Sunday, 22 September 2019

New century in vain as Kidmore End fall short

New century in vain as Kidmore End fall short

WARGRAVE held on to top spot in Division 1 despite a four wicket defeat away at SLOUGH 2nds on Saturday in this rain affected fixture.

After electing to bat first Wargrave’s Toby Greatwood top-scored with 55 while Imran Malik and Josh Sivier both hit 42 as they posted a respectable 225-7 from their 50 overs.

However, the winning target was then reduced to 209 on the Duckworth Lewis method. The hosts were able to reach this in 41 overs for the loss of six wickets.

Four wickets each for spinners Alex Crawford and Guy Ashby helped KIDMORE END bowl out WINDSOR for just 67 runs in their Division 2A clash.

A beautiful Windsor setting was not matched with a high quality pitch or outfield. The pitch was very dry and cracked and the outfield had many undulations.

Kidmore skipper James Frost lost the toss and Windsor elected to bat, in the hope the pitch would become near impossible to bat on after tea, as the wear and tear would break it up further.

James Walker and Frost opened the bowling, and after five overs it was clear that batting on the wicket was not going to be easy.

Frost was at his miserly best giving the batsmen very little to attack while Walker bowled threatening deliveries beating the edge.

Walker took the first wicket thanks to a good catch by Jeff Sheldon at mid-on and he followed that up with a second wicket, bowling Charlie Jackson, the Windsor number three, for 16, which proved to be their side’s top score.

By the 12th over the score was 31-2 and the spin bowlers Crawford and Ashby were brought into the attack and immediately they started to apply pressure.

Crawford used clever changes of pace and trajectory combined with unnerving accuracy while, Ashby on the other hand, turned the ball remarkably, making the Windsor batsmen regularly play and miss.

Crawford took the key wicket of overseas batsman Thomas Edwards for nine runs, which he had painstakingly accumulated from 38 balls, and sparked a dramatic collapse with wickets falling nearly every over.

Windsor went from 43-3 to 67 all out in 13.2 overs with eighty balls of tremendous spin bowling taking eight wickets for just 24 runs.

Ashby bowled six overs for 24 runs and took four wickets. He bowled two players and caught and bowled another. But the most exciting wicket was the catch at cover by Crawford. The ball had been hit extremely hard and Crawford was probably one of the only players on the pitch tall enough to catch the ball.

Crawford, meanwhile, bowled 7.2 overs, conceding just four runs and also picked up four wickets. Like Ashby he had a caught and bowled, had one batsman caught — a favour returned by Ashby in the field — bowled another and trapped one leg before wicket.

With rain clouds forming, Kidmore began their reply before the tea break. Dan Simmons started positively, striking 18 runs off the first over.

But Windsor fought back and began to bowl more accurately as the pitch became more and more unreliable, with varying bounce.

Sheldon absorbed a lot of pressure, when he came to the wicket with the score on 31, allowing his more free flowing partners to attack.

A positive approach was being taken because of the unreliability of the pitch and the imminent rain. Simmons cut and drove the seamers well, and pulled the short ball of the spinners.

He was looking good until he was caught behind for 21 – the highest score of the match – by a snorting delivery that rose sharply from a length and brushed the edge of his bat.

Sheldon was then well caught at second slip and Kidmore were 56-3.

Reinardt Swart and Abid Ul Wahab attacked immediately, and Kidmore raced over the finish line in the 13th over, winning by seven wickets, 15 minutes before a heavy downpour of rain.

Four wickets from Cameron Jacobsen helped give HENLEY 2nds a 48-run victory over ROYAL ASCOT in Division 2B.

Henley won the toss and elected to bat and started well with opener Johnny Connell hitting 44 runs off 55 deliveries, including four boundaries, before he was caught out.

Rodhri Lewis, in at number three, hit a useful 33 runs, before he was sent back to the pavilion and Jacobsen, in at number five, hit 35, including two sixes, before he, too, was caught in the field.

Together with useful lower order runs from Ben Purchese (29) and Felix Watson-Smyth, Henley posted a score of 259-9 off their 50 overs.

In reply, Royal Ascot started badly, losing both openers cheaply at the hands of bowlers Freddy Loveland and Simon Wheeler.

The next three batsmen all made a good start but then got themselves out, with none making more than 24 runs.

Nick Sweetman, in at number six, top-scored for his side with 34 runs before falling to Jacobsen who then set about mopping up the tail, finishing with figures of 4-50, and Ascot were knocked over for 211 inside 43 overs.

