HURLEY got their Division 2 season under way at the third attempt in a low-scoring encounter with GREAT KINGSHILL at Shepherds Lane.
Going into the match, the visitors were sitting top of the table after two wins at home.
In a low scoring game the highest individual total for this match was 29, and 11 of the 16 wickets were taken by bowlers operating from the Lane end, eight of which were bowled.
Great Kingshill invited Hurley to bat. Openers Denis Day and Phil Ridgeway took the score to eight, on which the former was bowled at the end of the fifth over.
Ridgeway was starting to find some fluency when he was joined by captain Naeem Akhtar and the pair scored 35 for the second wicket in nine overs until Ridgeway was bowled by a ball which straightened up.
Akhtar added 13 with Alan Morgans, but the dismissal of the latter caught behind with the score on 56 triggered a collapse which saw the last eight wickets of a team lacking several proven performers fall over 12 overs for the addition of 19 runs, with Nick Hallatt and Ian Talmer chiefly benefiting.
Great Kingshill’s victories over Hurley last season were gained chasing down uncompetitive totals and this match followed the same pattern until Jonathan Langlands took two wickets in his first over with the score on nine and bowling from the Lane end with the old ball. Alex and Nick Hallatt added 36 for the third wicket over 13 overs until the latter was bowled by Ridgeway on the stroke of tea.
Ross Brown bowled Luke Wright and Tebb with the new ball in the first over after tea from the Lane end, and although the visitors lost their captain lbw, Howard Holmes and Stretton were able to score the necessary 20 runs for the seventh wicket to seal victory.
D Day, b Wright 1
P Ridgeway, b Talmer 20
N Akhtar, c Mackenzie-Crooks,
b N Hallatt 18
A Morgans, c Mackenzie-Crooks,
b N Hallatt 5
S Taylor, c Mitchell, b Talmer 2
R Brown, b N Hallatt 0
J Langlands, lbw, b Talmer 3
J Dawson, b N Hallatt 0
B Fraser, c Holmes, b N Hallatt 4
R Singh, b N Hallatt 4
D Morgans, not out 3
• Best bowling: N Hallatt 6-17, I Talmer 3-36.
N Mitchell, b Langlands 4
A Hallatt, lbw, b Ridgeway 29
M Mackenzie-Crooks, b Langlands 0
N Hallatt, b Ridgeway 6
L Wright, b Brown 8
J Tebb, b Brown 0
N Stretton, not out 2
H Holmes, not out 18
TOTAL (6 wkts) 78
• Best bowling: R Brown 2-12, P Ridgeway 2-20, J Langlands 2-27.
HURLEY 2nds drew their Division 4 match away at LITTLE MARLOW 2nds.
On winning the toss Dave Pollitt invited the hosts to bat first hoping for some early assistance from the slight green tinge to the wicket.
The Hurley skipper justified his decision with an early breakthrough, his fifth delivery going straight through the defensive prod of McCrae, whose innings only lasted one delivery.
After this setback, Les Ryan and Nicky Marie set about rebuilding the innings, ticking along at around three to four runs per over.
Shoaib Kayani was getting some sharp bounce from the pitch, troubling both batsmen on several occasions. Ryan was the next to go, a full toss from Kayani striking him in front of middle, giving the umpire an easy decision.
Marie looked impressive driving anything on a full length but less comfortable against anything a little shorter.
Steve Shore made a useful dozen runs in a partnership of 45 for the third wicket before chipping Imran Arshad to Asif Junaid.
Marie’s innings was also ended by Arshad with Kayani taking a good catch at mid-wicket. Tim Potter and Grant Smith accelerated the scoring, adding 29 in four overs until Potter was beaten down the leg side by Dave Walton and left stranded as Mike Walton removed the bails.
Guy Thistlethwaite used an entertaining array of leg side shots to add a brisk 45 to help Little Marlow to a total of 225 all out in 49.4 overs.
The Hurley openers, Kayani and Abdullah Ali made a steady start with 59 for the first wicket in 23 overs. No further addition by the drinks break left the visitors requiring 166 from the remaining 25 overs.
Ali fell in the first over after the break, bowled by Ged Holmes. Debutant Asim Khan showed promise with a well crafted 51 before lofting Thistlethwaite to Holmes.
A flurry of wickets followed as the middle order tried to up the run rate leaving Hurley no option other than to try and save the game.
Holmes used four bowlers in the last five overs to try and pick up wickets and despite all the fielders surrounding the bat, Nigel Haines and Mike Walton never looked in any danger as their side finished on 169-7.
LITTLE MARLOW 2nds
L Ryan, lbw, b Kayani 26
C McRae, b Pollitt 0
N Marie, c Kayani, b I Arshad 61
S Shore, c Junaid, b I Arshad 12
T Potter, st M Walton, b D Walton 30
N Matthews, c Y Khan, b Pollitt 27
G Smith, c Ali, b D Walton 3
G Thistlethwaite, lbw, b Kayani 45
R Mason, c Kayani, b Pollitt 4
G Holmes, not out 3
M Wilson, run out 0
• Best bowling: D Pollitt 3-29, S Kayani 2-37, I Arshad 2-39, D Walton 2-53.
S Kayani, c Potter, b Mason 26
A Ali, b Holmes 24
A Khan, c Holmes, b Thistlethwaite 51
I Arshad, c Ryan, b Wilson 19
O Arshad, run out 12
Y Khan, c Smith, b Thistlethwaite 1
A Junaid, lbw, b Thistlethwaite 3
M Walton, not out 12
N Haines, not out 3
TOTAL (7 wkts) 169