Friday, 18 June 2021

Roberts keeps a cool head for tourists

PEPPARD STOKE ROW MAHARAJAS had a successful tour of Wiltshire where they won both matches.

On Saturday they played at the picturesque walled ground of ERLESTOKE where the straight boundaries are short which gives rise to the local six and out rule if the wall is cleared with a straight hit.

The Maharajas were asked to bat and scored quickly but lost wickets consistently falling to 46-5 in the 10th over and 62-6 in the 12th with the loss of Joe Blundell to the local straight six rule.

The innings was stabilised by 16-year-old Tom Southgate (32) and 17-year-old George Lee (79 not out) before George was joined by his father Chris Lee (35 not out) and the pair put on an unbroken partnership of 53 to leave the Maharajas on 241-9 from 35 overs.

The Erlestoke reply never really got going as the Maharajas produced an immaculate display in the field with 14-year-old Jack Lambert’s direct hit run out competing with Joe Blundell’s diving catch for the champagne moment.

The Maharaja bowling was led by father and son Aled and Max Roberts (15) who finished with combined figures of 11-0-31-7 as Erlestoke were bowled out for 88 with skipper Fred Coupe undefeated on 10.

The Sunday game was a much more competitive affair against AVON VALLEY as Chris Lee again lost the toss and PEPPARD STOKE ROW MAHARAJAS were asked to field on a baking afternoon with the cracks in the pitch visibly widening.

In the heat the Maharajas were unable to produce the fielding masterclass of the previous day with Chris Lee and Tom Southgate both dropping catches and Avon Valley scoring at a run a ball with opener Boothway scoring 38 from 23, number three Rae 36 from 30 and number five Ish 18 from 18.

The Maharajas were dragged back into the game thanks to a fast, tight spell of swing from Joe Blundell (6-0-13-2) and some prodigious turn from Tom Southgate (7-0-39-3) who both used the deteriorating pitch conditions with great skill.

Aled Roberts picked up the vital wicket of the big-hitting Avon Valley skipper Simon Campbell and Avon Valley finished on 173-8 from 35 overs.

Chris and George Lee opened for the Maharajas and managed to see off Avon Valley’s opening attack before George Lee was bowled by spinner Ish for 19 (from 27). Max Roberts batting at three following injury to Chris Beeton took an early liking to Ish before being caught and bowled for 8 and Mark Lambert decided to jog a single leaving himself vulnerable to a direct hit and the Maharajas struggling at 50-3 in the 13th over.

Joe Blundell joined Chris Lee at the crease and Lee provided Ish with his third wicket when he was caught and bowled for 22 from 39 deliveries. Dave Lambert joined Blundell at the crease and together they played sensible cricket staying well ahead of the run rate until Lambert was bowled by returning opening bowler Rae for 22 and Blundell was caught behind for 70.

Twelve-year-olds Harry Roberts and Reg Lambert came together and Lambert was soon struck a blow to the ribs by a bouncing Boothway delivery as Avon Valley pressed to save the game.

As the final over came round two runs were needed to win with the field in tight. Roberts was the coolest player on the field as he drilled the first ball of the over through the covers for the runs needed to win the match.

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