Monday, 23 September 2019

Frieth and Harpsden gain draws as title race hots up

Frieth and Harpsden gain draws as title race hots up

THE wet weather took its toll on league fixture’s with the HURLEY 1sts Premiership 1 clash with KNOTTY GREEN being one of several matches abandoned.

In horrendous conditions in their Premiership 1 match at FRIETH, the home side managed a winning draw against LITTLE MARLOW to retain top spot.

Perched on top of the hill, the relentless wind and exposure to sharp showers played havoc with both sides on a pitch that was underwater just 24 hours earlier.

Frieth were put into bat first, and managed 207-9 in their 45 overs, during which time the constant gale contributed to both openers being run out.

Tanveer Yousaf and Ahthsham Ahmed scored 51 from number four and 53 from number five respectively and, with some bit part contributions from elsewhere in the order, 207 was deemed a solid score.

Little Marlow set about their task manfully, although strong partnerships were few and far between. A knock of 42 from Arfan Sharif kept the visitors moving, however at 131-9 after 41 overs, a draw was called, with Frieth taking more points into the league on account of their first inning score. Elsewhere in the division second placed HARPSDEN 2nds drew at BOURNE END.

On a windswept afternoon Harpsden elected to bat on a soft ridged track. Tom Mitchell (0) and Toby Stevens (82) set to work with Mitchell locking down one end to watch Stevens at the other end find the boundary consistently.

Mitchell’s defence gave in and Harpsden had their first wicket at 42-1. On a pitch displaying variable bounce, Andy Bryan (56) joined Stevens with both instantly looking comfortable at the crease.

Stevens cruised his way to 50 with a fine display of ball striking before falling to a run out after Bryan leathered the ball at the bowler’s foot which then ricocheted against the stumps leaving Stevens stuck in no man’s land.

A couple of quick wickets followed as Bryan nurgled his way to 50 before he also fell to a lofted drive, well caught at mid-off.

At 180-6, Rod Birkett (17) and Jonathan Stanley (14) set about steadying the ship with some useful runs in the later overs aided well by fellow tail enders Shazad Gulfraz (5) and Jack D’Cruz who, aged 13, along with T Szweda, was making his Harpsden debut. Harpsden ended on 206 all out off their 45 overs in a rain affected game.

After tea Bourne End came out firing with some ferocious hitting from Nasir Kiyani and Raja Meharood reaching 61-1 off eight overs, setting the side up well for a formidable chase in their own backyard on an increasingly hardening wicket.

However, Stevens and Jerry Wright came to the fore in the middling overs, both restricting runs and taking wickets at will as the game started to run away from Bourne End, reducing the opposition to 107-7 with 20 overs remaining.

Number nine Adnan Naseeb came to the crease and threw caution to the wind playing expansively on a pitch slowly zapping of any help to the bowlers.

Depsite Naseeb’s best efforts, Bourne End required 22 off the final two overs with only one wicket remaining and decided to block out to salvage a draw despite Matthew Stanley and Birkett’s best efforts to find a wicket in the final few overs.

In Division 2 HURLEY 2nds conceded their match against EMMBROOK AND BEARWOOD 2nds.

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