Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Sheldon shows class to set insurmountable run chase

A KNOCK of 87 by Jeff Sheldon helped KIDMORE END to a comprehensive 170-run victory over

A KNOCK of 87 by Jeff Sheldon helped KIDMORE END to a comprehensive 170-run victory over EVERSLEY in their penultimate game in Division 2A.

Captain James Frost won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that did not appear to have been adversely affected by the overnight rain.

Losing Jake Easton in the third over to the bowling of Lewis Sharp brought Sheldon to the crease and that was where he stayed until the 49th over.

In partnership with Joe Waldon, Sheldon took the lion’s share of the strike and negotiated a good opening spell from Sharp.

Then Eversley lost the services of opening bowler Joe Howarth with what appeared to be a recurrence of ligament damage to his left ankle in the sixth over.

Both batsmen were then intent on occupying the crease with Waldron, in  particular, showing uncharacteristic restraint as the bounce from the pitch became increasingly unpredictable.

When Waldron was dismissed for 63, Guy Ashby attempted to inject some pace into the Kidmore End Innings.

But he fell quickly, caught at first slip, after the ball leapt off a good length, catching the shoulder of Ashby’s bat, and into the hands of Sharp.

With Zac Leonard joining Sheldon in the 27th over, Sheldon decided to shoulder the burden of scoring the majority of the runs as Leonard took some time to adjust to the wicket.

With the Kidmore End score standing at 109-3 with 20 overs remaining, Eversley fought back with John Tucker and Matt Salter bowling straight with excellent control.

After the fourth wicket partnership had put on 71, Leonard was given leg-before wicket to Salter and brought Abid Ul-Wahab to the crease with one ball remaining of the 42nd over with the score standing at 161.

With Ul-Wahab deciding to attack from the outset, he produced an astonishing display of brutal hitting with his 61 coming off 28 balls with his innings containing two fours and six sixes. He dismissed by the returning Sharp with three overs to go.

With Sheldon being dismissed in the next over for 87 off 137 balls with nine fours and one six, Oscar Fountain rubbed salt into the wounds by hitting 21 off 11 balls leaving Kidmore End on 276-7 off their 52 overs.

In reply, Eversley opener Jack Ford was bowled in the second over by Guy Ashby.

This seemed to set the tone for the innings and with Abid Ul-Wahab also proving difficult to get away from the other end the second wicket was not too long in coming as Will Perkin was adjudged leg-before to Ashby.

The third wicket fell following some excellent glove-work from Julian Berry. With Tom Wright scoring a run a ball, he became Ashby’s fourth victim as his brief cameo was ended having played one shot too many as he lobbed a regulation catch to Joe Webster at cover.

With the next two wickets falling for just six runs, Eversley had lost their first six wickets before they were even half-way through their overs.

But Kidmore End were made to wait for their victory as Sharp and Salter attempted to achieve what would have been an unlikely draw. Their partnership produced 23, the highest partnership of the Eversley innings, before Sharp was dismissed courtesy of a one-handed diving catch by James Frost off Jeff Sheldon.

Then with Salter being bowled by Frost with the first ball of the 33rd over, the home side were left with 15 overs to take the remaining wicket with Howarth being unable to bat having returned to the ground on crutches.

The end was not long in coming as with his second ball of the 34th over, Joe Tucker spooned a catch to Webster at point to ensure that Kidmore End’s recent undefeated streak continued.

HENLEY 2nds tightened their grip on the Division 2B title with a seven wicket victory over CHISWICK & WHITTON.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat and made 148 within 39 overs. Henley’s captain, Simon Wheeler, returned the best figures of 3-20 while Euan Brock took three wickets for 32 runs.

Henley’s reply was swift, reaching their run target within 20 overs. David Barnes top-scored with 54 runs while Henry Oldershaw did well for his 37.

The hosts secured the league title last week and have now won 12 of their 17 fixtures, losing just three times.

Elsewhere in the division, WARGRAVE drew with THATCHAM TOWN.

The visitors made 252-6 in their 52 overs with Will Wright scoring an unbeaten 59. Wargrave’s Mandip Sohi returned his side’s best figures with one wicket from his 12 overs, with five maidens, conceding 44 runs.

Sohi then performed with the bat, hitting 64 runs before being bowled by Callum Johnson.

Daniel Prat was Wargrave’s top-scorer, with 68 and was out caught Tom Flack and bowled John Williams, who picked up three wickets in the innings.

Wargrave scored 212-7 from their 48 overs.

HENLEY 3rds moved off the bottom of Division 4B after defeating CHISWICK & WHITTON 2nds by nine wickets.

Chiswick batted first, making 114 off 34 overs, and was primarily down to Sajid Suleman who hit 66 before being bowled by Jason Withers.

Only one other player, bowler Sani Chopra at 10, made it into double figures and hit 13 before also falling to Withers.

Henley’s best bowlers were Nick Johnson, who returned figures of 3-21 from eight overs and Ron Pratley who got 3-28 from nine overs.

After losing Alex Gill for nine runs early on in reply, Nathan Hopkins and Rob Kenworthy saw Henley home, scoring 62 and 29, not out respectively in a stand of 110.

A sixfer from Martin Smith kept WARGRAVE 2nds top of Division 6B, helping his side to a nine-wicket victory over COVE 3rds.

Smith took six wickets in his 10 overs, conceding just 17 runs, while Razwan Hanif took three wickets in four overs and three balls.

Cove managed 105 runs — including 16 extras — before losing all their wickets within 36 overs.

Wargrave needed just 25 overs and two balls to reach their target.

Despite losing Kam Hanif for just six, Toby Greatwood and Jonathan Colbourne hit 65 and 32, respectively to guide their side home without losing any more wickets.

Monty Bradbury hit 98 for HENLEY 4ths to help record a 40-run victory over THATCHAM TOWN 3 in Division 7A. Henley batted first and made 195-7 in 47 overs but Thatcham came up short with 155 thanks in part to Chris Johnson who took 5-48.

Elsewhere, KIDMORE END 2nds drew with YATELEY 3rds.

The hosts declared on 285-6 with Mark New top-scoring with 136 and Cameron Livingstone-Smith hitting 65.

In reply, Yateley made 233-9 with Gerard Soames hitting 90. Kidmore End’s Azhar Udeen returned best bowling figures of 6-67.

WARGRAVE 3rds lost out to NEWBURY 3rds in Division 9A by one wicket.

Wargrave made 141 inside 26 overs and Newbury reached that target at a much slower price, limping over the line inside 43 overs with nine wickets down.

Meanwhile, KIDMORE END 3rds forfeited their game against YATELEY 4ths.

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