Grant’s century not enough as Bledlow secure two-wicket win
KIDMORE END entertained BLEDLOW on Sunday in a match that went to the penultimate ball of
KIDMORE END entertained BLEDLOW on Sunday in a match that went to the penultimate ball of the visitors’ innings before they secured a two-wicket win.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first on a sweltering hot afternoon. With the Kidmore End side being a mixture of youth and experience, the batting order reflected this as Tom Wilkinson opened the batting with Mark New.
Whilst Harry Bartlett was content to pitch the ball up and adhered to the principles of line and length, Will Woodward seemed more interested in testing the middle of the wicket as often as possible which New was content to hit the boundary three times in his opening over.
With New playing the more aggressive role, the opening partnership realised 41 before New was bowled by Bartlett. With Paul Lawson quickly following by spooning a simple catch to James Hawkes at cover, this then brought about an early mini collapse, as Kidmore were reduced to 50-4 with Bartlett only going for eight runs from his first six overs.
Hamish Grant patiently went about his business, first in partnership for the fifth wicket with Alex Berry, Grant helped put the Kidmore innings on a much more solid foundation. With the dismissal of Berry, this brought James Frost to the wicket and both batsmen attacked the Bledlow bowling as they wilted in the heat.
Their partnership had put on 118 when with Grant on 99, Frost sacrificed himself to ensure that Grant could score his second century of the season. Grant duly achieved this by depositing Samuel Mudie into the neighbouring field. Grant was the ninth wicket to fall with his 118 containing 18 fours and three sixes.
With James Frost striking early in the Bledlow innings, Kidmore started confidently in defence of their 225 total. With the arrival of Oliver Woodward, the Bledlow innings gained momentum as he in partnership with James Basa sought to lay the foundations for the successful run chase. Their partnership had put on 90 before Basa was undone in the flight by Grant and he lobbed a simple chance to Freddie Newbold in the covers.
Grant was then dismissed by Woodward in combination with wicket-keeper Conner Limbrick in a double-strike in the 15th over to leave Bledlow at 100-3. With Freddie Newbold supporting Grant in helping keeping the run rate down, Bledlow seemed content to pick the singles and hit the occasional boundary.
With youngsters Alex Berry and Joe Holland entrusted with bowling crucial overs, Bledlow decided to attack the bowling, but with Conner Limbrick running out Vineeth Purushothaman courtesy of a direct hit, the Kidmore youngsters stuck to their task well.
With the arrival of Sam Mudie to the crease, the run-rate increased as he hit the ball to the boundary with regularity but this was to prove his undoing as he was bowled by Berry attempting another big shot.
With Frost re-introducing himself into the attack, he accounted for Will Woodward to leave Bledlow requiring 34 of the last four overs. With Harry Bartlett seemingly more interested in hitting boundaries than running, this proved to be successful as with his rapid-fire 26 containing three fours and a six, Bledlow were victorious with one ball to go.
T Wilkinson, b Bartlett
M New, b Bartlett
P Lawson, c Hawkes, b Woodward
H Grant, c Franklin, b Bloomfield
C Limbrick, b Bartlett
A Berry, c Mudie, b Franklin
J Frost, run out
F Newbold, b Bartlett
J Holland, b Hawks
N Ruegg, not out
T Butler, b Hawkes
Best bowling: H Bartlett 4-14, J Hawkes 2-1.
J Basa, c Newbold, b Grant
J Hawkes, lbw, b Frost
O Woodward, c Limbrick, b Grant
S Williams, c Limbrick, b Berry
M Bloomfield, b Grant
V Purushothaman, run out
S Mudie, b Berry
W Woodward, b Frost
J Franklin, not out
H Bartlett, not out
TOTAL (8 wkts)
Best bowling: H Grant 3-21, J Frost 2-28, A Berry 2-34.