Cotswold Hills League, Premier
Norton Lindsey & Wolverton 258 all out
Shipston won by 64 runs
JACK Murphy helped himself to an unbeaten century and five wickets in Shipston-on-Stour’s 64-run victory at Norton Lindsey & Wolverton on Saturday.
Murphy finished on 116 not out while Matt Corby smashed 155 to guide Shipston to an imposing target of 322-3 before the former bagged 5-57 to help hustle Norton Lindsey out for 258 in reply.
Shipston won the toss and chose to bat on what looked like the perfect track and conditions to set a big target for the home side.
The pitch did not disappoint with runs being scored from the first over.
Corby and Jamie Shurmer (4) made a positive start to get Shipston to 38 before a mix-up led to Shurmer being run out, thanks to a direct hit from Richard Blythe.
Murphy joined Corby at the crease just as Norton Lindsey introduced spin to the attack.
With last week’s disaster still fresh in the minds, the pair set about trying to extinguish any chance of a repeat performance, taking every single on offer whilst finding the boundary on a regular basis to keep their side in control of proceedings.
By drinks the partnership was closing in on 100 with Shipston feeling confident at 127-1.
The pair continued to keep the run rate high over the next ten overs to take their side past 200, with Corby bringing up his century shortly after.
After this Corby really began to open up, finding the boundary frequently to race towards his 150, with Murphy happy to support from the other end.
Norton brought Richard Pozzi (2-47) back in to the attack and his reintroduction finally removed Corby, bowling the Shipston opener for a sublime 155 that included 20 fours and four sixes.
The partnership with Murphy ended on 241 with Shipston at 279-2 from 40 overs.
Sam Bishop (11) joined Murphy at the crease, with the latter getting to his century the very next over before opening up to race Shipston past 300.
Pozzi had Bishop caught by Gavin Shephard at extra cover in the final over to add a third wicket for the home side as Shipston set a daunting 322 from their 45 overs.
If Norton were to chase down the visitors score they needed to get off to a great start and with 40 runs coming from just six overs that’s exactly what they got.
Marcus Ireland (2-42) struck back for Shipston when Max Morris smartly caught Shephard (7) at mid-wicket before bowling Conor Green (0) in the same over.
Sam Dexter (1-32) then had Stuart Shephard (0) caught behind in the next over to leave Norton 41-3 from eight overs and seemingly in real trouble.
However, Sunny Singh-Nijjar and Dan Fell had other ideas as the pair continued the fast paced scoring to keep the game firmly in the balance and by drinks the score was 150-3.
With Dave Pyne (0-49) slowing the scoring down at the one end, Shipston skipper Tom Cox decided to go spin at both ends, bringing Murphy in to the attack.
The pair worked hard to slow the home sides run rate over the next ten overs and start to put the pressure back on to them.
With the score progressing to 211 after 30 overs, the pressure finally showed as Singh-Nijjar skied one to Gary Betteridge, who composed himself to take the all important catch.
Singh-Nijjar fell just short of his century, departing for a well played 97.
Murphy then struck again soon after to remove Andrew Dellow (6) before Fell found Ireland in the deep to come up just as short of his century, departing for 97 with Norton Lindsey now 239-6.
Wickets continued to fall as the required rate became too much for the home side, with Murphy taking his fifth wicket in his final over before the returning Corby (2-39) picked up two wickets of his own to finish the job for Shipston, bowling the home side out for 258.
Reaction from star men Jack Murphy and Matt Corby in tomorrow’s Herald.