Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Harpsden close in on league title following top-of-the-table win

UNDEFEATED Division 2 leaders HARPSDEN ran out eight-wicket winners at home against second-placed BRAYWOOD on Saturday.

UNDEFEATED Division 2 leaders HARPSDEN ran out eight-wicket winners at home against second-placed BRAYWOOD on Saturday.

Harpsden skipper Christian Whittaker won the toss and elected to field first. The Harpsden new ball combination of Johnny Wright and Toby Stevens bowled with good discipline as the visiting batsmen struggled on a pitch with some exaggerated bounce.

Despite slow scoring the visitors reached 44-1 after 16 overs with Kazmi the only early wicket to fall, trapped lbw by Stevens.

Regularl changes of bowling saw Harpsden take wickets throughout the Braywood innings, with Brown and Paice accounting for the Braywood middle order. A steady innings from Vijayan and a couple of counter-attacking blows from Z Ahmed offered some late resistance, but the returning Harpsden seamers of Wright and Stevens cleaned up the lower order to leave Braywood 145 all out after 39.3 overs.

The Harpsden reply got off to a bad start as Sam Imlay fell for 2 to the spin of Robert McDermott in the third over. The aggressive Bryan and skipper Whittaker provided the perfect foil to opener Horatio Cary, who carried his bat for 66 not out as Harpsden reached the total in just 20 overs to win by eight wickets.



Off-spinner McDermott was the pick of the Braywood bowlers as five dropped catches off the batting of Cary cost the visitors.

The win leaves Harpsden 32 points clear of Braywood with a game in hand as the season enters its final four weeks.

BRAYWOOD



S Kazmi, lbw, b Stevens

10

A Raza, b Paice

10

N Jathavedan, c Bryan, b Brown

21

Y Ahmed, c Wright, b Paice

4

Z Ahmed, c Birkett, b Wright

16

M Waheed, lbw, b Wright

0

P Vijayan, c Ward, b Stevens

31

N Satti, c Ward, b Brown

1

A Dad, c Cary, b Brown

17

A Bhatti, not out

0

R McDermott, c Bryan, b Stevens

0

Extras

35





TOTAL

145





HARPSDEN



S Imlay, c Y Ahmed, b McDermott

2

H Cary, not out

66

A Bryan, lbw, b Z Ahmed

44

C Whittaker, not out

13

Extras

21





TOTAL (2 wkts)

146





Elsewhere in the division HURLEY ran out five-wicket winners at AMERSHAM HILL.

The match was delayed until Hurley could put six men in the field with players stuck in traffic and going to the wrong location.

Yawning gaps in the field had Hurley fielders scurrying to field as Amersham decided to bat and take advantage. Even with only 6 fielders, Hurley made early breakthroughs as Greg MacKenzie top edged Akhtar and Layburn was sharply stumped by Simoes off Kuldeep Nothey.

Fielders eventually dribbled on to the ground and Hurley had 10. Akhtar then bowled Cooper and Nothey had Evans slicing to cover to reduce the home side to 41-4. Runs then dried up as Russell Thompson and Jon Cooper tried to rebuild.

Ross Brown removed Cooper while Nothey had Thompson slicing high where Phil Ridgeway accepted the catch at slip to leave Amersham on 52-6.

Ollie Wood produced a top class innings to almost double the score as Alistair Rae held out at the other end. Their 48 seventh wicket stand was ended by Brown when Rae lobbed to mid-wicket where Howard Mansell swooped to hold the catch off his ankles.

Despite Wood’s heroics, Scott Taylor came on and cleaned up the tail with three wickets in four balls. Amersham ended on 123 all out.

George Lewis produced a sweetly timed innings before James Evans found some extra bounce and the ball took the shoulder of the bat to fly down to third man with the score on 20 from five overs. This became 22-3 as Hurley threatened to make heavy weather of the small total.

Akhtar and Steve Taylor added 28 before Akhtar guided to slip, but a fifth wicket stand of 58 between Taylor and Ridgeway broke the back of the run chase. These two calmly let the wide deliveries go by and punished the loose. Taylor went with the score on 108 to be replaced by Scott Taylor and Ridgeway finished the chase in style crashing two sixes off MacKenzie with 31 overs to spare.

AMERSHAM HILL



G MacKenzie, c & b Akhtar

4

M Cooper, b Akhtar

13

R Layburn, st Simoes, b Nothey

17

J Evans, c Lewis, b Nothey

7

R Thompson, c Ridgeway, b Nothey

6

J Cooper, c Simoes, b Brown

5

O Wood, not out

51

A Raw, c Mansell, b Brown

7

V Natarajan, lbw, b Taylor

8

P O’Brien, b Taylor

0

N Ridgeway, c Simoes, b Taylor

0

Extras

5





TOTAL

123

Best bowling: Sc Taylor 3-28, K Nothey 3-38, N Akhtar 2-26, R Brown 2-27.



