Owslebury (H) - 2 June 2007
Won by 73 runs
TON-TASTIC GEORGE GUIDES IDLERS TO VICTORY

Idlers 209-8 beat Owslebury 136 by 73 runs

An unbeaten century from last yearís Idler of the Year George Shepherd and a club record ninth wicket stand of 92 laid the foundations for the Idlersí third win of the season in a game in which the momentum constantly fluctuated.

After winning the toss and electing to bat on their home track the Idlers lost wickets with alarming regularity and found themselves struggling on 117-8. Shepherd remained unbeaten and in good touch at the crease although he was quickly running out of batting partners.

But the Idlers pride themselves on their depth of batting and, thanks to number ten Rawle Beckles, the tail wagged hard.

Shepherd (104*) and Beckles (38*) put on a club record 92 runs for the ninth wicket partnership in an onslaught that changed an average looking total to something much more formidable and in the process saw them collect maximum batting points. Whilst the orthodox Shepherd frustrated the bowlers and punished their figures by repeatedly launching them over the ropes, Becklesí unconventional technique also had Owslebury scratching at their heads as he made room for himself and blasted boundaries of his own in his swashbuckling late cameo.

Shepherd batted for 37 overs as he scored his fourth century for the club which was fittingly brought up with another boundary as the away team saw their good early work undone by initial patience and then some potent hitting.

Buoyed by their late run charge the Idlers took to the field confidently and the opening bowlers bowled miserly as the run-rate steadily increased. Nick Lawrence was the pick and he removed both openers for single figure scores in a tight spell of 9-1-18-2.

Following this early success the Idlers were then hindered by a hundred run partnership between R.Harris (70) and R.Harfield (26) who saw off the openers and then capitalised on some loose bowling. The telling introduction of captain Andy Harmsí off-breaks brought about a change of pace and the crucial wicket of Harris who was trapped LBW. Harris and Harfield were the only two Owslebury players to score double figures.

The ensuing collapse was orchestrated by the swing bowling of Bryson whose memorable debut performance resulted in the enviable figures of 5-1-12-4 and skipper Andy Harms whose profitable spell mopped up the tail and gave him figures of 4.3-1-6-3.

An astounding Collingwood-esque diving catch from Jack Betenson was the highlight of some fine work in the field that included a sharp run out from the darting Jasper Gilbey and some excellent ground saves to compound Owsleburyís misery.

Congratulations also to Max Biles for becoming the second Idler to pass the hallowed 1000 run mark for the club before his tame dismissal on saturday. He achieved this feat (because he's been playing longer than Jasper and George and the Impaler spent a year abroad) in 53 innings which included 5 half centuries and 20 not outs with the respectable average of 30.39.
TEAM : Jack Bettensen, , Jasper Gilbey, George Shepherd, Andy Harms, Ben Impey, Max Biles, Alex Ince, Martin Clements, Rawle Beckles, Nick Lawrence

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