KIDMORE END came up just short on Saturday against FINCHAMPSTEAD in their Division 2A match that
KIDMORE END came up just short on Saturday against FINCHAMPSTEAD in their Division 2A match that saw nearly 600 runs scored.
With Finchampstead captain Russell Lane winning the toss he elected to bowl first confident that his side would be capable of chasing down whatever target that Kidmore End would set on what looked like a batsmen-friendly wicket.
The opening partnership of Tom Burslem and Joe Waldron reached 48 before the latter fell courtesy of a diving catch by Lane that rewarded opening bowler Craig Hodges.
With Waldron being content to hit the bad ball to the boundary with increasing regularity, Jeff Sheldon was relegated to a watching brief and he was content to give Waldron the strike.
Sheldon became the second wicket to fall as he spooned a simple catch to James Woodford off the bowling of Max Stevenson.
With Waldron now being joined by Guy Ashby, Kidmore End displayed positive intent as Ashby hit his third ball into the woods surrounding the ground.
With Waldron now looking to attack, he received a slice of good fortune as his third six was adjudged to have hit an overhanging branch before being caught by Hodges at deep mid-wicket. His luck ran out the next ball as he was caught by Adam Dewes at mid-off with his 83 coming off 97 balls and contained 13 fours and two sixes.
With the Kidmore score at 152-3 with 20 overs to go Guy Ashby provided the anchor role, a series of cameos from Abid Ul-Wahab with 34 from 20 balls, Tom Sheldon 18 from 22 balls and Hamish Grant with 14 from 18 balls, allowed the hosts to declare on 289-6 from 50 overs. Ashby was to remain undefeated with 76 off 124 balls with his innings containing nine fours and a six.
Finchampstead started confidently as Lane and Matt Jones hit boundaries early in their innings. Jones was the first to be dismissed with Abid Ul-Wahab taking a catch low to the ground.
With Finchampstead being up with the required run-rate due to Lane hitting a boundary an over, the Kidmore bowlers were aware of the need to take more wickets on a regular basis. The next two wickets were to come courtesy of two catches from Tom Burslem behind the stumps.
The first removed Adam Dewes when he took a full-length diving catch down off the bowling of James Rogers and the second removed Lane when he took a one-handed catch off the bowling of James Frost.
When Simon Bell hit James Walker into the willing hands of Tom Bodeker at deep square leg, Finchampstead had reached 100-4 at the end of the 20th over. With the stabilising influence of Kwame Appiah joining Ed Oliver, they were content to take the runs on offer and with Appiah scoring runs with abandon, the game once again swung back into the balance.
With Appiah maintaining his knack of getting out to Jeff Sheldon, this brought a mini-collapse as three wickets fell for six runs as Kidmore gained the ascendancy in the game.
Finchampstead staged a mini revival as James Eaglesham joined Oliver as they attempted to wrest the initiative back from Kidmore End and their partnership had put on 25 in six overs before Eaglesham was dismissed by Abid Ul-Wahab with this leaving Kidmore End 12 overs to take the remaining two wickets.
Unfortunately for Kidmore End, with the dismissal of Eaglesham, this brought Craig Hodges to the wicket and he proceeded to hit the Kidmore End bowling to all parts of the ground and in a ninth wicket partnership of 112 in 11 overs with Oliver ensured that Finchampstead maintained their current unbeaten status at the top of the table.
T Burslem, c Lane, b Hodges
J Waldron, c Dewes, b Stevenson
J Sheldon, c Woodford, b Stevenson
G Ashby, not out
A Ul-Wahab, c Stevenson, b Dewes
T Sheldon, c Bell, b Hodges
H Grant, c Oliver, b Lazenbury
T Bodeker, not out
TOTAL (6 wkts)
Best bowling: C Hodges 2-75, M Stevenson 2-78.
R Lane, c Burslem, b Frost
M Jones, c Ul-Wahab, b Ashby
A Dewes, c Burslem, b Rogers
S Bell, c Bodeker, b Walker
E Oliver, not out
K Appiah, c Burslem, b Sheldon
M Stevenson, c Ashby, b Sheldon
A Lazenbury, c Rogers, b Ul-Wahab
J Eaglesham, c Sheldon, b Ul-Wahab
C Hodges, not out
TOTAL (8 wkts)
Best bowling: J Sheldon 2-42, A Ul-Wahab 2-57.
Cameron Jacobsen took five wickets to help Division 2B league leaders HENLEY 2nds defeat BURNHAM 2nds in a close encounter. On a warm day and with a pitch that looked as if it would offer assistance for both seam and spin, Henley captain Simon Wheeler won the toss and elected to bat. Burnham’s overseas player Waqar Ahmed started strongly, producing a probing and pacy spell that accounted for the top order of Harris, Kenworthy and Allaway.
A partnership between Oldershaw and Michael Williams steadied the ship, with the latter scoring 30 before being bowled by the off spin of S Ahmed. Oldershaw was unfortunate to get out when he went back to work a short ball off his pads and was bowled as the ball rolled back off the top of his knee roll.
A cameo from Will Legg (28) ensured runs continued to flow, ably supported by Chris Ellison. When Legg departed Henley found themselves once again in trouble as Jacobsen was adjudged lbw. Ellison advanced to 34, before being given out lbw, while Homewood and Wheeler hit 57 and 40 not out respectively, to leave Henley on 246 all out from 51 overs.
In reply Henley took the old ball, with Jacobsen operating from one end with his slow left armers. Wickets fell steadily as the Burnham top order perished before Waqar Ahmed and Basra played expansively to keep Burnham in the hunt.
In the end it was the new ball that did the trick as Basra holed out to mid-off from the bowling of Wheeler, who soon accounted for Burnham’s captain as well, while Jacobsen continued to ply his trade from the other end.
With 50 runs needed from the last five overs with three wickets in hand, the stage was set for Ahmed to force a result. A series of heaves over mid-wicket off the bowling of Jacobsen had Henley staring at defeat but Ahmed played one shot too many, and all of a sudden seven runs were required off the final over, to be bowled by Wheeler.
A single and a two from the first three balls brought it down to four being required, before a risky attempted second run was thwarted by some fine fielding at long-on from Ryan Palihawadana and a subsequent direct hit from Ellison. Henley needed only one wicket to secure an unlikely victory, with two balls left and three runs needed by the hosts to win. Wheeler held his nerve to clean bowl the Burnham number 11 with the penultimate ball of the match to secure victory.
Elsewhere in the division WARGRAVE went down to a seven wicket defeat at HURST. Batting first the visitors were bowled out for 102 with Hurst hitting 105-3 to win the match.
HENLEY 3rds remain rooted to the foot of Division 4B following their three wicket defeat at WOKINGHAM 2nds. The visitors posted 234 all out with Hugo Laing top scoring with 59 and Alex Johnson chipping in with 51. However, this total was not enough as the hosts eased to 238-7 to win the match with Nathan Hopkins taking 4-75 for the visitors.
Division 6B league leaders WARGRAVE 2nds were held to a draw by HURST 2nds. The visitors batted first and put on 300-8. In reply Sam Bowers hit 102 runs as Wargrave ended their innings on 215-8.
HENLEY 4ths ran out 119 winners in their local derby clash at home to KIDMORE END 2nds. Batting first the hosts put on 236-4 with Charlie Bradbury top scoring with 93. In reply Kidmore End were bowled out for 117.