Super Selfe puts Leighton in the winning mood

LB 2nds vs Witney
LB 2nds vs Witney

With hundreds of Cherwell League wickets already to his name, Leighton spinner Lee Selfe achieved another ambition on Saturday away against Oxford 2nds.

Selfe’s remarkable day included in his latest 6 wicket haul was his first ever hat trick as Leighton beat Oxford by four wickets.

Leighton won the toss and put the home side in to bat first. They made a slow start showing little interest in playing any forcing shots.

The score had limped along to 31 off 16 overs when Phillip Whatmore took a sharp catch at slip off the bowling of Dan Scott for the visitors first success.

Selfe then took his first wicket of the day bowling opener Fox (19) and with the score on 44 Sam Roberts had Elliott (4) caught by wicket keeper Tim O’Leary.

But Selfe’s first victim then signalled the end.

He had Sadiqi(23) caught by Sam Roberts, Nash went first ball leg before wicket not offering a shot: Khan then tried to smash his first delivery but only skied it to Sam Roberts who took a good catch running towards square leg.

The innings was now somewhat in disarray.

Tom Light joined the bowling attack and soon trapped Hands (2) lbw. Wickets continued to fall on a regular basis. O’Leary caught Hussain (10) off Selfe -Light caught and bowled Musk (3) . It was appropriate that the last wicket was taken by Selfe with Scott comfortably catching Pickford (10)

A final total of 105 was achieved in 44 overs which included 11 boundaries.

Selfe took 6-24; Light 2-21; and one wicket each for Scott and Roberts.

The view at the interval was that the pitch was very slow and it would be equally challenging for the visitors to reach their target although they had plenty of overs to do so.

And so it proved. Antony Francis was bowled first ball and Light made just 5. Chris Thompson (17) helped Whatmore begin to rebuild the innings but was caught by the wicket keeper with the score on 36. Adam Culley (5) helped to raise the score to 73 before he was bowled by spinner Hussain. Dave Roberts (9) managed a couple of lusty blows before he was lbw with Hussain again the tormentor.

Leighton’s troubles continued when Scott (3) fell to the spinner.

Fortunately for Town Whatmore had dropped anchor at one end and was playing with great patience, waiting for the bad ball and punishing it when it arrived. Jack Kempster (5no) joined his skipper with just 9 runs needed for victory and these came in the 31st over of the innings with the score ending on 109-6.

After almost 2 hours a fine individual effort from Phil Whatmore ended on 47 not out, including eight boundaries.

Hussain was the pick of the home bowlers with 3-13.

Leighton take 25 points and retain their fourth position in the division.

Leighton 2nds meanwhile took on Witney Mill at Bell Close in Division 4.

Seven of Town’s players who managed to make scores in double figures but no-one was able to make the big score that was needed. Swing bowler Pierre Lefort always enjoys his trips to Leighton because he always manages to capture a bagful of wickets. Saturday was no exception as he cleaned bowled 5 and had 2 more catches taken by the wicket keeper. Alfie Ruston was top scorer with 19 and Andy Smith 18 as Town were bowled out for 147 with Lefort taking 7-36.

Witney then took their time to establish . The opening partnership had reached 57 in the 22nd over when Alan Priestley bowled Dove(29). The same bowler then had Haslegrove (9) caught by Smith.. However a 75 run partnership between Claridge (43) and Evans (43no) took the visitors to the verge of victory when the former was caught by Bertie Barrett off the bowling of James Raine.

Witney ended as comfortable winners on 151-3 with Priestley (2-30) and Raine (1-19) achieving Leighton’s only successes.