HENLEY 2nds won their first Division 1 match of the season on Saturday as they defeated visitors BEACONSFIELD with impressive displays with both the bat and ball.
With a hint of moisture still in the pitch after the previous day’s rain, Beaconsfield won the toss and elected to field first. This initially proved successful, with Underdown driving loosely to cover and Oldershaw edging to second slip off Mahood to leave Henley reeling at 34-2.
Zia Ashraf and Will MacDonald dug in on an ever-drying pitch to deny Beaconsfield further breakthroughs before piling on the runs. The pair put on 138 runs before MacDonald holed out to fine leg for 82, bringing Cameron Jacobsen to the crease with a view to achieving an imposing total.
Several lusty blows later, Henley finished their 52 overs with a total of 246-3, with Ashraf unbeaten on 102 and Jacobsen on 41.
Beaconsfield started their chase edgily, with Simon Wheeler unfortunate not to take an early wicket with his brand of swing bowling under greying skies, while Ashraf opened from the other end with his off-spin.
Ashraf struck first, inducing false strokes from Francis and Morgan to leave Beaconsfield 44-2. Wickets continued to fall, with Ashraf picking up the wicket of Hasan and Zac Jones pinning Suter in front, but it was not until Tom Oldershaw’s diving catch to dismiss captain Thomas that Henley started to smell victory.
A farcical run out of Bentall, plus further wickets from Ashraf, left Beaconsfield with just two overs to survive with one wicket in hand. Jacobsen managed to coax enough turn from the pitch to find the edge of Mahood’s bat with some force, and Green stuck out a hand to claim a close catch at gully, thereby securing victory. Ashraf finished with impressive figures of 7-74.
KIDMORE END slipped to the foot of the table after losing at home to DATCHET.
Having won the toss the Gallowstree Common side elected to bat first and put on 218-9 with A Ul Wahab top scoring with 66.
In reply Datchet reached their target off 46.3 overs to win the match with 220-7.
HENLEY 3rds had to settle for a draw when they made the short trip to WARGRAVE in Division 3A.
The hosts won the toss on what looked a good pitch to bat on and immediately had Henley in trouble as skipper Tom Chappell perished to the first ball of the match to Jack Clark.
This brought Price to the wicket and he batted all the way through to the end of the innings. With the score on 118-5 he was joined by Dan Hayden. In a partnership of 110, Hayden, who scored 70 in quick time, turned a potentially dangerous situation for Henley into a good score. Henley ended the innings on 244-8 with Price ending on 86 not out. For the hosts Sohi took 3-22 off his five overs.
In reply Wargrave got off to a fast start as Henley took the old ball. The legspin of Hussain accounted for Sohi. Henley proceeded to take the new ball as Wright and Birkett picked up a wicket each. Wargrave’s Dan Davies had to leave the pitch having suffered an injured thumb.
Tahir Kazmi then took three wickets in his spell of leg spin bowling in tandem with Kenworthy.
Wargrave opener Taylor was removed for 99 to a behind the back catch from wicket-keeper Vickers. Davies, who had returned from hospital having broken his thumb, returned to action and he and Thomas dug in to ensure a draw, both players finishing on eight not out.
KIDMORE END 2nds suffered a heavy nine-wicket defeat at Division 6B leaders BAGSHOT 2nds.
The visitors won the toss and skipper Mark New elected to bat first and opened up the batting with Chris Pigden against a Bagshot attack which had yet to concede 150 runs this season.
The openers started to build a solid partnership with New in particular hitting good shots around the wicket as he capitalised on some ill disciplined bowling. New hit his opposite number Derek Budd for 16 from one over and he promptly removed himself from the attack.
The first drinks break was taken at 17 overs with Kidmore being well placed on 84 without loss and in the 19th over New (56) duly moved to his half century with another boundary before being out lbw in the 20th over with the score on 104. All of New’s runs were scored exclusively in boundaries.
Mike Dixon joined Chris Pigden and they carried on the positive intent which Kidmore had demonstrated with the bat as they took the total on to 150 before Pigden was dismissed for 46. Dixon followed soon after with the score on 154 and it was left to Paul Lawson to shepherd the remainder of the innings with a useful 32 not out as he ensured with support from Assad Ul Haq and Rufus Emmanuel that Kidmore achieved maximum batting points and also had the distinction of being the first team to hit 200 against Bagshot this season.
The Bagshot response started off positively as Mike Jones was struggling with his run up and conceded 10 runs from his first over none of which came off the bat.
Assad Ul Haq at the other end was bowling a disciplined line and length and asking questions of both openers Deano Dawson and Richie Rowlett and in the seventh over Ul Haq got one through Rowlett’s defences and he was bowled for 6.
Thereafter Kidmore never created any further chances and despite going close on a couple of occasions were unable to apply sufficient pressure as Dawson and Dave Sutton built together a formidable partnership which took Bagshot to victory with nine overs to spare.
Division 7A league leaders WARGRAVE 2nds triumphed by 21 runs away to FINCHAMPSTEAD 4ths.
Asked to bat on a difficult looking wicket, the visitors were soon in trouble when both openers were out inside the first eight overs to the bowling of N Scott.
