorded): 26 overs – 78; 30 – 96; 40 – 173
As we took the field with runs on the board, there was a spring in our step. Mike Shorthouse and Neil Robinson provided a blend of pace and spin and kept the Wytham openers to a slow start. Then, with the score about 20, Mike Shorthouse managed to hit the top edge and the ball came flying to me fielding at short gulley/third slip. As it flew over my head I managed to jump and get a hand to it and knock the ball in the air. Frustratingly, the ball fell about two yards away from me – but I was wrong footed in a heap on the grass and couldn’t get to it. I was very disappointed – especially when someone pointed out that “that was almost a champagne moment”.
As we failed to make a breakthrough they began to accelerate until the 100 partnership was on the board. It wasn’t looking good. However, as Rob pointed out, Wytham needed six-an-over and so surely the pressure would be on them if only we could get a break through.
By now, Mike Jackson was well into his spell, and Mark Carroll bowling medium pace at the other end. Finally Mark got the breakthrough, caught by Andrew. That was the trigger for Mike as he quickly removed the number 3 and 4 batsmen for single figures – 132 for 3. Mark was looking good and suddenly he had the other opener out for 56 – caught again by Andrew, a really good catch this time, taken just off the ground at mid-on as he came running in. Next ball and he had the fifth batsmen out as well – clean bowled – 138 for 5. We’d reached Holton’s high point in the match and Mark was on his way to 3 for 48. It looked possible that we could not only save the game, but perhaps even win it.
The hat-trick ball was a good one – but not quite good enough. S Davie and G Rippon batted impressively for the unbroken sixth wicket. They needed 35 off the last four overs but even the recall of Mike Shorthouse for the penultimate over couldn’t deny them. Even still, we had a chance until GR hit that final six – a big one over square leg – in the final over off Mike Jackson.
In recent years, Wytham have been a bit of a push over for us. They had a really strong team this year, particularly in the batting. But I have to admit that this game was played in really good spirit with some outstanding performances from both sides and particularly from our three new players. Definitely a more enjoyable game than those recent drawn games.
Wytham 183-5 off 40.2 overs
Mike Shorthouse 9 4 25 0
Neil Robinson 10 1 38 0
Mike Jackson 12.2 1 56 2
Mark Carroll 9 0 48 3
Catches: Andrew Small (2), Simon Switala (wicket keeper) (1)
Run Outs: none
Fall of wickets: 1 – ? (1), 2-127 (3), 3-132 (4), 4-138 (2), 5-138 (5)
Run rate: 10 overs – 25; 20 – 66; 30 – 113; 40 – ?
Holton lost by 5 wickets