HURLEY



G Lewis, c Ridgeway, b Evans

18

D Simoes, c Wood, b Netarajan

0

N Akhtar, c Evans, b Netarajan

16

U Rafiq, b Evans

1

St Taylor, c Thompson, b O’Brien

17

P Ridgeway, not out

44

Sc Taylor, not out

4

Extras

26





TOTAL (5 wkts)

126

Best bowling: J Evans 2-34, V Natarajan 2-38.

Division 4 league leaders HARPSDEN 2nds picked up a hard fought draw at KNOTTY GREEN 2nds.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat. The Harpsden opening bowlers of Tom Ham and Rod Birkett had them 37-5 after 12 overs having been helped by good catches by Adam Birkett and Mick Greenwood, and good work behind the stumps by Jon Stanley.

Pandya and Vishal Patel, after surviving a torrid period, started to rebuild the innings. Ian Whittaker got the deserved wicket of Patel before the skipper, J Patel, joined Pandya at the crease. These two batted well as the ball lost its shine and got the hosts up to 220-7 off their maximum of 47 overs. Tom Ham finished with figures of 3-44 off his nine overs.

Harpsden’s reply started badly with skipper and top run scorer, Sasha Burgess, out in the second over. Bradley and Greenwood tried to re-build but at 44-3, Harpsden looked as if they might be heading for their first ever league defeat.

However, Will Stevens and Mark Cooper batted sensibly against some good spin bowling, especially from the left armer, Luke Patton. As Stevens and Cooper got used the vagaries of the sloping Knotty Green pitch, they started to accelerate but only having 43 overs to chase down the required 221 for victory, the run rate climbed steadily and in the end they settled for a hard fought draw. The duo put on an unbroken 135 for the fourth wicket — the highest for that wicket in Division 4 this season.

KNOTTY GREEN



A Patel, c A Birkett, b Ham

10

S Patel, st Stanley, b R Birkett

0

R Monsy, c Stanley, b Ham

10

J Coppock, c Greenwood, b Ham

0

D Pandya, c A Birkett, b Stevens

98

I Rundell, c Cooper, b Birkett

7

V Patel, c Cooper, b R Birkett

28

J Patel, not out

33

San Patel, not out

2

Extras

32





TOTAL (7 wkts)

220

Best bowling: T Ham 3-44.



HARPSDEN



S Burgess, c Coppock, b San Patel

4

J Bradley, c A Patel, b San Patel

20

M Greenwood, c A Patel, b Rundell

8

W Stevens, not out

64

M Cooper, not out

62

Extras

21





TOTAL (3 wkts)

179





LITTLE MARLOW 2nds completed a league double over HURLEY 2nds on a day dominated by the batsmen at Shepherds Lane.

Mike Cole won the toss and opted to bat first on what transpired to be the fastest, bounciest track seen this season. Hurley suffered an early setback when Mike Walton edged behind off Tom Lathey in the third over.

Abdullah and Amir Ali staged a recovery with a partnership of 69 for the second wicket, ended by Ged Holmes. Josh Cole made a career best 38 in a stand of 76 with Abdullah for the third wicket. When he fell at 152 in the 39th over Hurley were well set to accelerate their innings, but the much needed acceleration never came as skipper Cole fell in the next over without scoring.

Debutante Oscar Bean joined Abdullah to add a further 44 runs to bring the innings to a close on 197-4 from the maximum 47 overs.

Dave Pollitt opened from the river end with his customary frugality, only one scoring shot coming from his first four overs. At the other end, encouraged by the fast track, Mike Cole tore in at pace.

Uzair Hassan wasted little time playing himself, smashing 10 off Cole’s first over. The bowler had his revenge a couple of overs later when a full length delivery pegged back the middle stump as the batsman went for another big shot.

Cole followed this in his next over by dismissing Ged Holmes, going for an expansive drive but only managing to edge to the keeper who took the catch high to his right.

At 39-2 the game was evenly balanced but a third wicket partnership of 76 between Richard Tinsley and Nicky Marie put the visitors in control. Bean dismissed both batsmen in consecutive overs to give Hurley some hope but 38 from Tim Potter and 37 from Neil Lancum saw Little Marlow home without further loss with half a dozen overs to spare.

HURLEY 2nds



M Walton, c Kruger, b Lathey

2

Ab Ali, not out

97

Am Ali, c Lathey, b Holmes

29

J Cole, b Hassan

38

M Cole, c Lathey, b Doherty

0

O Bean, not out

5

Extras

26





TOTAL

197





LITTLE MARLOW



R Tinsley, b Bean

36

U Hassan, b M Cole

24

G Holmes, c Walton, b M Cole

4

N Marie, c Pollitt, b Bean

44

T Potter, not out

38

N Lancum, not out

37

Extras

18





TOTAL (4 wkts)

201

Best bowling: O Bean 2-18, M Cole 2-34.



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