Mushtaq 6for helps 1s topple leaders Oxford
Thame 1s ended Oxford’s 5 game winning start to the season with a convincing 49 run victory at Church Meadow. Batting first on a difficult wicket, Thame made assured progress to reach 34-0. The loss of both openers was to spark the most spectacular of collapses however, as Thame slipped from 53-2 to 53-6. Thame were indebted to a superbly structured final wicket partnership of 40 between Chris Jeffcock (16) and Andy Russell. Number 11 Russell’s 19 would prove the top score of the day, and helped Thame to 119.
Thame’s new ball pairing of Jo Van Dyk and Faisal Ali made early inroads, both taking two wickets. However the game was turned on its head by a magnificent spell of legspin bowling by Hassam Mushtaq (pictured below). He finished with figures of 6-18 from 10 overs, as Oxford were spun out for just 70.
Thame make the short journey to Dinton next weekend.
2s match falls to the weather
The 2nd XI travelled to face bottom of the league, Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts. The Meadowmen were going well in the field, and had the hosts 102-6 before rain meant an abandonment.
The 2s stay in 2nd place, and host 3rd placed Oxford Downs 2 next.
3rds go 2nd after winning draw
The 3s entertained Bletchley Town 2’s, at home on another dull and overcast day. Having lost the toss, Thame were inserted into bat on a tricky track with very unpredictable bounce. Openers Andy Jinman and Nick Fuller were watchful and patient before Justin Avery (75, pictured below) led the way with some strong power hitting. Avery and Alex Bell (22) built a solid partnership of 77. At 127-3 and plenty of overs, Thame looked likely to score big, but a flurry of wickets with a couple of runouts ensued which meant Thame were eventually all out for 165.
In reply, Alex Bell (2-23) and James McStay (1-9) applied early pressure and Bletchley were soon in trouble at 39-4, with the run-rate growing. Bowling changes brought further pressure with James Olliver (2-9) and Vimal Desai (3-26) joining the party with wickets. Sadly, with a few dropped catches, close runouts calls and even closer LBW shouts, Thame 3s could not quite get the final wicket. Bletchley ended with 118-9 and Thame therefore had to settle for a winning draw. The 17 points moved Thame 3s up to 2nd place.
Thame 3s next take on 4th placed Shipton-under-Wychwood away.
4s struggle in the wet at Eynsham
Week 6 saw Thame 4s travel to Eynsham on a rain affected day. Having won the toss Eynsham put Thame into and soon took 2 early wickets with a strong opening seam attack. Thame’s top middle order steadied the ship with Rob Kenny anchoring the innings with a fine 43. Thame eventually posting 84 runs off their 45 overs.
After a rain delay Eynsham took to the field and reached the desired target after 28 overs for the loss of 3 wickets.
Next week the 4s are at home to Bledlow Ridge
League opener ends in encouraging defeat for Women
In their first ever 30-over match against Oxford, Thame women showed that in only their 2nd year of competitive cricket they have become a force to be reckoned with. After losing the toss and happily finding themselves fielding first, Thame unleashed a fearsome bowling attack, led by Beth John (2-21 off 6) and newcomer spinner Megs Woodward (3-17 off 6). Claire Morris and Sally Brentnall joined in the fun with a wicket each apiece. With strong performances from the other bowlers and fielders, Thame were delighted to hold Oxford to 118-7 at tea.
Facing experienced bowlers in blustery conditions, Thame’s openers struggled to make runs, and wickets fell quickly. John at 4 (12) and Bridget Cooper at 5 (7) steadied the batting but runs remained elusive until a revival of fortune came with Woodward who scored a confident 31 not out. Suddenly Thame were in contention again and victory began to look possible but a combination of challenging bowling from Oxford dismissing the remaining batters and a slow outfield restricted Thame’s runs. Thame were nevertheless pleased with 103 all out after 25 overs and had definitely given their opponents something to think about.
Thame returned to their new clubhouse to celebrate a hard-fought game, reflect on their progress, and plan for victory in the return fixture. The women play their next league game at Cookham Dean on 23 June.