The Army’s Men’s 1st XI took to the cricket field for the first time this season with 2 fine Twenty20 victories over a strong Oxford University side. The game was played with a number of new rules with an eye to safety including a stoppage every five minutes for players to sanitise their hands. The Army made a solid start to their innings with opening pair Varun Bali and Liam Fletcher sending the ball to the boundary on a number of occasions. However, two quick wickets allowed Oxford a way back in. Fletcher was first to go thanks to an LBW on 26 runs, while just a few balls later, Bali was dismissed for 34 thanks to Owen Marshall’s bowling. Oxford were fielding with confidence from there, but the Army recieved a boost with Tom Lester and Emmerson Wood at the crease. Lester was the last Army man out thanks to a great catch from Chris Searle, but his 20 runs helped the military team to set a 134-run target.
Oxford’s attempt at reaching that target never really got going. The spearhead pace attack of Ben Golds (3 for 19), Morlon Simon (2 for 23) and Emmerson Wood (2 for 13) decimated the Oxford batting line up, supported by some excellent fielding. Oxford eventually fell 22 runs short of their target meaning that the Army’s long awaited return to cricket was a successful one.
Scorecard: Army and UKAF – Match Report 260594
Video Report courtesy of Forces TV
The second fixture was closer. The Army posted a bigger total than the first match and reached 142 thanks largely to a quickfire 39 from only 19 balls by Tade Carmichael and wicket keeper Connor Reed weighing in with 42. Oxford started well and were looking on track to chase the score down – largely due to a defiant 65 from their opener Freenan. Ben Golds (3 for 21) made the key breakthrough and as Freenan disappeared so too did Oxford’s chances of winning. The Army’s spinners then took a stranglehold of the game (Jay Boyton 3 for 18 and Tade Carmichael 3 for 25) as a fairly spectacular batting collapse saw the students fall 11 runs short of the required total.
Scorecard: Army and UKAF – Match Report 260595