Dan Moriarty bowls 1st XI to victory!

ARCC 1st XI – 244-9 declared, Horspath 1st XI -167 all out, Moriarty 6-26.

Aston Rowant’s star of the show last week was undoubtedly Dan Moriarty as he bowled us to a 77-run win in the Home Counties Premier League Division 1.

Chasing the 244-9 dec after we had been put in to bat, Horspath slumped to 167 all out with left-arm spinner Moriarty masterminding victory for Rowant with 6-26.  Horspath’s reply had begun well with Robbie Eason and debutant Tom Beresford putting on 52 for the first wicket, but Moriarty’s introduction into the attack turned the game. He quickly made the breakthrough by bowling Beresford for 25, and in the next over James Fitzjohn saw his stumps knocked back by a delivery from Wes Morrick, which kept low, before he’d got off the mark, making it 53-2.

Eason was then adjudged lbw to Moriarty for 25, with the score on 71. Bowling from the scout hut end, the 18-year-old South African was causing Horspath batters all sorts of problems, and Darryl Brown survived a sharp chance to Morrick at slip just before tea, which arrived with Horspath 84-3.

However, it proved a short-lived reprieve for Horspath’s overseas player as the South African fell lbw to Moriarty for a fluent 31 soon after the interval with just two more runs on the board. Shahbaz Ali, playing his first game since the last match of the 2016 season after taking a year out, was then bowled by Moriarty, leaving Horspath 91-5.

Stephen Green became the spinner’s fifth victim when he chipped a catch to Tom Condon at mid-wicket with the score on 106. Seven runs later, skipper Will Eason was caught by Leo Bethell off Dom Whatman, who then bowled Will Robertson for nought with another unplayable delivery, making it 114-8.

Jehan Mohammed and Jamil Faruq gave Horspath hope of salvaging a draw by putting on 53 for the ninth wicket, but when they both fell on the same score it was game over. Mohammed was caught behind by Josh Smith off Chris Watling for 25, and in the next over Faruq holed out to Gordon Harris at long off for 30 with Moriarty completing his six-wicket haul to secure victory and send the 1st XI 16 points clear at the top at the half way stage.

Earlier, Horspath did a good job of containing us for much of our innings before the our last pair of Will Pendered and Gordon Harris shared an unbroken stand of 40 to set up a bold declaration, which helped to give us some real momentum & we saw Horspath’s heads were dropping.

Andrew Tolson and Dan Matthews put on 31 for the first wicket, before the latter was caught out of his crease by a direct hit from the quick-thinking Brown and was run out. Tom Condon had helped move the score on to 77 when he was caught by Fitzjohn in the covers off Faruq for 20, and two runs later Will Eason trapped Tolson lbw for 43.

Skipper Josh Smith and Watling took Rowant to lunch at 127-3, but they had added only 14 more after the resumption when the former was bowled by Brown. The South African all-rounder struck again with the score on 178 when Watling was defeated by one which kept low, and five runs later Brown claimed his third victim when Morrick was caught by Fitzjohn for 17.

Moriarty was the next to fall to Brown when he edged to Will Eason at slip without scoring, making it 189-7. Rowant had added just three more runs when Fitzjohn claimed his first league wicket by bowling Bethell. And the off-spinner struck again with Whatman being caught by Brown, making it 204-9, but Horspath were then frustrated by Rowant’s last pair. Pendered led the way with an unbeaten 36, ably supported by Harris, to allow Josh Smith to declare in the 61st over ^& therefore giving us a few extra overs to bowl Horspath out. Brown (4-56) was the pick of the Horspath attack, while Fitzjohn took 2-23, Faruq 1-41 and Eason 1-45.

The win took Aston Rowant 1st XI to the top of the HCPL Division 1 table at the half way stage in the season, which no one really pays much attention to but we’d no doubt have taken that before the start of the season having recorded 6 wins from the first 9 games, one loss to High Wycombe & one draw versus Tring Park & the abandonment against Finchampstead in a game we probably would have gone on to win.

The 1st XI would like to thank everyone who made the short trip over to Horspath to support the lads as we really appreciated everyone getting behind us in what can be a hostile place to play cricket despite the Horspath players generally being good lads & we enjoyed a beer with them after.

This week we take on Oxford CC who will be smarting still after being bowled out by us in the opening game of the season for 96.  They will be boosted by Calvin Dickenson who is on the staff at Hampshire & is a class act.  They’ll also have their former Pakistan test player Ayub who is a dangerous operator if he gets going & he’s already scored a two or three 100’s this season.

We would very much welcome any support in what should be a good game of cricket with another hot and sunny day in store.  Wesley Morrick unfortunately sits this one out with a troublesome hamstring issue but we welcome back young heart throb Adam Muttitt who returns after finishing his 1st year in an adult environment.  George Reid also returns after missing the last two games with piss poor excuses / commitment & with Morrick injured it means Whatman plays on in the 1st XI yet again.

ARCC 1st XI: Reid, Tolson, Condon, Smith, Watling, Pendered, Moriarty, Bethell, Muttitt, Whatman, Harris.

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