Match Report

Oxford Downs 2nds

29 August 2020 - Home

1st XI Cherwell Div 3 fixture.

Downs and out

Match day 7 saw the Mills host Oxford Downs 2s at Newland for the final 2A fixture of the season.
Following the crisis talks of the previous week, all eyes were on Mills and newly appointed head coach Josh Garrett, who has already appointed his head of analysis, Rob Garrett and head cheerleader, Jordan Garrett.

The Mills won the toss and elected to bat on the used track.
A decision home skipper Burney may have quickly regretted, club captain Dove trapped plumb LBW early in the innings, with Burney following the very next over, who was caught trying to socially distance the match ball from Witney in what will go down as the worst shot of 2020. Head of analysis, Garrett commenting after the game that Burney’s alignment was slightly out by 3 degrees. The fall of the captains was concluded with the score on 7, Haselgrove departing for 1, undone by a fine Yorker. At 7-3 Mayho and Garrett started the re-build, with both batsman looking in fine form, striking the ball well on a difficult track. The shift in momentum was short lived though, Potter’s effort ball beating Garrett for pace and bounce to dismiss the in-form batsman for a good-looking 15. Twitch streamer, Hare came to the crease and seemed a little hampered, pulling a muscle in a late night warzone victory mid-week, the batsman was said to be “disappointed it would hamper his performance levels” a quote which was taken by the Eynsham toll booth attendant 10 minutes before the game. The pair looked assured, with Mayho now finding the boundary at will, the wicket keeper though was undone by format misunderstanding, believing it to be the last over of the T20 innings he charged at Potter, who saw Mayho coming and bowled it down the leg side to provide a straight forward stumping for Russell, removing the wicket keeper batsman for a well made 23. Dre Madden provided impetuous into the innings, the introduction saw the pair run well, taking singles and twos to a slightly flatfooted Downs side, the communication levels built up from headset communication over the past few weeks. The pairs telepathy came to an end though, with Madden left stranded in the middle of the wicket for a “match changing” 8. Slater came and went, stumped off the bowling of Roberts, a decision that was given out in Turkey, France and Yorkshire. The dismissal brought Lewis to the crease, playing in his league home debut the powerful all-rounder didn’t take any time in getting going, striking boundaries off Davie and Roberts, including a shot resembling a sweetly struck 9 iron to clear the houses over the road, the beginning of the longest strike competition within the Lewis family. Lewis’ impressive hitting took him to a game changing 41 before being bowled by veteran, Roberts. Lefort got hold of his one and only ball for it to be cut off superbly by the boundary fielder saving the boundary. Hare remained unbeaten at the other end with a mature 34, holding the innings together to ensure the Mills had a par score to defend.

Although the home side had a score on the board, defending it would be a challenge. Lefort and Lewis set the tone straight away making it difficult for the travelling openers to get the ball off the square. The initial pressure paid dividend with Davie trapped in front for 4. With increasing pressure Downs seemed to be given a lifeline when Lefort limped out of the attack quickly followed by Lewis, who upon initial inspection by the club physio is thought to have snapped his upper body following the aggressive ball striking earlier in the day. Burney and Kelly took over and continued to make life difficult for the batsman constricting the chase. The continued pressure led to further wickets for the home side, Ling bowled by Kelly followed by Dunn falling victim to a nasty, vicious short ball from Burney, rising just above the knee roll to push the batsman on the backfoot and present the home captain with a simple caught and bowled. Downs looked to be recovering well, almost seeing off the partnership of Burney and Kelly before Burney bowled Russell then Selby-Lowndes with identical Yorkers. Mills took the pace off the ball further with the introduction of spinners, Garrett and Haselgrove. Garrett quickly removed the dangerous looking Ling for 24 with a beauty of a ball spinning between bat and pad, Garrett looking increasingly dangerous in recent weeks since adding the off-spinner into his armoury, adding to his already potent top spinner. Woods’ departure quickly afterwards saw the end of the recognised batsman and almost handing victory to the home team. Haselgrove joined the wicket column by having Potter caught at mid-off, fair reward for his tight lines and discipline. The biggest appreciation the part time spinner received from the home crowd though came from his failed caught and bowled attempt, the spilling of Gould was met with hilarity from his fan-club, a tactic which strangely calmed down the short-fused spinner, with Haselgrove’s hands looking as steady as a Richard Tilley joke it’s sure to be used in the near future.
Garrett and the newly introduced Madden closed out the defence with Garrett going on to take two further victims, bowling the travelling side out for 95.

The Mills now look forward to the final league game of the year along with the T20 semi-final next weekend, the club has been rumoured to have taken out a short term loan to finance the pain killing treatments required for Lewis, Lefort and Slater as well as the tranquilliser payment for T20 specialist Buckfield.

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