In Division 4A, WARGRAVE 2nds lost to WHITE WALTHAM by 11 runs, using the Average Run Rate method, in this rain affected game.

The visitors won the toss and chose to bat. Despite the efforts of Tom Walker and Oliver Newton, who picked up two wickets apiece, Wargrave couldn’t get through the middle order.

Umar Butt (54) and Ben Scarborough (55) frustrated the bowlers and ended the innings undefeated as they helped Waltham post a healthy 263-5, which was then reduced to 176 using the Duckworth Lewis method.

In reply, Wargrave started well with Toran Sohi making 29 runs and Sam Warren 53 runs before they were caught out.

This brought about a batting collapse as the next seven wickets fell cheaply, six of these batsmen scored fewer than 10 runs, as they ended on 158-9 from 34 overs.

Andrew Hester hit 85 runs for HENLEY 3rds in a thumping win away at THATCHAM TOWN 2nds in Division 5B.

Henley won the toss and elected to bat first with Hester opening and he set about the Thatcham bowling attack.

After losing Chanula Wickramaratna for one, the next four batsmen chipped in with useful knocks of 23, 24, 19 and 16. But it was Adam Lubbock, in at number seven, which ensured Henley capitalised on their solid start, hitting 57 runs before he was bowled by Alex Wood, and set up a total of 261-8 from 42 overs.

In reply, Thatcham lost wickets regularly, including opener Benjamin Copeman for a duck after being bowled by Alex Harris-White. Jack North top-scored for the hosts with 62 and ended the innings not out. In the end he ran out of batting partners as Thatcham were bowled out for 179 inside 35 overs. Each of Henley’s eight bowlers picked up a wicket while Alex Johnson and Tom Jordan both recorded a run-out.

A century from Mark New for KIDMORE END 2nds was not enough to give them victory over ALDERSHOT 3rds in Division 7A as they fell to an 11-run defeat.

Aldershot won the toss and batted first getting off to a steady start, with opener skipper Garry Dates hitting 52 before he was bowled by Jonny Abbott.

But Kidmore managed to keep the first 20 overs tight with some good, economical bowling from Azahr Udeen at the start of the innings, who was then well supported by Assad Ul Haq, Umer Farooqi and Hamish MacNaught.

However, in the back end of the innings, Aldershot’s experienced middle order started to impose on the hosts and as a result the ground fielding at times was inconsistent.

Mark Smith and Dan Heath had put together a partnership of 91 before it was ended by Nathan Ruegg, following a rain break, who bowled Heath for 45 while Smith finished on 70 not out at the end of the innings.

The pick of the Kidmore bowlers were Azhar Udeen whose 10 overs went for only 36 runs and Umer FArooqi who took 2-46 from his allocation which left Aldershot on 253-6.

Kidmore’s reply got off to the worst possible of starts as they found themselves in trouble at 2-2 in the third over with both Chris Pigden and Umer Farooqi back in the pavilion.

The damage was initially repaired by Azahr Udeen and Mark New with Udeen playing some lovely shots and putting pressure back on the visitors. But then Udeen picked out a boundary rider having previously hit the ball over his head with the score on 48 and he was out for 35.

With Callum Driscoll also falling shortly after rather unluckily playing on, Kidmore were in trouble at 66-4.

However, Jonny Abbott joined New and the pair put together a 110-run partnership to ensure that Kidmore were up with the required run rate as they both mixed sensible defence with positive shot play.

Abbott fell on 40, well held to a juggling catch on the boundary by Nathan Mumby in what had been an impressive innings.

New continued to keep Kidmore in the game and went through the gears as he moved past 100. But with the score on 208, New was out for 102 and Kidmore were still 45 runs short of the total.

Assad Ul Haq added a cultured 20 as he marshalled the tail well but when he was dismissed, Hamish MacNaught was unable to get the necessary runs and Kidmore were bowled out for 242.

Elsewhere, hosts WARGRAVE 3rds beat NEWBURY 2nds by two wickets.

Newbury won the toss and elected to bat and were bowled out for 140 in 42 overs.

In reply, H Singh top-scored with 57 as Wargrave reached the target within 40 overs for the loss of eight wickets.

In Division 9A, KIDMORE END 3rds defeated SLOUGH 6ths by six runs.

Kidmore won the toss, elected to bat, and were bowled out for 150 from 37 overs. In reply Slough were bowled out for 144.

Elsewhere, WARGRAVE 4ths forfeited their match with DATCHET 4ths.

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