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Sat 31
Exhall & Wixford CC
1st XI
Champions Too Strong For Shipston

Champions Too Strong For Shipston

By Jack Murphy
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Exhall dominate with bat to win by 138 runs...

With the new league champions in fine spirit, captain Barry Weston and Craig Atherton were in the mood to entertain their team mates, scoring freely in the opening overs to get Exhall off to a great start. Sam Dexter (1-34) did manage to pick up the wicket of Atherton but not before the opener had smashed 28 in just 4 overs. Stuart Reeve joined Weston and continued to take on the Shipston bowling attack to put their side in a dominant position of 101-1 from the first 11 overs of the game. Shipston turned to Matt Corby (0-59) and Dave Pyne (1-55) in an attempt to slow the home side down with some success. Pyne eventually managed to pick up the wicket of Weston for 65, the Exhall captain playing superbly at the top of the order to leave his side 155-2 after 20 overs. The innings then started to slow down somewhat as Shipston did their best to claw their way back in to the match. Julian Morris picked up the wickets of Will Green (20) and Reeve in quick succession to make the score 200-4 after 30 overs. Reeve who played well for his 66 was Morris's 100th wicket for Shipston in the Cotswold Hills League. The champions had now set their sites on 300 with 15 overs remaining with 6 wickets in hand. Jack Murphy (3-49) and Morris continued to bowl well, picking up another 3 quick wickets, however Exhall's long batting line up proved strong enough to cope with the losses and continued to play with aggression throughout the remaining overs. Led by Sam Smith (41*) the lower order managed to reach 298 before being bowled out in the 44th over. Richard Layton (0) last to fall, caught at extra cover by Jack Murphy, taking his 13 catch of the season, a new club record. More importantly however, the wicket was Morris's 5th of the inning (5-63), his first 5 wicket hall for Shipston in the league.

In response Shipston got off to the ideal start, Matt Corby (25) and Julian Morris (49) hitting 43 from the opening 7 overs before Richard Layton (1-43) bowled Corby to put his side back in control. Jack Murphy (14) joined Morris and hit a quick 14 before being caught at mid on from the bowling of Will Green (1-31). The Shipston number 3 ending the season top of the league run scorers with 631 runs, just above his team mate Corby with 556, a good season with the bat for the Shipston duo. Morris and Marcus Ireland (7) continued to play positively but when both fell along with Gary Betteridge (0) the result was no longer in doubt with Shipston 117-5 from 25 overs. Sam Dexter (22*) did his best to guide his side through the remainder of the innings but when Dave Pyne (4) was caught and bowled by Tom Simpson the game and indeed season came to an end in the 36th over. The visitors ending 160 all out. Rob Perry (3-18) the pick of the Exhall bowlers, Nick Dillam (2-43) and Tom Simpson (2-11) the others amongst the wickets.

The home side were then given a guard of honour as they left the field to begin their celebrations of a convincing title winning season. Shipston ending the season in 4th spot.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 31, Aug 2019