Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Birkett’s knock in vain as weather thwarts villagers

JUST two fixtures managed to get completed throughout the four divisions last Saturday as rain affected the remaining matches.

In the Premier Division at BALLINGER WAGGONERS almost constant drizzle throughout the afternoon finally ended a miserable afternoon for HURLEY.

Ballinger won the toss and put Hurley in to field under grey skies and on a lush, uneven outfield. Early pressure was applied by Naeem Akhtar (3-20) and Imran Arshad (0-36) as the home side edged to 22 from eight overs before Akhtar struck twice in the ninth over.

O’Kelly (26) and McIntyre added 26 before a switch to Shabob Riaz (6-31) removed O’Kelly thanks to a dive to his right from keeper Simoes.

Against difficult conditions and faced with some fierce seam from Riaz, Ballinger could barely rise above three an over while wickets tumbled to Riaz. Three overs were lost to heavier rain and the covers deployed. A last wicket stand of 26 took the home side to 152 before Matt O’Kelly lofted Akhtar to deep cover where Greg Double pulled off a fine catch.

Tea was taken as rain strengthened and the reply delayed for an hour. Hurley could only manage three overs before rain finally brought the match to a close at 7-0.

In Division 1 hosts HARPSDEN 2nds put on 151-6 before rain forced their match with AMERSHAM HILL to be abandoned.

Acting skipper Sasha Burgess lost the toss and Harpsden were put into bat on what looked a good even track. Burgess and opening partner Toby Stevens batted well together, putting on 42 for the first wicket before Nabeel got one to dart back against Stevens and bowled him for a well made 14.

Henry Gummer, making his league debut for Harpsden, showed great technique and proved a good foil for Burgess and together they took the score up to 76 just before drinks when Burgess tried a pull shot to a ball that was too full to go back to.

This started a Harpsden 2nds collapse, going from 76-1 to 83-4 within three overs — this included Gummer edging a good one to the keeper whilst Tom Mitchell was run out after a misunderstanding with Harpsden debutant, Harry Geyton.

This brought regular first team opener Adam Birkett to the wicket who was playing for the seconds as he was unable to make the earlier start for the first team game. Birkett looked in complete control and drove, cut and worked off his legs a number of boundaries in quick succession. Although he lost Geyton and Emma Woolhead, he and Rod Birkett managed to take the score up from 124-6 to 151-6 before rain intervened.

HURLEY 2nds’ Division 3 match with PENN AND TYLERS GREEN 2nds was abandoned at Shepherds Lane with the hosts on 101-1.

Having won the toss and opting to bat, Hurley openers Clive Williams (52 not out) and Abdullah Ali (34) put on a solid century opening partnership from 25.1 overs before the rain came.

Penn and Tylers’ young bowling attack performed well and Ali had a life when he guided a simple chance to gully only for the fielder to put it down. The wicket of Ali caught at point was the final action of the day as increasingly heavy rain forced the players from the field as the game was eventually abandoned.

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