Sunday, 20 June 2021

Wright hits winning runs as league leaders maintain unbeaten start to season

EARLY season league leaders HARPSDEN ran out winners at LEY HILL last Saturday.

Harpsden skipper Christian Whittaker won the toss and put Ley Hill into bat on a grassy track. Ed Birkett picked up the crucial wicket of Ley Hill star batsman, Craig Peterson, with one that moved away and was well caught behind by Jon Stanley.

Birkett followed this up with the wicket of Hutchins who was well held low down by Tom Hancock in the gully. Johnny Wright, replacing Hancock, struggled to find his length in his first over but after that was impeccable and dismissed Thompson and Woodbridge with catches in the covers by Whittaker and first team debutant Harry Geyton. Wright finished with the impressive figures of 2-17 off his nine overs. Walters, who had compiled 41 out of the total of 56, was next to go, bowled by Paice and caught by Whittaker.

After a brief sixth wicket partnership Ford was the next to go, caught on the short boundary by Ed Birkett as he tried to hook a Geyton bouncer that beat him for pace.

Two good wickets from Whittaker followed, the first, a diving catch at slip by Will Stevens and the second a sharp stumping by Jon Stanley, which left Ley Hill at 111-8. Chamberlain and Morris batted well taking the total up to 159 before Hancock bowled Morris and Ed Birkett had Chamberlain caught by Paice for 47. Birkett finished with 3-26 off his 9.2 overs. Harpsden’s batting had been weakened by player unavailability so Hancock was moved up to open with Ben Watson whilst Ed Birkett was promoted to number three.

Hancock clipped a six off his legs but when he was bowled and Birkett was caught behind second ball, Harpsden were struggling at 26-2. Watson soon followed them to leave the score on 41-3.

Whittaker put the bad ball away well but after surviving a straight forward chance to the keeper, he eventually succumbed the same way for 32. The fall of the fourth wicket brought Johnny Wright to the crease to join Will Stevens and it looked as though they were going to produce the critical partnership before Stevens was trapped in front by a short ball from Petrie. The score of 102-5 became 119-7 when Matt Stanley, also making his first team debut, and James Paice both fell for one. This left 41 to win as Harry Geyton joined Wright. The pair batted sensibly and with two sixes from Geyton and several well worked boundaries from Wright, the target was whittled down.

Five penalty runs for the ball hitting the helmet behind the keeper helped the cause and after a couple of singles it brought the equation down to just four to win. Wright clipped one off his legs, just beating the fielders dive at mid-wicket and the ball raced away to the boundary for a hardfought Harpsden win as they inflicted a first Chiltern League defeat in their second season on a good Ley Hill team.

LEY HILL

S Walters, c Whittaker, b Paice

41

C Peterson, c J Stanley, b E Birkett

0

J Hutchins, c T Hancock, b E Birkett

7

L Thompson, c Whittaker, b Wright

0

B Woodbridge, c Geyton, b Wright

1

B Ford, c E Birkett, b Geyton

6

F Chamberlain, c Paice, b E Birkett

47

N Lee, st J Stanley, b Whittaker

1

C Ottaway, c Stevens, b Whittaker

1

C Morris, b Hancock

27

D Petrie, not out

0

Extras

28

TOTAL

159

Best bowling: E Birkett 3-26.

HARPSDEN

B Watson, c Peterson, b Morris

19

T Hancock, b Ottaway

7

E Birkett, c Lee, b Ottaway

0

C Whittaker, c Lee, b Petrie

32

W Stevens, lbw, b Petrie

24

J Wright, not out

51

M Stanley, b Thompson

1

J Paice, c Lee, b Thompson

1

H Geyton, not out

15

Extras

10

TOTAL (7 wkts)

160

Teenager George Lee scored his maiden PEPPARD STOKE ROW half century in his side’s 124-run defeat at PENN AND TYLERS GREEN. The visitors initially kept things tight as Jamie Sharrock and Sam Fooks picked up a wicket apiece, but Raunak Biswas (72) and John Cockcroft (67) rebuilt the innings sensibly.

Dion Sampson accounted for Biswas and then took a catch at long off to give 17-year-old Ben West his first wicket as Penn stood on 180-4 after 43 overs.

However, former MCC young cricketer Johnny Hughes entered proceedings, blasting 84 not out from just 37 balls as Peppard Stoke Row’s attack was slayed. Penn captain Matt Lance added a rapid 26 including a couple of straight sixes as the hosts added 92 in 41 balls before declaring on 272-5 from 49.3 overs, Sampson ending with 2-79 from 13.5 overs.

The Peppard Stoke Row reply could not have got off to a worse start as Charlie Laing pulled a long hop straight down the throat of deep square leg off spinner Cockcroft, before the leggie then bowled a peach to entice an edge from West to first slip.

Despite being 1-2 after one over, Sharrock looked good until being well held at slip by Lance off the spin of Biswas, who then breached the defences of Dan Bacon with a quicker ball.

Captain Richard Ashton poked the ball to silly point Richard Dowding off Cockcroft, but Lee continued to counter-attack with 51 which belied his tender years.

A leading edge accounted for the Leighton Park pupil before his school mate Marcus Laing hit a full toss to mid-wicket.

Fooks and Michael Chard battled away, but despite an exhilarating 16 not out from number 11 Sampson, Peppard Stoke Row were bowled out for 148.

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