Weather puts Harpsden’s league title charge on hold
HARPSDEN were left frustrated by the inclement weather in their pursuit of wrapping up the Division
HARPSDEN were left frustrated by the inclement weather in their pursuit of wrapping up the Division 2 league title at home to BINFIELD last Saturday.
After losing the toss Harpsden were inserted to bat on a decent batting track. The hosts made a solid start with Imlay and Brown looking solid in defence whilst pouncing on any loose bowling.
The rhythm was interrupted by the first of three rain delays in the match. This proved to be Brown’s downfall as he was bowled straight after the delay for 10. This brought Stevens to the crease to join Imlay, both batsman were quick to seize on any bad bowling as they began to take the game away from Binfield — when Stevens fell for 30 the pair had put on 103 as captain Hancock joined Imlay at the crease.
After another rain delay, Harpsden upped the run rate, as both batsmen regularly found the boundary. Imlay fell soon after 12 runs short of a century but this didn’t stop the climbing run rate as Wright and Hancock pummelled the ball to all parts. After Hancock fell for 58, a declaration soon followed as Harpsden looked to bowl out Binfield before the rain arrived.
Harpsden began the pursuit for victory in good style, with openers Tom Hancock and Toby Stevens bowling with good pace and accuracy. It was Hancock who made the breakthrough, castling Collet’s middle stump for 9.
Birkett was introduced into the attack as he removed Higginson for 19. He was quickly followed by Nower. Binfield fell into further trouble as French was removed thanks to a diving catch at gully by Wright.
When Jones was plumb in front off Brown’s bowling Harpsden could sense an unlikely victory. However some solid defence from French and some classy shots from Vines frustrated Harpsden before rain brought an early end to proceedings.
J Brown, b Jones
S Imlay, c Jones, b Nower
W Stevens, c Vines, b Boad
B Hancock, c Higginson, b Nower
J Wright, b Nower
T Hancock, not out
T Imlay, not out
TOTAL (5 wkts)
J Collett, b T Hancock
R Higginson, c Stevens, b Birkett
S Nower, b T Hancock
T Vines, not out
G French, c Wright, b Birkett
N Jones, lbw, b Brown
Z French, not out
TOTAL (5 wks)
HURLEY’S match at HOLYPORT was also eventually abandoned.
The visitors, having won the toss, decided to bowl in the hope of quick wickets and early points. Ross Brown struck in the third over bowling Fowler before Riley was run out to leave the hosts on 39-2.
Jonty Pajwani took a while to get going, but just as he began to find the boundaries he was cut down by Naeem Akhtar. Dan Wessels and Will Sennet added 97 in 17 overs with Phil Ridgeway taking some punishment before having Wessels chopping on to his stumps with the score on 173-4. Brown returned and his pace and bounce precipitated the collapse forcing Sennet to drive to mid-off and Holyport declined to 230 all out in 50 overs.
The weather began to deteriorate and with it Hurley’s reply. Vik Bhagwani hit a six but then was bowled in the fifth over while Steve Wright tried to exploit the gap on the leg side but failed to clear mid-on running round.
Akhtar and Ridgeway rebuilt adding 29 before the economic Tim Hayes had Ridgeway driving at mid-off.
Following the second rain break and after the top sight-screen had given in to the gale Steve Taylor was caught at gully. Careem took a sharp catch off Wessels who was generating pace.
With the light fading and the clouds gathering Wessels decided to bowl short and balls flew over Scott Taylor’s head. Taylor was driving well before the game was abandoned with Hurley 98-5 from 32 overs.
M Fowler, b Brown
J Pajwani, b Akhtar
A Riley, run out
D Wessels, b Ridgeway
W Sennet, c Akhtar, b Brown
M Careem, c Nothey, b Brown
V Jayachandran, b Brown
S Miller, c Simoes, b Brown
M Azmath, b Akhtar
A Thompson, not out
T Hayes, b Akhtar
V Bhagwani, c Jayachandran
S Wright, c Azmath, b Jayachandran
N Akhtar, c Pajwani, b Wessels
P Ridgeway, c Azmath, b Hayes
St Taylor, c Careem, b Wessels
Sc Taylor, not out
D Simoes, not out
TOTAL (5 wkts)
Best bowling: D Wessles 2-11, V Jayachandran 2-34.
The top two teams in Division 4 faced off at Shepherds Lane but it was the weather that won the day.
HURLEY 2nds opted to bowl first on winning the toss with a view to picking up bowling points before the rain came. The visitors got off to a solid start with an opening partnership of 44, although Braithwaite was fortunate to survive an appeal for a run out attempting a two to Abdullah Ali at fine leg.
Joe Graham broke the opening partnership, finding extra bounce to find the shoulder of Ollie Heath’s bat, looping to Nigel Haines in the gully.
Braithwaite continued to enjoy his fare share of luck with several mishit shots falling safe and a couple of sharp chances going to ground. Ed Andrews was run out backing up, as a drive from Braithwaite was deflected on to the stumps by Joe Graham. Skipper Mike Cole replaced Graham at the Shepherds Lane end to dismiss Braithwaite, playing on to his stumps.
Sasha Burgess and Ian Whittaker added 41 for the fourth wicket before the introduction of Amir Ali precipitated a collapse with wickets in four consecutive overs, as the last six wickets fell for 25 runs.
Burgess chipped Ali to mid-on where Mike Cole took a low catch, the last action before a long delay for rain.
After the resumption Harris sliced to Josh Cole in the covers. Whittaker was the next to go, stumped down the leg side by Mike Walton. Romily Heyward, making her league debut, only lasted two balls, chipping to Henry Graham at mid-wicket.
Rod Birkett provide some resistance with 14 runs before Haines had him caught at slip by Clive Williams. Ali finished off the innings in the last over as Ham drove in the air to Imran Arshad at mid-on. Hurley reached 34 for the loss of Clive Williams who chopped on to his stumps off Birkett.
Abdullah Ali and Amir Ali added another 39 runs before torrential rain caused the match to be abandoned.