Thursday, 12 December 2019

Firth top scores as side wrap up title on final day of campaign

Firth top scores as side wrap up title on final day of campaign

WARGRAVE will be playing Home Counties Premier League cricket next season after wrapping up the Division 1 title last Saturday.

The villagers beat FALKLAND by 58 in their final match of the season to secure promotion.

Having won the toss, Wargrave batted first and put on 282-9 off their 50 overs with Mark Firth top scoring with 77 and Mandip Sohi chipping in with 49.

In reply Falland never kept up with the required run rate and closed on 224-6.

KIDMORE END finished third in Division 2A after beating EVERSLEY by three wickets at Gallowstree Common.

Going into the game, any side from third to ninth faced relegation, only bottom placed Windsor had a sealed fate.

Kidmore won the toss and elected to field first. After some initial cautious batting, second placed Eversley had an outside chance of promotion themselves and started to attack the bowling.

It was after only six overs that the first of Kidmore’s spin triplets were entered into the attack. This immediately paid dividends as Zac Leonard stumped Magowan off the bowling of Crawford for 22.

This was the start of Leonard’s best game behind the stumps of the season. With the spin bowlers of Crawford, Ashby and Swart operating, the run rate slowed and the top order struggled.

Wickets fell regularly and the first five wickets all fell when spin bowlers were operating as Eversley went from 42-0 to 74-5.

Swart picked up one wicket caught by Leonard at the wicket, Crawford bagged two more wickets one stumped and one caught by Leonard, and there was a run out involving Clarke and Leonard again. The first seven wickets taken all involved Leonard in some way shape or form.

Howarth and Last built a strong partnership of 66 with sensible batting. Crawford finished his spell at drinks having bowled 10-3-24-3 and was replaced by Frost who bowled five tight overs in tandem with Ashby and Swart but although the run rate slowed, wickets were not coming.

It was at this point Abid Ul Wahab was brought into the attack. Although he was not economical he did take the key wicket of Howarth for 47 in his first spell, thanks to a fine leg-side stumping off a wide by Leonard. Ashby also snagged a wicket, another stumping for Leonard.

At this point Eversley were 173-8 and the remaining few overs became a game of cat and mouse, calculated risks by both teams, Eversley wanting runs, Kidmore wanting wickets. In the end Eversley finished on 207 all out with opening bowler Goodwin bowling two lower order players and Ul Wahab having Last caught (the only catch of the innings not taken by Leonard) by Ashby on the boundary for 60.

In reply Goodwin swept seamers and spinners alike, driving the ball into the gaps with regularity and lofted the spinners over the sight screen. His innings saw him score 102 from 68 balls with eight fours and seven sixes.

Leonard batted in a more becalmed fashion playing a sensible second fiddle, in a mature supporting innings.

The opening stand of 140 in 23 overs was demoralising for Eversley and essential for Kidmore End’s desire to avoid relegation. However, Kidmore had a mini collapse close to the finish line. Leonard was caught for 35 from 85 balls, an innings that meant he was the division’s leading run scorer over the season with 612 runs.

Six wickets fell for 56 runs but a quickfire 21 from Clarke and a patient 15 not out from Swart did enough to see Kidmore home.

HENLEY 2nds narrowly missed out on promotion and the Division 2B title by just two points in an exciting climax to the season.

Despite beating BAGSHOT by 93 runs, Henley had to settle for second place after league leaders Beaconsfield beat Aldershot. Bagshot won the toss and elected to bowl. Despite a brisk start, Henley lost two early wickets and had to rely on Michael Williams (67) and Rhodri Lewis (30) to rebuild. After the latter was dismissed, Nathan Hopkins continued his fine run of form, smashing a quickfire 83 and losing several balls in the cabbage field behind the pavilion in the process. Harry Jordan, Ollie Buckle and Simon Wheeler all chipped in at the end, leaving Henley 2nds with an imposing total of 295.

In reply the home team started steadily but an early wicket for Simon Wheeler, supported by two for Rhodri Lewis, broke the back of the Bagshot top order, despite an impressive 57 from Jack Grinstead.

The match was evenly poised when Felix Watson-Smyth tore through the middle order, ending with 5-27 to put the game to bed, with only skipper Adam Passfield (68 not out) offering resistance, meaning Bagshot ended their innings on 202-9. In Division 4A WARGRAVE 2nds went down to an eight wicket defeat at SONNING.

Batting first T Sohi hit 50 runs as Wargrave were bowled out for 208. In reply Sonning eased to 213-2.

HENLEY 3rds lost out at home to ROYAL ASCOT 2nds in Division 5B.

Batting first, Henley were bowled out for 155 before Royal Ascot put on 156-6 to wrap up the win.

In Division 7A WARGRAVE 3rds, who were already promoted and guaranteed runner-up spot, lost out by 117 runs at SLOUGH 5ths.

Batting first, the home side put on 287-5 before bowling Wargrave out for 170.

Elsewhere in the division KIDMORE END 2nds went down to a 52 run defeat at ROYAL ASCOT 3rds.

Kidmore skipper Chris Pigden lost the toss and unsurprisingly on a wicket which looked like it would favour the bowlers the visitors were asked to bat first and found themselves in trouble at 20-3 in the 11th over and with the dismissal of Pigden to a ball which pitched and rolled for a hard worked 26.

Pete Roseff anchored the rest of the innings with a solid 35 in which he mixed solid defence with some impressive attacking shots. Azhar Udeen and Tom Wilkinson also weighed in with 10 and 19 respectively.

However as the pitch continued to favour the bowlers Mike Wyatt picked up the impressive figure of 4-17 from his 10 overs as Kidmore were dismissed for 143 in the 42nd over.

The Ascot reply mirrored the Kidmore innings as the home side also found themselves in the precarious position of 19-3 as Azhar Udeen was proving difficult to play with Tom Wilkinson also lending good support. Kidmore held some good catches with keeper Callum Driscoll taking two and Chris Pigden taking an impressive one at short leg.

The highest partnership of the Ascot innings was for the fourth wicket with 28 which was broken by Todd Butler who induced an outside edge from Dirk Bennyworth and Ascot found themselves in trouble at 54-5. Thereafter leg spinner Umer Farooqi bowled his 10 overs for 29 runs and took one wicket with Wilkinson and Udeen introduced back into the attack Ascot crumbled with Wilkinson cleaning out the tail to finish with 3-9 from 7.4 overs and Udeen 4-11 from nine overs as Ascot were all out for 91 in 35 overs.

KIDMORE END 3rds finished their Division 9A campaign in 10th place after running out 43 run winners at MARLOW PARK.

The visitors, batting first, put on 284-5 with Jay Rathore bludgeoning his way to 156 while Nathan Ruegg hit 75. In reply Marlow Park were bowled out for 241.

WARGRAVE 4ths finished in 11th spot after losing by 145 runs at home to EVERSLEY 4ths.

The visitors, batting first, put on 318-2 while Wargrave finished their innings on 173-9 with K Lall top scoring with 86.

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