Dan Murphy’s 4-28 and an unbeaten 51 for Nick Moorman saw Bicester cruise to a seven wicket victory against Cherwell League Division 3 leaders Wolverton Town.
Having been asked to field on another scorching day at Chesterton, Bicester had good cause to fear the worst as a succession of early wides and wayward bowling saw Wolverton race to 21 from the first two overs, with Trevor Price conceding 19 from his first over.
But Dan Savin soon ended Michael Yeates’ stay at the crease, and then had Kabir Arif caught behind. Ryan Moore chipped in with the wicket of Atif Akhlaq, and when Danny Clark had Jamil Raja caught in the deep in his first over, Wolverton limped to 76-4.
Price returned for a much-improved second spell that included the wicket of Ashan Malik, and just five runs conceded from 4 overs as he finished with 1-23.
Murphy replaced him at the pavilion end and, in tandem with Danny Clark, they mopped up the tail with a minimum of fuss, taking the final five Wolverton wickets for just 21 runs to bowl the visitors out for 131.
Moorman and Matt Collins got Bicester off to another solid start, and without the pressure of having to score quickly, they were able to blunt Wolverton’s potent bowling attack, before Collins (29) miscued a back foot drive to cover with the score on 61.
Bicester then lost Alister Gibbins and Stafford Sansome cheaply, but Ryan Moore (22no) joined Moorman at the crease and their 59-run partnership was enough to ease Bicester over the finish line.
Bicester’s second string followed their first win of the season last week with a second away at Long Marston.
Liam Randall’s 4-27 saw him enter an elite group of just four Division 7 bowlers with more than 20 wickets this season, and there were two wickets each for Steve Conway, Ben Clark and Lewis Moore as Long Marston were dismissed for 122.
Joe Moorman (28) and Stevyn Jackson (29) saw off the new ball before a mini-collapse saw Adam Gould, Robin Wilkins and Dan Simpson depart in quick succession. But Haris Naeem (24no) and Warwick Bradfield (25no) saw their side home.
The 3rd XI slumped to defeat against table-topping Didcot, with Mark Adams’s 15 the top score in Bicester’s 101. Didcot made short work of the chase, reaching their target in just 17 overs, despite a wicket each for Richard Plumbe, Joe Conway and Allen de Richard.
This week the 1st XI travel to East Oxford, while the 2nd and 3rd XIs play host to Bledlow Village and Shipton-under-Wychwood respectively.