6 wickets for Adam Syddall

Captain Danny Woods

Debutant Jack Williams

Bowlers take the plaudits in two day turnover

Woods' side romp home to stun Oxfordshire

MCCA Championship, Western Division: Cheshire 233 & 195, Oxfordshire 239 and 54.
Cheshire beat Oxfordshire by 135 runs
By Jim Law

A crazy opening Championship match at Great & Little Tew saw Cheshire romp home to victory against Oxfordshire inside two days to claim maximum points. Having set their hosts 190 to win, Danny Woods (4-31) and birthday boy Adam Syddall (6-23) capped a memorable performance as they skittled their hosts in their second innings for just 54.

Earlier, Chris Tipper had notched up an impressive 78 to set up victory whilst leg spinner Jack Williams took 6-80 in his first Championship match.

Elated stand-in skipper Woods paid credit to his side for a fine all round performance, helping to banish the spectre of Cheshire's poor one day series. 'We all know what Adam is capable of,' he said 'but to pull out the stops in the way he did was incredible'. Woods paid tribute too to Williams' 6-80 in the first innings and Tipper. 'It was great to see Jack bowl with such control and maturity' he remarked. 'He's made a real impact in his first couple of games for us. Good to see Tipps in the runs too.'

Cheshire made two changes to the one day side that lost at Hyde the previous week with Woods coming in captain in place of the absent James Duffy, and Rick Moore and the fit again Johnny Kettle also returning.

Oxfordshire put Cheshire into bat on a cloudy first morning and restricted them to 129-5 at lunch, Kettle back to form with a fine 63 and Moore weighing in with 37, the pair adding 78 for the third wicket. The innings then fell away to 162-7 before a fine rear-guard action between Williams (25) and Danny Cranmer (37) added 54 for the eighth wicket. Cheshire were finally all out for what felt like a below par 233, Luke Ryan taking 5-52.

The home side's reply got off to a canter, adding 76 before the Cheshire spinners struck. By close of play Williams had collected three wickets in three overs and with Woods taking two more, Oxfordshire closed on 105-5.

Nobody expected the fireworks of the second day. Williams took a further three wickets and Woods two but the Oxfordshire tail wagged and they finally gained a six run lead, all-out for 239, Johnny Cater top scoring with 61.

Cheshire tactically shuffled their order as Tipper opened with Kettle, delaying Moore and Warren Goodwin's firepower. Batting proved tough however after Kettle had gone for 25 with the score on 58, and the innings closed on 195, Tipper fourth out for 78. Another five wickets for Luke Ryan saw him end with match figures of 10-125.

Cheshire's lead of 189 felt assailable but with Syddall and Woods inspired, wickets began to tumble until the hosts succumbed for 54, Woods finishing with 8-66 overall.

'It genuinely was just one of those days,' mused Woods. 'One of those great cricket occasions. No real gremlins in the pitch, some mistakes and some good cricket. Yep, one of those occasions.'

He was right.

Next up Cheshire pitch up on home soil at Chester Boughton Hall against Wiltshire, Sunday-Tuesday, June 23-25.