Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Ormrod and Lall’s knocks not enough as Wargrave lose top-of-table encounter

A CHARLIE Homewood century was in vain as Division 1 basement side HENLEY 2nds crashed to a four-wicket defeat at SLOUGH 2nds on Saturday.

Henley won the toss and batted first. Nadeem Syed (2-30) removed Chris Ellison and Matt Dalrymple early, then Homewood and Zac Jones put on 63 for the third wicket.

Jones was caught off Shah (2-53) for 22 before Ashraf and Gurung went cheaply before Homewood and Tom Jordan put on 54 for the seventh wicket.

Naveed Akhtar (2-30) bowled well in the middle overs, dismissing Jordan and Nigel Dunstan, and when Homewood was bowled in the final over for 125 by Uzair Majid (3-38), Henley finished on 235 all out.

Slough got off to a fast start, before Ashraf (3-31) and Jones (2-57) combined to reduce the home side to 152-6 with contributions from Avas and Ali Ahmed. Rahim Akhtar (50 not out) and Naveed Akhtar (52 not out) who managed to see Slough home, batting patiently to secure victory.

In Division 2A KIDMORE END ran out narrow winners at home against HAYES who, going into the match, needed four league points to be crowned champions.

Home skipper James Frost lost the toss and Hayes elected to bat on a damp pitch which favoured the seam bowlers. Azhar Udeen and James Frost bowled medium paced deliveries that tested the batsmen’s patience and technique.

Thanks to good field adjustments under the advice of Guy Ashby and fine wicketkeeping for the division’s leading wicket keeper, Hayes were reduced to 38-3. Udeen took two wickets in two balls to leave Hayes on 56-5.

As the pitch was drying and the ball was losing its shine, batting became easier. Alex Crawford picked up a wicket before Frost senior (2-31), Richard Frost, Jonny Abbott and Jeff Sheldon all tried. Alex Crawford completed another miserly spell 10-3-22-1 and was replaced by Guy Ashby who took up the mantle of teasing spin bowling. Harmanpreet Singh Johal and Harman Momi put on 89 runs taking the score up to 155 — Johal had scored four before he was caught by Zac Leonard off the bowling of Ashby. Following this dismissal Momi went on the offensive striking the ball to the boundary with ferocity as he sought to race to 175.

Before the Hayes team had the delight of winning the title with batting bonus points taking them beyond their nearest rivals, they had the jitters due to Sheldon sneaking two wickets. The 10th-wicket partnership added 31 runs and Hayes celebrated; shortly afterwards Tom Bodeker hung on to a skier and Kidmore celebrated bowling the champions out for 189.

Ashby and Sheldon both took two wickets apiece to help Kidmore remove the last four batsmen.

Kidmore’s pursuit did not start well as Sheldon was caught at cover attempting a drive, Ashby was caught off a leading edge and, although Bodeker had looked comfortable, pulling the ball well he was bowled for 13, and the opening bowlers trapped Dan Simmons lbw to leave Kidmore on 41-4.

James Frost and Zac Leoanard set about restarting the chase. Leonard’s innings was an inspiring counter attack as he attacked the spinners and seamers with equal brutality, blasting 11 fours and a six. When he was finally out for 57 from 69 balls, the score had suddenly raced to 122 runs.

Frost continued to bat watchfully and was involved in an 18-run partnership with Alex Crawford until he was bowled.

The Hayes spinners were beginning to drag the game back in their favour. Richard Frost joined his brother at the crease and the pair started to grind out the runs patiently as in tandem they put on 29 runs in 35 minutes.

The duo nudged the team closer to the finish line, and when Richard Frost was finally out lbw for eight the Kidmore team were 20 runs short with seven overs remaining.

Frost ran out the next batsmen, Jake Elliot for 0, and this meant Hayes needed two wickets to win Kidmore End 21 runs and there were only 36 balls remaining. Athar Khan was bowling well, his leg cutters producing maidens as Kidmore tried to get the scoreboard moving again. Johnny Abbott saw off the good bowler using bat and body to defy him. This allowed Frost to strike a number of boundaries to reach his 50 and get Kidmore ever closer to the target.

With a no ball and a couple of wides Kidmore were within grasping distance of victory. Frost was bowled for 50 with two runs needed to win. Number 11 Udeen strode to the wicket knowing the game was on the line. He was not perturbed as he struck his first ball for four to give the hosts victory.

Second-placed WARGRAVE ran out winners by three wickets in their home Division 2B clash with ALDERSHOT.

Having been put into bat first the visitors were bowled out for 148 with Nandip Sohi taking 4-29 and Neal Robinson 3-8. In reply Wargrave reached 149-7 to win the match with Sam Bowers top scoring with 37.

HENLEY 3rds remain in the Division 4A relegation zone after going down to a nine-wicket defeat at high-flying SULHAMSTEAD AND UFTON. Having lost the toss and being put into bat first Henley were bowled out for 107 with S Dove taking 6-23 for the hosts. In reply Sulhamstead and Ufton reached their target with the loss of just one wicket in 18.4 overs.

WARGRAVE 2nds lost their top-of-the-table clash at Division 5B table-topping WOKINGHAM 3rds by just two runs.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first Wokingham put on 195-9. In reply Dan Ormrod hit 55 and Kieran Lall 43 as Wargrave 2nds ended their allotted overs agonisingly short on 193-9.

In Division 7A KIDMORE END 2nds went down to an eight-wicket defeat at NEWBURY 2nds.

Batting first the visitors ended their overs on 174-8 with R Elliott top scoring with 56 not out. In reply Newbury eased to 176-2 in 39.5 overs.

Hosts KIDMORE END 3rds suffered an 87-run Division 9A defeat against MAIDENHEAD AND BRAY 4ths.

Batting first the visitors put on 196-8 off their allotted overs. In reply Kidmore End were were bowled out for 109 with Jack Butler scoring 58.

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