Cricket is back! And with a fairly sunny weekend at that (we’ve all seen far worse in May!). There’s been changes aplenty in the off season, but with Men’s League Cricket starting this past weekend, the club pulled together 44 Men on Saturday, and 8 Women on the Sunday, to don the Club Crest across Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties.
The 1st XI started life in the Home Counties Premier League Division 2 away to Cumnor. New Skipper, Hassam Mushtaq, won the toss and bowled. The openers were dismissed cheaply, but Cumnor rallied to post a strong 268-9 from their 50 overs, with Kelvin Burrows taking 4-77. The score looked even stronger when Thame staggered to 84-4, but the game turned drastically when debutant Alex Browne smashed 121 not out off of 90 balls, including 6 sixes. Browne was ably accompanied by Mushtaq (63*, including 3 sixes) as Thame cruised home by 6 wickets with 2 overs spare. The 1s host Chesham next week.
Thame 2s faced Bledlow Ridge at Church Meadow, and chose to bowl first. It was a tough day in the field as opener Winson (157), who was eventually removed by Robin Sutcliffe, helped Bledlow post 282-2 off 50 overs. Thame struggled to 65-5 in response, before Hugh Pilkington (44) on debut gave the innings a spark. But this could not prevent a 140 run defeat. The 2nd XI will look to bounce back against Leighton Buzzard away.
The 3s travelled to Middleton Cheney, and with new skipper Jordan Lee-Paskin leading the team in Division 5a, were asked to bat. The innings always struggled to get any momentum, on a tough wicket with strong bowling – only Toby Baker (45) shone, as Thame limped to 126-7 off 45 overs. Debutant Ross Handley and Lee-Paskin took a wicket each to give Thame a glimmer of hope early on, but it was a tough ask as the hosts won by 7 wickets with 15 overs to spare. The 3rd XI host Leighton Buzzard at Lord Williams’ School next week.
The 4th XI took on Bletchley Town 2 at home, and handed debuts to multiple graduating youngsters. Winning the toss, Thame opted to bat. It was a day to forget with the willow though, as Thame fell to 88 all out in the 36th over, Shay Reading top-scoring with 17. Thame could only manage 2 wickets, as Bletchley Town reached the target in the 25th over. Highlight of the day was a Tim Dabbs one-handed diving catch to give young Joe Vaughan his first senior wicket. Next up, the 4s travel to Risinghurst 2.
Thame’s Women have been playing competitively for 2 weekends already – losing out to Wargrave in the Vitality T20 knockout, but bouncing back to two Super 8 wins against Cookham Dean, with newbie Harshani Malan starring with bat and ball. This past Sunday, the team faced Chesham and St. Albans away in Super 8s. Malan and Mel White took 3 wickets each across the 2 games, to limit Chesham and the St. Albans to net scores of 222 and 271 respectively. Thame put in two impressive team performance with the bat, Captain Sarah Sanderson (21) leading the way versus St. Albans, as they posted 2 winning totals of 270 and 314. Next week, Thame Women look to continue their unbeaten Super 8s run at home to Beaconsfield.