Oxfordshire's record wicket-taker Keith Arnold produced an outstanding display of seam bowling to take 8-26 and propel Banbury Twenty towards their first win of the season in Division 2 on Saturday.
Abingdon Vale had no answer to Arnold’s seam, swing and guile and were swept away for only 99.
The 51-year-old Arnold takes a while to get going these days. His approach to the wicket to deliver the first ball of the match was incredibly laboured – an incoming batsman who took so long would be in danger of being timed out.
But the home batsmen were soon coming and going in no time once Arnold was into his stride, with 55-1 soon 74-7 and then 99 all out.
Twenty’s fragile batting line-up was therefore under little pressure after tea, and victory was rarely in doubt despite a wobble inspired by Vale seamer Mike Cook that saw the visitors slump from 43-0 to 46-3.
So Twenty climb off the bottom of the table for the first time this season.
* Abingdon Vale 5pts, Banbury XX 25.
Challow & Childrey put themselves in the promotion race with an easy eight-wicket win over Aston Rowant 2nd, who are now bottom.
An unbroken third-wicket partnership between Ryan Gordon (81no) and Ian Demain (51no), which built on opener Nigel Hume’s 57, brought Challow victory.
Earlier, Rowant had posted 213-7 thanks to Paul Plumridge (67) and Dominic Whatman (54no), while Olly Dimbylow maintained his fine form with 3-30.
* Challow & Childrey 25pts, Aston Rowant 2nd 6.
Morning leaders Banbury 2nd were left to rue the weather as they were denied the chance to pursue victory at home to Wolverton Town.
Sean Potter (45) was the mainstay of Town’s 171-5, which also featured 3-15 from Ross Freeman.
Craig Haupt was 36 not out in Banbury’s 64-2 when the rain arrived.
* Banbury 2nd 2, Wolverton Tn 11.
Tiddington’s fourth straight win took them up to second in the table and within two points of the leaders.
Half-centuries from Darren Risden (56) and Nick Pykett (58) set them on the way to 163-5 and a five-wicket victory at Great Brickhill.
The hosts had managed 160 before being bowled out, of which Graeme Carter had made 76 before John Ponsford took 4-47 to wrap up the tail.
* Great Brickhill 8, Tiddington 25.
Sandford St Martin’s losing streak was extended to six matches at Long Marston, who return to the top.
Only South African import Siphe Mzayidume (57) got going as Sandford reached 139-8 in an innings reduced to 40 overs by rain. Pete Toovey took 3-29.
Marston’s reply was reduced from 33 overs to 26 by a further interruption, but Martin Green (78no) soon steered them 140-2 in the 22nd.
* Long Marston 25, Sandford St Martin 4