PEPPARD remain in relegation trouble in the Premier Division of the Berkshire League after going down to a six-wicket defeat at home to league leaders WEST READING on Saturday.
The visitors won the toss and asked Peppard to bat on what proved to be a track with variable bounce and movement. Despite the obvious difficulty, Andy Watts and Ashley Hayden set to with some gusto, reaching 33 after eight overs.
A change of bowling brought on Abid ul Wahab and two wickets in his first over transformed the game. A controlled 27 by home captain Senthil Muniasamy, aided by a more erratic 24 from Mahesh Sabanathan could only usher Peppard to two batting points and Shahid Saddiq and Hafeez ul Wahab blew the lower order away.
The game had been remarkable for being played in bright sunshine whilst all around the lightning flashed and thunder boomed. Its eventual encroachment after tea led to the umpires delaying the restart but, once started, the game continued without interruption. Peppard made a good start through Senthoor Jayakanthan with three wickets in three overs but, as he began to tire, the batsmen were more easily able to pick him off.
A controlled innings by opener Rahim Khan, who began very slowly but accelerated his scoring to end with an unbeaten 66 as the backbone of the reply, helped by 37 from 35 by Hafeez ul Wahab and an unbeaten 23 from 26 by Khorrum Ashraf, ushered West Reading to 30 points and pushed Peppard further down the table.
A Watts, b Raja 19
A Hayden, b A Ul-Wahab 12
S Jeyakanthan, b A Ul-Wahab 4
S Muniyasamy, b Saddiq 27
T Vines, lbw, b A Ul-Wahab 4
M Sabanathan, c Raja,
b H Ul-Wahab 24
R Walker, b H Ul-Wahab 2
M Peedell, lbw, b Saddiq 16
I Jackson, c Raja, b H Ul-Wahab 0
M Khan, b Saddiq 9
R Hayden, not out 0
A Davidson, c Watts, b Jeyakanthan 1
R Khan, not out 66
T Ahmed, b Jeyakanthan 0
H Raja, b Jeyakanthan 2
H Ul-Wahab, c Watts, b Jackson 37
K Ashraf, not out 23
TOTAL (4 wkts) 130