CRICKET SLIDESHOW: Friendly win for Willoughby over Oakfield 2nds

Weekend league warm-up complete with victory over Bourton & Frankton too

Willoughby CC warmed up for the start of their South Northants Cricket League campaigns this coming Saturday with two friendly victories at the weekend.

Sean Thornton batting for Willoughby against Oakfield 2nds on Saturday  PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Sean Thornton batting for Willoughby against Oakfield 2nds on Saturday PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

One of the club’s oldest opponents, Oakfield, were the visitors on Saturday where the home side completed a win by 134 runs.

Sunday saw another renewal of one of Willoughby’s oldest standing fixtures when Bourton & Frankton visited The Green; the hosts winning by 14 runs.

Willoughby XI v Oakfield 2nd XI

Willoughby 233-9, Oakfield 2nd XI 93 all out

Willoughby won by 140 runs

Batting first, Willoughby’s top scorers were Richard Foxon on 70 not out and Ashley Rayner who retired not out after reaching his half century. The pick of Oakfield’s bowlers were S Hingulage 2-25 and Guy Smith 2-29.

In reply, Oakfield’s best batsmen were Jonny Abbot on 35 and J Head adding 17. Bowlers John Gregson 3-7 and Sean Thornton 2-7 did much of the damage for Willoughby.

Willoughby 156-7

Bourton & Frankton 142 all out

Willoughby won by 14 runs

The Sunday XI welcomed old friends Bourton & Frankton on what proved to be a competitive and narrow victory for the home side.

The sunshine had stayed on from the previous day’s friendly victory and with conditions ripe Willoughby batted first with Ashley Rayner and Sean Thornton opening up proceedings, the slow medium pace proved Thornton’s downfall as he departed being bowled for a steady 14.

The good start was followed up by some accomplished batting by Frank Claydon providing some stability in the middle order, Rayner retiring not out for a well-earned break with 10 overs to go for 72. With only 106 runs accumulated, the village tried to pick up the pace and Usama Khawaja (0) Tom Gooch (3) departed back to the confines of the newly laid patio area. By this time, Martin Nichols joined the big hitting Claydon and brought the score into the 140’s before Claydon fell for 29. Captain Nikesh Mistry also fell for 5, as Willoughby closed on 156 for 7.

After the tea interval the duo of Mistry and newcomer Kishan Parmer burning off the newly consumed tea came steaming in. Four early wickets shared by the openers and the village set about rotating the bowlers. With the steady accumulation of runs and a couple of dropped catches, a partnership of 70 put B&F back in contention. Gooch, Nichols and Sam Middlemiss picked up a wicket a piece, with some effective bowling to swing the game back into the village’s favour.

With the score on 105 off the 23rd over nervy times ahead as a partnership brewed again. Claydon dropping a lollypop off his own bowling provided a run out on 117. The away side were stubborn and Mistry brought himself back on to claim the last two wickets with only 14 runs required.

All in all a fine performance from Willoughby with the bat and the ball, who did enough to see themselves through with a victory with the game finely balanced. Special mentions to Sam Middlemiss who, having turned 14 in the week, made his senior debut, Rayner for another fine batting performance and stand-in skipper Mistry for some typically economical bowling which he will hope to replicate when leading the club’s Saturday 2nd XI league side.

Fixtures: Saturday 2pm starts: South Northants Cricket League: Division 1: Willoughby v Bodicote

Division 3: Bodicote A v Willoughby A