Monday, 21 June 2021

Harpsden skipper hits undefeated ton

“THEY’RE pretty good,” said PEPPARD STOKE ROW captain Richard Ashton after ex-Oratory School duo David Williams and Alfie Clifton fast-tracked their side to a seven-wicket pasting of BRAYWOOD.

The visitors won the toss and it did not take Williams long to make the early breakthrough, Mohammed Waheed trapped lbw as he failed to deal with the pace of the Peppard Stoke Row speedster.

Syed Kazmi spliced an attempted drive to point where Dion Sampson took a low catch off Williams before the opening bowler had Kamran Ahmed caught behind by Michael Chard with an unplayable away-swinger.

Braywood captain Asim Raza looked in good touch as he made 19, but his innings was cut short when he edged Clifton to Ashton as first slip, and the returning Senthil Muniyasamy then took a blinder at third slip to give Williams his fourth.

Clifton bowled Harvey Rackley-Hayes and should have dismissed Ellis Craig first ball caught behind by Chard, only for the batsman to remain.

From 28-6 there was little respite for the hosts though, and Williams (6-35) and Clifton (4-28) finished the hosts off for 67 in just 19.5 overs.

The Peppard Stoke Row reply took little time after Dan Hayden smashed three maximums in his 23 from 12 balls, and with Josh Perkins holding up an end for 10 not out and Muniyasamy whacking one enormous six into the neighbouring polo fields, the visitors reached 68-3 in 10.5 overs to move up to third in the table.

After the game Ashton was in a jubilant mood and said: “Williams and Alf are pretty good. They’ve played cricket together for a fair few years and they push each other along, it’s a pleasure to have them in the side.

“Having Senthil back is a massive bonus as well and we have a team spirit which grows and grows every week.”

HARPSDEN skipper Christian Whittaker hit a century to help keep his side in pole position at the top of the table after his side defeated visitors RUISLIP VICTORIA. The hosts won the toss and elected to bowl. The innings got off to a perfect start as opening bowler Tom Hancock bowled K Maan with an inswinging delivery off the first ball of the match. Number three Bhatti arrived at the crease and applied himself well, playing a number of assured strokes on the off side.

Shehzad was run out and Bhatti was joined by Singh. The number four played the role of aggressor, moving the score along quickly with a number of expansive strokes before he was dismissed by Birkett for a rapid 32.

I Maan then came to the crease and rotated the strike well, milking the bowling through the middle overs. He was dismissed by Paice for 41. Franklin had Rizwan caught well by Imlay for 27 and the left armer struck again two overs later, having Jamil caught behind.

This brought the opener Hancock back on from the bottom end and he and Franklin wrapped up the tail, dismissing Ruislip Victoria for a respectable 238 in the 51st over.

In response Harpsden struggled to make a good start of it with the bat, losing openers Imlay and Adam Birkett early on. Skipper Whittaker joined Ben Hancock at the crease and the pair began to build what would prove to be a match changing partnership.

Hancock bullied any bowling off the back foot and moving the score along at a decent rate. Whittaker played a number of powerful strokes through the on side and by the time Hancock departed for 40 Harpsden were in striking distance.

Whittaker was the driving force behind the innings on combining some sharp running with brutal ball striking, wickets were falling regularly at the other end as Franklin and Stevens both got starts only to fall short.

The support required came in the form of Tom Hancock as he ably supported his captain, ending up on 35 not out. It was fitting that the final runs came from the Harpsden skipper’s bat as Whittaker closed out the match ending up on 103 not out.

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