Mixed weekend for Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club

PUBLISHED: 16:37 14 May 2013

WGC's Paul Barker kept his nerve to help his side to cup success against Oxford

WGC's Paul Barker kept his nerve to help his side to cup success against Oxford

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IT was a miserable start to the Home Counties Premier League season in all senses of the word for Welwyn Garden City as they fell to an opening-day defeat to Banbury on Saturday.

In the end, as well as the Oxfordshire outfit being the winner, the rain was too as it ultimately affected the result of the Division One encounter.

However, that disappointment turned into jubilation on Sunday, when WGC triumphed in thrilling circumstances in the Kingfisher Cup against Oxford.

WGC opened the batting away at Banbury on Saturday and put on 156-6 from their 43.3 overs.

Only Gavin Baker with 49 and young Alex Chalker who hit 32 made sizeable totals, before the rain set in.

On returning to the crease, the umpire decided that Banbury needed 85 from 22 overs to win, which left the WGC players somewhat bemused.

Banbury duly obliged, as they reached the total for the lost of only two wickets in 16.4 overs, to triumph based on run-rate.

Despite the rain being a major player in this game, Banbury still collected a maximum of 25 points from the game, with WGC left with only two.

But Sunday saw WGC bounce back in exhilarating style - again battling the rain too.

Oxford won the toss and batted first in the cup clash, and after 41 of 45 overs, they had made 187-8 when it rained.

Louis Champion with figures of 3-12 and Paul Barker with 2-30 were the pick of the bowlers.

The best excitement of the day was yet to come as when the rain ceased around 6.30pm, both teams and the umpires, agreed a bowl out was the only option to decide the winner.

The WGC team of Simon Greenall, Aaron Laraman, Alex Chalker, James Southgate and Paul Barker were prepared to bowl two balls each against their Oxford counterparts.

With WGC 3-2 down, Barker took the final leg needing to hit twice to secure victory. He did just that, and was then chased round the ground by his team-mates to the cheers of the jubilant crowd as WGC sealed a thrilling victory.


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