Great Horwood Cricket Club made a sensational start to the new season with a record-breaking victory that saw a mammoth opening stand of 321 between Tom Spurr and captain Stuart Parker.
Horwood went into Saturday’s opening OCA Division One encounter with five key players missing against last season’s runners-up Shrivenham, but they were buoyed by new signing, Glyn Davies, and the return of Spurr to regular Saturday action.
Batting first, Horwood made an electric start with 64 runs coming from the first 10 overs as Spurr showed his intent early by smashing Snell’s second delivery over the boundary for a huge six.
With Parker cleverly rotating the strike, Spurr demolished every Shrivenham bowler during a superbly-constructed innings full of wonderfully-timed shots all around the ground.
The partnership went from strength to strength as the home side reached 190-0 after just 30 overs with Spurr unbeaten on 130 against the floundering visitors.
With Parker now matching Spurr shot for shot, the massacre continued as Horwood soared past the 300 mark and it was not until the penultimate ball of the entire innings that Shrivenham finally claimed their one and only wicket of the day, Parker falling for an excellent 94.
This brought to an end a remarkable opening partnership of 321 – a club record for any wicket – with Spurr left unbeaten on a brilliant 189 not out from 132 balls, including 11 sixes and 22 fours as Horwood set a daunting 322-1.
In reply, Shrivenham were looking to star batsman, Connor Taylor, to lead the way, but Dale Armitage drew an early edge and Kevin Smith made smart catch at first slip.
Rhys Mills (70) and Robert Wycherley (55 not out) batted well, but the duo always struggled to keep up with the run-rate as Armitage collected three wickets while Matt McStraw bowled 12 economical over to help restrict the visitors to 222 off their 45 overs, leaving Horwood to take victory by a convincing 99 runs.
Next Saturday sees Horwood travel to Garsington.
Horwood IIs also took on Shrivenham, but they suffered a seven wicket defeat after crashing to 51 all out.