KIDMORE END won their first match of the season at the Brakspear Ground on Saturday, a result that saw hosts HENLEY 2nds slip to the foot of Division 1.
Having won the toss and opting to bat, the visitors established a strong start scoring 49 runs for the opening partnership between Waldron and Dixon.
The tone of the day was set early as Henley opened up with Ashraf, a spinner, who would bowl 25 continuous overs through the Kidmore innings.
Henley’s seam bowlers were ineffective and Joe Dixon punished them with fluent drives as he recorded his highest league score this year of 66.
With many fielders set back on the boundary, scoring was slow and at 34 overs Kidmore had reached 101-1. Scoring at just over three an over meant that the middle and lower order had to accelerate to make the most of the solid start.
However, when MacDonald came on to bowl spin, and Henley had two spinners working in tandem, the middle and lower order failed to push on, and in their attempts to do so, wickets fell rapidly. Kidmore End lost eight wickets for just 60 runs and were all out for 161. MacDonald finished with figures of 6-25 off just 10 overs.
Spin was the order of the day as all the wickets had fallen to spin bowlers so Kidmore End opened up with the left arm off spin of Alex Crawford and leg spin of Joe Dixon.
The pair bowled in tandem for 20 overs and took four wickets between them. Henley slumped to 17-3 and creaked to 43-4.
Waldron was fielding well at slip taking a good catch off Crawford who was also fielding well, taking a good catch off Dixon’s bowling.
The hosts recovered with their two most senior batsmen, Ashraf and Furber. The pair started to milk the spinners and batted against Ul-Wahab without much concern. They added 66 for the fifth wicket and at 108-4, Kidmore End were staring down the barrel of another defeat.
Skipper Jeff Sheldon took one last roll of the dice and called for the new ball. This move paid off. Frost bowled Ashraf for 30 in his first over. The harder ball benefited the tall spinner Crawford, for he was now not only turning the ball sharply, but extracting bounce as wicket-keeper Zac Leonard was frequently taking the ball at head height and above.
What followed was Kidmore End’s most efficient and accomplished fielding performance of the season. Guy Ashby ran out A Price with a direct hit on the stumps having swooped to his left and fired the ball in after the batsmen had become muddled and stranded mid-pitch. Dixon then took a one-handed diving catch at mid-off.
Crawford was unplayable and Frost was relentlessly accurate and with this momentum Henley lost five wickets for just four runs in eight overs.
Frost took the last wicket with an in-swinging ball to give the visitors victory by 49 runs with Crawford returning bowling figures of 5-45.
J Dixon, lbw, b MacDonald 66
J Waldron, st Vickers, b Ashraf 20
J Sheldon, lbw, b Ashraf 18
G Ashby, c Vickers, b MacDonald 7
A Ul-Wahab, b MacDonald 0
Z Leonard, b MacDonald 6
G Hearne, c Vickers, b MacDonald 6
A Crawford, c Underdown, b Ashraf 19
R Shaw, lbw, b MacDonald 2
J Frost, c Price, b Ashraf 4
A Ul-Haq, not out 0
• Best bowling: W MacDonald 6-25, Ashraf 4-67.
R Underdown, lbw, b Crawford 6
W MacDonald, c Crawford, b Dixon 19
T Oldershaw, c Waldron, b Crawford 0
L Jacobsen, b Dixon 1
Ashraf, b Frost 30
G Furber, c Sheldon, b Crawford 33
A Price, run out 0
Z Jones, c Dixon, b Crawford 1
W Legg, c Waldron, b Crawford 2
M Vickers, b Frost 0
S Wheeler, not out 0
• Best bowling: A Crawford 5-45, J Frost 2-2, J Dixon 2-35.
WARGRAVE maintained their promotion push as they moved up to second spot in Division 3A with a home victory against FALKLAND 2nds.
The hosts won the toss and decided to bat and put on 264-3 in 46 overs thanks to contributions from Taylor (88 not out), Amor (68) and a quickfire 52 not out from A Woods. Wargrave opened with the old ball and spinners Huw Thomas and Mandip Sohi. Thomas made a break through with the last ball of his first over to remove Williams for 6.
The two bowled in tandem for 20 overs restricting Falklands to 70-4. This brought Kalugula and B Thomas to the crease and they set about rebuilding the innings and performing a stubborn resistance.
With sensible batting they rebuilt the innings for the next 10 overs to 149 before Faaez Shamsi struck to remove Kalugala for 65 and Bird for a duck in a single over. This swung the game back in Wargrave’s favour coupled with the fall of Thomas for 71 off the bowling of Huw Thomas.
