Banbury’s ECB National t20 Finals dream ended in the disappointment of losing the bowl-out against Wimbledon at The Kia Oval.
After a lengthy delay, the seven-over semi-final saw Banbury inserted by Wimbledon captain Neil Turk nearly two hours after the original start time.
Craig Haupt faced the first ball of the semi-final and scored a single. Fellow opener Nathan Hawkes faced three balls, hitting two runs off the second ball before he was bowled by Mark Smith.
Incoming batsman Jonny Cater failed to scored off the next over as Wimbledon got on top early on with Jack Snape producing a maiden over.
Haupt hit a massive six off the second ball of Smith’s second over but Cater soon departed bowled by Smith to be replaced by Lloyd Sabin.
Haupt went in the fourth over, driving straight to Darren Hooey off Snape who, along with Smith, bowled straight and true. That brought Oxon county captain Luke Ryan to the crease with Banbury struggling at 16-3 after four overs.
Only three more runs came off the next over and Ryan was soon heading back to the pavilion in the sixth over, bowled by Seb Franke-Matthecka.
With just 26 runs on the board going into the final over, Banbury were in desperate trouble. As the rain fell so did Richard West, to leave Sabin and Ian Tew with it all to do to get anywhere near a respectable score.
The conditions didn’t help with the final over being played out in heavy drizzle and it was no surprise when the umpires took the players off with four balls left.
And that’s how it ended with another long delay resulting in the umpires calling it a day with Banbury on 27-5. The deadline for play to resume was 4.25pm but more rain ended that possibility so it was to the indoor school for a bowl-out, shown live on The Oval’s big screen.
Five bowlers from each side had two balls each.
Wimbledon went first, Snape missed, Smith hit, Hooey missed, Rawlinson hit and Neil Turk hit to set a total of three.
For Banbury, Olly Wright hit, but Haupt, Jimmy Phillips and Richard West all missed meaning Ashley Blanchard had to hit twice to level – and once he’d missed with his first delivery it was all over.