This brought Chris Lunn and Jon Colbourne to the crease. With some selective hitting and solid defence they moved the score along to 86 when Lunn was adjudged lbw to the spin of J Lincoln.
Colbourne reached his half century with a pull over square leg only to be bowled the next ball by Loveday.
The next two Wargrave wickets followed soon afterwards and their innings looked in trouble at 120-5. Simon French and Phil Drew steadied the innings with the rest of the lower order managing to get the score up to a respectable 201 all out in 50 overs. French finished on 46 not out.
In reply Finchampstead got off to a slow start with only nine runs coming from the first 10 overs due to tight bowling by Smith and Walker. Archie Withers replaced Walker and gradually the Finchampstead innings started to gain momentum. The new ball was taken in the 14th over and this brought the game to life. French removed opener Eldridge before Berkshire U13 opening bowler Jarryd Wallace took three quick wickets and the score reached 75-5 off 20 overs.
A good stand between R East and J Lincoln changed the game. Lincoln hit the ball to all parts of the ground and soon had the score board moving quickly, so much so that by the 36th over Finchampstead had moved the score on to 165-5 and needed just 36 runs to win.
Wallace was reintroduced into the attack and the game changed yet again. His third ball of his new over was hit high up into the air and Emma Walker at mid-on ran round and took the catch. Wallace then bowled Steve Scott to leave the hosts on 167-7.
Jerry Smith came on to bowl and had Finchampstead skipper David Marles caught one-handed by Scott Walker in the outfield before Jon Colbourne caught Brown at short leg. In Wallace’s next over he removed N Scott’s off stump as Wargrave triumphed with Finchampstead all out for 180. Wallace finished with impressive bowling figures of 6-30.
HENLEY 4ths knocked BURNHAM 4ths off the top of the Division 7B table at Nettlebed. The hosts were asked to bowl first on a good pitch as the Burnham openers started with some aggressive batting.
Henley opening bowler Alex Harris-White set out to contain the attacking batsmen with some tight bowling and early movement helped.
Opening up from the other end Andy Chappell went for more runs but found the aggressive batting from Burnham provided the fielders with chances, with Josh Perkins taking a catch at mid-off to claim the first wicket.
Burnham continued to attack the Henley bowling but with Chappell gaining a further two wickets in his first spell, Ron Pratley replaced him and took another two. Youngster Harry Maskell bowled two impressive short spells, claiming a wicket. Captain Sean Taylor bowled a long spell to claim the wicket of Burnham’s top scorer.
Returning for a spell at the end of the innings Chappell claimed a further two wickets to end with 5-50. A run out from Harris-White to claim the final wicket led to Burnham finishing on 200.
With 200 runs to chase down Henley needed to get off to a quick start, the wicket of Manoharan forced on some early pressure, but with Jeremy Palmer and Alex Johnson scoring 40 and 23 respectively, Henley put themselves firmly on the front foot. Another strong partnership from the impressive Henry Oldershaw, who hit 50 and Jack Davies who hit 26 saw Henley take control.
After losing captain Taylor, Harry Maskell and Josh Perkins batted Henley to victory as they reached 203-6 off 42 overs.
Bhatti, c Perkins, b Chappell 14
Nasem, st Manoharan, b Chappell 8
Munshi, lbw, b Pratley 18
Khan, b Chappell 17
Heer, b Taylor 38
Raja, c Johnson, b Pratley 16
Afsar, c Taylor, b Maskell 36
Raza, c Oldershaw, b Chappell 6
Ewan, c Davies, b Chappell 15
Surarez, not out 11
Jayed, run out 4
Best bowling: A Chappell 5-50.
Palmer, c —, b Raza 40
Manoharan, b Bhatti 0
Johnson, b Afsar 23
Oldershaw, c —, b Sayed 54
Davies, c —, b Sayed 26
Taylor, c —, b Afsar 2
Perkins, not out 24
Maskell, not out 3
TOTAL (6 wkts) 203
KIDMORE END 3rds recorded a comfortable 121 victory over COVE 5ths in Division 8B at Highmoor.
Kidmore captain Mark Beddow won the toss and elected to bat first. Opening batsmen Stephen Payne and Jonnie Abbot laid a solid platform which was built upon by the middle order. The remainder of the Kidmore innings was built around a majestic 86 from Greg Clark whose innings included drives and clips around the wicket as well as two sixes.
Clark received good support from Michael Perchard who made 27 not out as Kidmore finished on 191-8 from their 47 overs.
In reply Kidmore’s young new ball pairing of James Rogers and Daniel Sporle asked questions of the Cove opening batsmen and were unlucky not to pick up more than a wicket each.
The decisive spell of bowling came from Kidmore’s Beddow who ripped the heart out of the Cove innings with a devastating spell of 3.1-2-1-5 as none of the visiting batsmen could deal with the flight and guile which Beddow was demonstrating. This impressive bowling performance delivered a 121 run victory.
WARGRAVE 3rds’ Division 9B promotion hopes took a knock as they slipped to third place after drawing at BOYNE HILL 4ths.
Batting first the hosts put on 234-4. In reply Wargrave posted 198-9 off their allotted overs with D Colbourne top scoring with 63.