Thomas then took a sharp caught and bowled and Simon French finished the innings with a yorker to end Falkland’s innings at 227. Pick of the bowlers were Mandip Sohi who finished with 3-66 off 21 and Huw Thomas who finished with 4-32 off 14 overs.
HENLEY 3rds lost in the final over of a high scoring clash at basement side THEALE AND TILEHURST.
The visitors won the toss and batted first and found themselves 3-2 after two overs. A 107 run partnership between Gurung (75) and Dan Hayden (56) settled the nerves.
Henley continued to build a high total taking advantage of the good batting wicket and fast outfield. After both players were dismissed and some acceleration by Hopkins (77 not out) and Manoharan (33 not out), Henley declared on 270-5 off 48 overs.
Henley took the old ball in the hope of taking some early wickets but only created a difficult chance that was dropped at silly point as Theale and Tilehurst built a strong opening partnership.
The new ball also failed to make the breakthrough but Dan Hayden forced an error immediately after drinks and Henley attempted to seize back the initiative.
Wickets fell at regular intervals but the runs were flowing as the batsmen kept up with the scoring rate.
The reintroduction of spin from Ashley Hayden and Tahir Kazmi brought Henley back ahead before Birkett (3-50) took two quick wickets leaving Theale 60 runs to get in the last 10 overs with two wickets remaining.
The match went down to the final over with six needed to win and one wicket remaining after Birkett’s yorker broke the partnership in the penultimate over.
Confusion in the field meant that a chance of a catch went to ground with four runs to win and from the following ball the Theale number 11 hit a boundary to seal victory by one wicket with two balls remaining.
KIDMORE END 2nds remain in relegation trouble in Division 6B after losing at home to FLEET 2nds.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first and put on 222 with R Denton taking 6-47 for the hosts.
In reply the Gallowstree Common side were dismissed in 49.2 overs for 191. D New top scored with 57.
Division 7A league leaders WARGRAVE 2nds suffered their first defeat of the season at MAIDENHEAD AND BRAY 3rds.
The visitors won the toss and put the hosts into bat first and dismissed them for 160. However, Wargrave found scoring runs difficult as they were all out for 77 in just 20.4 overs.
HENLEY 4ths moved to the top of Division 7B with victory over basement side BEACONSFIELD 3rds at Nettlebed. Henley batted first on a pitch that offered the bowler an amount of help and the visitors soon struck with the early wickets of Jeremy Palmer and Harry Maskell.
The inform pair of Henry Oldershaw and Jack Davies put a stranglehold on the innings to put Henley into a commanding position. Oldershaw hit another half century while Matt Dalrymple also showed potential with some neat shots.
With a couple of cheap wickets lost it was Sean Taylor that added invaluable runs with assistance from Andy Chappell and Chris Johnson to push the total up to 210.
Taking the old ball Henley opened up with Palmer and Johnson both taking two wickets each. Youngster Josh Perkins bowled his leg spin and took two wickets as the decision to take the old ball was proved a right one.
Good fielding from all kept the pressure up on Beaconsfield. Taking the new ball later into the innings to finish off the Beaconsfield tail, Chappell took two wickets and Adam Garrod added a wicket. Captain Sean Taylor took the final wicket to secure the win.
J Palmer, b A Randev 2
H Maskell, b H Babhania 0
J Davies, b A Babhania 23
H Oldershaw, c —, b J Dunkley 55
M Dalrymple, b JO Tres 28
A Davies, b A Randev 13
J Perkins, c —, b A Randev 5
S Taylor, c —, b A Randev 36
A Chappell, run out 8
C Johnson, b H Babhania 0
A Garrod, not out 0
A Randev, c & b J Perkins 23
C Elder, c Chappell, b C Johnson 8
C Mann, c Taylor, b J Palmer 0
H Cameron, lbw, b C Johnson 5
L Bishop, st J Davies, b J Perkins 0
J Dunkley, lbw, b J Palmer 5
A Babhania, c J Davies,
b A Chappell 4
S Stubbs, b A Chappell 17
H Babhania, b A Garrod 24
JO Tres, b S Taylor 22
JA Tres, not out 0
KIDMORE END 3rds suffered a nine-wicket defeat at home to OMT 3rds in Division 8B. The hosts batted first and were all out for 98 while the visitors eased to victory in 16.3 overs as they hit 100-1.
WARGRAVE 3rds maintained their promotion push from Division 9B with a six-wicket home victory against NORTH MAIDENHEAD ACADEMY. The visitors batted first and were all out for 120. In reply Wargrave eased to 121-4 off 30.5 overs.