Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Birkett in fine form as Luton Caribbean side are left adrift

HARPSDEN’S 40 over first team captain’s (Christian Whittaker) versus vice captain’s (Ben Hancock) match was played on Saturday and proved to be a closely fought contest.

The Vice Captain’s openers struggled against the Captain’s new ball pair of Tom Hancock and Ed Birkett, only managing 20 off the first 10 overs, which included the wicket of Toby Stevens.

Liam Eslick battled well through this early test and got his half-century in his first innings for Harpsden and although Horatio Cary, Jon Stanley and Ben Hancock all fell cheaply that brought Steff Franklin to the crease. He dominated the bowling and when he was joined by Johnny Wright, the pendulum swung very firmly to the Vice Captain’s team. Their score of 183 off their 40 overs looked to be marginally above par on what was a good batting wicket, but also providing enough bounce and lateral movement for the bowlers. The most economical of the bowlers was Ed Birkett who went for only 20 in his eight overs.

The Captain’s top order failed against the seam movement of both Johnny Wright and James Brooks and at 26-3 looked to be staring defeat in the face. Captain Christian Whittaker took the responsibility on himself to re-build and then with the help of Jack Brown, put on 90 for the fourth wicket before Brown was run out after being sent back attempting a suicidal run to Horatio Cary.

After Christian Whittaker was deceived by Matt Stanley’s slower bowl, none of the other batsmen were able to hold the Vice Captain’s bowlers at bay — Matt Stanley and Alfred Cary both bowling well.

James Paice and Alberto Flyer managed to progress the score to within one blow of the Vice Captain’s before Steff Franklin knocked over Paice’s furniture and the Vice Captain’s ran out winners.

HARPSDEN VICE CAPTAIN’S XI

T Stevens, b T Hancock

5

L Eslick, c E Birkett, b J Brown

56

H Cary, c E Birkett, b J Paice

4

J Stanley, lbw, b R Birkett

13

B Hancock, b R Birkett

0

S Franklin, not out

65

J Wright, not out

25

Extras

15

TOTAL (5 wkts)

183

HARPSDEN CAPTAIN’S XI

S Imlay, c S Franklin, b J Brooks

14

A Birkett, lbw, b J Wright

1

M Greenwood, b J Brooks

0

C Whittaker, b M Stanley

81

J Brown, run out

24

T Hancock, c S Franklin, b M Stanley

0

E Birkett, c A Cary, b M Stanley

8

J Paice, b S Franklin

13

R Birkett, b A Cary

5

A Flyer, not out

16

Extras

16

TOTAL

178

Best bowling: M Stanley 3-24.

HARPSDEN ran out winners at home to LUTON CARIBBEAN in a 35-overs match on Sunday.

Alex Bradley and Sasha Burgess bowled good opening spells which kept the Luton Caribbean batsmen on their toes. Although Burgess bowled well it was Bradley who took the first two wickets, both caught well by skipper Adam Birkett in the slips.

The removal of Wooodley and Sheldon bought Luton Caribbean’s best two batsmen together, Reuben Bailey and Zabi. The introduction of Rod Birkett swiftly ended the partnership, removing both batsmen with good catches from Liam Eslick and another by Adam Birkett.

Further good catching, this time by Jon Harris, gave good support to the bowlers with most of them taking at least one wicket. In the end, Rod Birkett finished with 4-21 off his seven overs which helped to restrict Luton to a sub par 145 in their 35 overs.

Harpsden’s opening batsmen, Mark Cooper and Liam Eslick, were regularly tested by the strong Luton Caribbean bowling attack but they were able to progress the score to 39 before Eslick spooned one up to backward point.

Cooper’s 32 was invaluable but when he and then James Thomas, who got an inswinging yorker in his Harpsden debut, were quickly followed back to the pavilion by Adam Birkett, Harpsden were looking in trouble at 67-4 and well behind the required run rate. This brought Sasha Burgess to the crease who immediately pounced upon the pace of Anderson, cutting and driving well. He was lucky to survive a run out attempt as the fielder fumbling and the bowler upsetting the stumps allowed him to scramble home, but this luck was all that was required as he and Justin Bradley, who batted very well for his 18, and then Jon Stanley, saw Harpsden home with nearly five overs to spare.

LUTON CARIBBEAN

R Bailey, c A Birkett, b R Birkett

35

R Woodley, c A Birkett, b A Bradley

11

L Sheldon, c A Birkett, b A Bradley

3

A Zabi, c L Eslick, b R Birkett

22

E Burrows, c J Harris, b M Stanley

4

C Dral, b R Birkett

0

D Anderson, b R Birkett

10

V Stewart, b J Harris

9

S White, not out

7

R Barnard, c J Harris, b A Birkett

6

B Ragher, not out

16

Extras

22

TOTAL (9 wkts)

145

Best bowling: R Birkett 4-21.

HARPSDEN

M Cooper, b Stewart

32

L Eslock, c E Burrows, b Zabi

10

J Thomas, b Stewart

1

J Bradley, lbw, b Dral

18

A Birkett, lbw, b Anderson

7

S Burgess, not out

47

J Stanley, not out

7

Extras

25

TOTAL (5 wkts)

147

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