Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Crawford’s six-wicket haul lifts side out of drop zone

Crawford’s six-wicket haul lifts side out of drop zone

WARGRAVE leapfrogged hosts BOYNE HILL into fourth place in Division 1 last Saturday thanks to a two wicket victory.

The home side, having won the toss and electing to bat first, put on 239-7 off their 52 overs.

In reply T Greatwood top scored with 81 as Wargrave cruised to 240-8 from 48 overs.

In Division 2A KIDMORE END climbed off the foot of the table and out of the relegation zone thanks to a nine wicket win at Gallowstree Common against KEW.

Having lost the toss Kidmore skipper Frost elected to field. Walker and Frost opened the attack and set about their task early, dismissing the top three batsmen for 29 runs. Frost (8-3-21-2) took two wickets thanks to two good catches and Walker (6-2-14-1) took one uprooting the off stump.

There was a small stand for the fourth wicket with 21 runs added, but once Guy Ashby and Alex Crawford were acting in tandem they spun a tight web around the Kew batsmen.

They were supported in the field by good boundary work from Oscar Fountain and Jake Leach who cut off the aggressive shots from going for four, whilst Richard Frost pulled off a number of diving stops in the in field.

The largest partnership of the innings was 30 runs for the sixth wicket but no batsmen could truly get to grips with the control of Crawford and the turn and variations of Ashby.

The wicket of the afternoon belonged to Ashby whose imperceptible doosra bowled Boardman for one. Alex Crawford was the pick of the bowlers with masterly control and his subtle variations bought him six wickets, (13.5-6-24-6). The fielders supported him well, Frost took a one-handed slip catch and Leonard took a sharp take-off of a thick edge. Only one batsmen stood fast against him, Maciver who batted with patience and selectiveness to score 69.

With the pitch taking turn, chasing the 120 set by Kew in 42 overs would be a challenging total especially as Kew spinner Zaman was a leading wicket taker in the league.

Simmons and Leonard batted bravely against the new ball, combining defence and attack in appropriate measures. Together they added 43 for the first wicket and this took the steam out of the Kew attack.

After Simmons was out for 12, Jeff Sheldon blunted the attack refusing to allow Kew to gain any momentum, whilst at the other end Zac Leonard batted with impunity.

Having survived a few early scares, Leonard attacked the bowling. He never allowed a bowler to settle and he swept, drove and cut his way to an impressive 77 from 80 balls, with 16 boundaries.

Kidmore won by nine wickets with plenty of overs to spare to move out of the drop zone for the first time this season.

Division 2B league leaders HENLEY 2nds ran out winners by three wickets at home to ALDERSHOT.

On an overcast day that promised to offer substantial assistance to the seamers, but with the pitch looking flat, Aldershot won the toss and elected to bat.

A wicket apiece for Simon Wheeler and Paul McCraw put the visitors on the back foot early on, but Farr (32) and Gilbert put together a useful partnership before the skipper was run out following a disastrous piece of communication.

McCraw picked up another wicket in the following over to leave Aldershot at 62-4. Missed catches allowed Gilbert to cut loose, ably supported by Ferguson (28), and once he was dismissed for 74 the mantle was taken up by Nick Biscontin, who thumped 68 off 38 balls to rescue a decent score for the visitors, ending on 237-7 off their full allocation of 52 overs.

In response, despite losing opener Dalrymple early on, Chris Ellison and Monty Bradbury went about their task well, setting up a strong platform.

Bradbury was dismissed for 41, but Ellison (78) found a foil in Nathan Hopkins, who struck 53 from 32 balls to put Henley in striking distance.

A small flurry of wickets gave momentary pause for thought, but in the end Henley got over the line with two overs to spare, Cameron Jacobsen lacing a ball through the covers to seal victory.

In Division 4A WARGRAVE 2nds went down to a 16 run defeat against BAGSHOT 2nds.

The visitors, batting first having won the toss, put on 234-8 with M Aalman Khalid taking 4-78.

In reply Wargrave were bowled out for 218 with Khalid impressing this time with the bat as he top scored with 83.

HENLEY 3rds had to settle for a share of the spoils in their Division 5B clash at MAIDENHEAD AND BRAY 2nds.

Sent out into the field, Henley failed to place early pressure on the opposition with the new ball. The openers tucked away any loose bowling on a pitch where only precise line and lengths would suffice.

With Andy Chappell and Felix Watson-Smyth control was brought back to the innings. After breaking the opening partnership Chappell put the new batsman under extreme pressure forcing him into a risky single leading to Alex Johnson claiming a run out of Hewitt who had just passed 50.

Chappell claimed one more wicket in a 16 over spell, Watson-Smyth at the other end passed the edge on multiple occasions before claiming two wickets near the end of the spell, the highlight being a ball clipping the top of off stump after it pitched on middle.

The runs kept ticking over and with wickets in hand Maidenhead and Bray were able to push the score late on. Both Loveland brothers claimed late wickets, younger brother Luke with his leg spin cleaning up the tai, and Maidenhead and Bray looked to force the score towards 250, eventually ending on 238.

Henley got off to a speedy start with Hilditch and Hester both accumulating runs before Hilditch was the first to go. With Ben Purchese joining Hester at the crease, both players each brought up their first half centuries, but it was the scoring rate that proved the deciding issue in the chase.

Both players could not score at a consistent rate, being bogged down with the opposition bowlers consistently delivering line and length.

With Hester falling shortly after his landmark, Adam Lubbock was moved up the order to force the scoring along with the required rate now around eight.

With the opposition not making mistakes with the ball, Lubbock, Johnson, Buckle, Greyling and Watson-Smyth all fell to the wayside in quick succession, giving away any chance of Henley chasing the runs.

It was left to the Loveland brothers in the last five overs to guide Henley to a draw, showing good defensive technique to keep Maidenhead and Bray to a draw.

WARGRAVE 2nds remain second in Division 7A after running out five wicket winners at home against MAIDENHEAD AND BRAY 3rds.

The home side won the toss and batted first and put on 231-5. In reply Wargrave surpassed the home side’s total with 232-5 with Kieran Lall top scoring with 58.

Elsewhere in the division third placed KIDMORE END 2nds went down to a two wickets defeat at WOKINGHAM 4ths.

Chirs Pigden top scored for Kidmore End who batted first with an impressive 105 while Peter Roseff chipped in with 64 as the villagers posted 238-8. In reply Wokingham put on 239-8 to seal victory.

In Division 9A WARGRAVE 4ths lost out by two wickets at home against MARLOW PARK. Batting first Wargrave put on 177-6 while in reply Marlow Park scored 181-8.

KIDMROE END 3rds forfeited their match against WOKINGHAM OAKS AND ACORNS.

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