Thame Cricket Club’s first team kicked off their 2015 campaign in style when they recorded a convincing seven-wicket win over Oxford IIs in Cherwell League Division One.
On a cloudy afternoon, Oxford won the toss and elected to bat first on a good pitch.
Tight opening spells from Chris Jeffcock (2-13) and veteran Sam Lachlan (2-32) helped reduced Oxford to 18-2 from 17 overs before a masterclass of leg-spin bowling from Hassam Mushtaq (5-33) left the visitors in disarray.
Captain Mike Higgs (1-9) also chipped in as Oxford were dismissed for a well below par 89.
It was Higgs and Will Sutcliffe who played positively from the outset of Thame’s reply, with the home side racing to 49 from just eight overs.
Higgs (43) and Sutcliffe (24) both fell before the end, but Thame reached their target for the loss of three wickets inside 15 overs.
This Saturday, Thame travel to Banbury, who also won their first game.
Thame IIs fielded four 15-year-olds at Bledlow Ridge in their first game of the season.
Tight bowling by Thame’s most experienced players Ian McStay and Chris Penny restricted Ridge’s early batsmen, until Rory Spiers accelerated the innings to help his side post 228-7. Thame’s keen fielding yielded three run-outs.
In reply, Thame’s Andy Jinman scored a disciplined 66 not out as the visitors reached 120-8 to achieve a gritty draw. John Phippen (16) was the next highest scorer against accurate Bledlow bowling led by Dakin, Murdoch and Spiers.