Four-midable

Reporter:

Mike Robinson

Former skipper Ian Davies, still a key member of the Oswestry Cricket Club First XI at the age of 47, believes the current squad has the potential to be one of the best in the club’s history.

Davies was speaking after playing a vital role in Oswestry’s victory over Halesowen at Morda Road on Saturday – a result which means they have won their first four games of the season in Division Two of the Birmingham League.

“I’ve played in some good teams here over the years,” said Davies, who made his senior debut in 1988. “But this one could turn out to be one of the very best.

“It’s got the perfect blend – we have a couple of talented 16-year-olds in Xavie Clarke and Roman Walker, who could turn out to be anything, and players like Warrick Fynn, Dean Suter and Mark Robinson who are still only in their early 30s but have loads of experience.

“Throw in a few 20-somethings like skipper Robbie Clarke and Joe Carrasco and it’s just what you want.

“Robbie’s only 22 and he’s learning by the week, but the extra responsibility is improving his game.

“The most important thing of all is that the whole squad gets on really well and we’re all ambitious. We really want to get back into Division One.”

As for his own form, Davies said: “The bowling’s going well – I’ve opened the bowling for Oswestry every season for nearly 30 years, and I’m happy with it at the moment.

“I’d like to be batting higher, but there are some good batsmen in this team!”

Davies was facing the bowling at the start of the last over on Saturday, with Oswestry needing six to win and eight wickets down. And he confidently struck the ball through the covers for four, meaning the two singles he and Mike O’Reilly scrambled off the next couple of deliveries were enough to see the Morda Road side home.

Clarke asked Halesowen to bat after winning the toss on Saturday in a game reduced by rain to 41 overs a side.

Davies and Sadaf Hussain each picked up an early wicket before a good stand between Ed Kilbee and Hassan Qaumi swung the balance of the game in Halesowen’s favour.

Kilbee went on to make 97no as the visitors closed on 185-5, with Clarke (2-48) the most successful Oswestry bowler.

Warrick Fynn was again in inspired form when Oswestry replied, and good support at the other end from Xavie Clarke (13), Robbie Clarke (26) and Alun Morris (27) saw Oswestry in control at 127-2.

Then wickets started to tumble, and when Fynn was run out for a fine 82, Halesowen looked the more likely side to win.

But Davies and O’Reilly stayed calm at the end, and Oswestry just edged over the line at 186-8. The game was sponsored by S. Owen and Sons.

n Oswestry will be bidding to make it five out of five when they visit Old Hill on Saturday (noon).

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