Sunday, 15 December 2019

Hogan-Keogh and Birkett notch hundreds to win championship

Hogan-Keogh and Birkett notch hundreds to win championship

HARPSDEN hosted relegation strugglers BALLINGER WAGGONERS on Saturday hoping to put last week’s defeat behind them and wrap up the league title.

Home skipper Ben Hancock won the toss and elected to bat on a flat deck, with little overhead assistance for the bowlers.

The Ballinger openers struggled to hit their lengths early on and runs began to flow.

Blake Hogan-Keogh took a particular liking to anything short and wide and the score raced to 37 from the first two overs.

Openers Harry Livingstone and George Cooke began to settle in as the scoring rate slowed but the home side’s formidable opening partnership saw off the new ball and began to consolidate through the middle overs.

Tom Petrie and Nick Adams were introduced to the attack and immediately began to stem the flow of runs.

Wickets were still hard to come by however and as Hogan- Keogh passed his 50 in the 13th over the Aussie opener seemed to be set for another mammoth total.

Adam Birkett then began to accelerate as Harpsden passed 150 for the first wicket.

Hogan-Keogh then brought up his 100 with a trademark late cut before the opening partnership was finally broken, with the Aussie snicking off Fin Clark for 109.

Hancock arrived at the crease looking to accelerate the rate as the home side entered the latter half of the innings.

The skipper batted with typical brutality, striking a number of short arm pulls over mid-wicket in an effort to bat the visitors out of the game.

This style contrasted well with Birkett who continued to accumulate steadily at the other end.

The opener brought up his 100 in bombastic style, striking a huge straight six to reach his ton before departing for 105 in the 40th over.

Stef Franklin joined Hancock with the score at 254-2 and the pair put on a quick 46 run partnership at the death to see Harpsden finish on 300-2 from their 45 overs.

In response, Harpsden struck early with Abdul Khaliq trapping Stuart Clark leg before wicket for six.

Marcus Tingey and James McIntyre combined well before Franklin snared a quick double, having McIntyre caught miscuing a pull shot at mid-wicket for 30 and trapping Tingey leg before wicket for 41.

McIntyre and Petrie began to accumulate runs at a steady rate before both fell to Franklin again for 49 and 71 respectively.

Harpsden looked to have broken the back of the run chase at this point and some tight bowling from Heath at the Golf Club end saw the visitors requiring nine an over for the last 19.

Franklin picked up his first five-wicket haul of the season having Richard O’Kelly bowled for a duck and some tight death bowling saw the home side run out winners by 42 runs, cementing their grip on the league title for the year.

Dan Hayden and Chris Humphreys were the stars of the show as PEPPARD STOKE ROW secured their survival with a four-wicket win which consigned RUISLIP VICTORIA to relegation with two games to go.

Peppard were teetering on the brink just eight weeks ago, but the introduction of Max Baker-Smith as captain galvanised the side and led to an unbeaten run which included victory over champions Harpsden, a winning draw against second-placed Checkendon and also a defeat for Holmer Green.

Two of the other five games have been rained off, but Ruislip was a fifth victory in completed matches.

Peter Lamsdale (2-7) and Sam Fooks (2-23) were in top form as they reduced the Victorians to 16-4, and when Alfie Clifton nipped a ball through the defences of Mick Walker, the score was 33-5.

Jim Bridger and Amar Grewal dug in until Humphreys enacted a superb run out to dismiss the latter, and with Connor Lamsdale and Humphreys (3-11) running through the lower order, Ruislip were dismissed for 112.

Peppard’s reply started disastrously as they crashed to 23-4, but Hayden (47) and Baker-Smith put on 71 for the fifth wicket.

The skipper edged behind with the score on 94, but some further lusty blows aided by the cool heads of Rich Ashton and Sam Fooks saw Peppard reach 113-6 in 24.4 overs.

Consistent batting from CHECKENDON took them to a healthy total of 242-6 against the 10 men of visiting BRAYWOOD.

Vittal Guntaka held together the latter part of the innings with 51 runs, which included two sixes and five fours after Manpreet Singh had contributed a typically upbeat 48.

The Braywood reply depended largely on their number three, Nasser Mahmood, who hit 68 in only 72 balls.

But paceman Amol Tyagi and off-spinner Rama Adigantla picked up three wickets apiece as Checkendon ultimately secured a comfortable victory by a 59-run margin.

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