Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Hester and Donovan steer Henley to victory in chase

LUKE LOVELAND and Felix Watson-Smyth bagged three wickets apiece as HENLEY 2nds bowled out KEW for 108 in the opening match of Division 2A.

But it was Hugo Laing who drew first blood, dismissing both openers leaving the visitors on 35-2 before Loveland and Watson-Smyth ripped through the batting line-up.

Only four Kew batsmen were able to reach double figures, with two top-scoring with 17 runs.

In reply, Liam Hidditch led from the front, hitting 56 runs, including 11 fours before he was caught out. When his opening partner, Ben Purchese, was caught out for 26, Henley were almost there.

It was left to Prakash Gurung and Cameron Jacobsen to see their side home within 267 overs.

KIDMORE END lost out to FINCHAMPSTEAD 2nds in Division 2B by 11 runs.

Visiting Kidmore won the toss and skipper James Frost elected to bowl as it is a notoriously difficult ground to defend on.

The Finchampstead innings got off to a good start as Kidmore were unable to really apply much sustained pressure from both ends. The opening batsman made the most of anything short or overpitched, as well as punishing any width.

Simon Bell was the first to go after a great 104-run opening stand, attempting to hit the economical Frost back over his head, only to be caught by Vikas Chib.

However, Matthew Eldridge and Douglas McMurray applied themselves nicely and put on another 100 runs for the second wicket, before the latter fell to the bowling of Guy Ashby, caught again by Chib.

The Finchampstead middle order worked the ball around nicely in the back half of the innings in order to finish on 251-7 from their 40 overs.

In reply, the Kidmore innings failed to ever really get going, losing wickets at regular intervals. Abhishek Chatterjee was the first to go for a duck from the first legitimate ball of the innings and Jeff Sheldon quickly followed also without scoring.

There was then a brief partnership between Ajinkya Gotharskar and Manpreet Singh, before the latter fell immediately after the first sanitisation break.

Jake Leach and Gotharskar both looked good, and got starts, however both failed to kick on, and gave their wickets away cheaply, for 12 and 22 runs, respectively.

Ashby looked good before being adjudged to have hit one down the leg side for 17 runs and Frost was given out leg before wicket for a duck soon thereafter.

Kidmore fell just 11 short of the required total, thanks in the main to a brilliant innings from Tom Bodeker who was not out, scoring 61 runs from 71 balls.

He was also part of an incredible 10th wicket partnership of 82runs with Chib, who hit 29 runs from 20 deliveries.

In Division 4A, Sam Warren top-scored with 84 while Luke Taylor hit 52 as WARGRAVE 2nds beat THEALE AND TILEHURST by 20 runs

Wargrave amassed 208 runs for the loss of seven wickets from their 40 overs and Theale fell short in their reply, finishing on 197-8.

Alex Hands was the pick of Wargrave’s bowlers, taking three wickets, conceding 45 runs.

In Division 4B, HARPSDEN claimed the win as the game was forfeited by RUISLIP.

In Division 5B, an inexperienced and youthful HENLEY 3rds side edge out FARNHAM COMMON 2nds by two wickets.

Losing the toss, newly-appointed captain Andrew Chappell opened the bowling with debutant Jaylan Crockett.

Farnham batsman Nafees Khan set to work, attacking the opening pair to immediately place Henley on the back foot.

Chappell did pick up the opening wicket but, after the opening pair ended their spells, the score was 131-1 after 15 overs.

Khan quickly proceeded to 100, being dropped on multiple occasions on the way to his century. It was Chanula Wickiramaratna who changed the game towards Henley, bowling his eight overs for 14 runs and capturing the vital wicket of Khan, bowled through the gate.

With Rob Kenworthy and Sean Taylor returning for a second spell, they kept a constrained run rate with Farnham ending up on 241-6.

In reply, the opening pair of Charlie Thomas and Kenworthy got off to a steady start, whilst remaining behind the run rate it was vital to keep wickets in hand.

Kenworthy fell, gloving to the keeper, which brought Andy Hester to the crease. A few early fours settled Hester into the game, himself and Thomas kept the score ticking over, continually pushing ones and twos.

With Thomas being removed, Ollie Buckle continued the good work, boundaries started flowing as the Farnham bowling attacked had to reach into its second change bowlers, who were significantly weaker, giving Hester and Buckle to the impetus to attack and chip away at the runs needed.

With Buckle falling for 34, Matt Donovan entered the fray. Batting with a no-holds-barred attitude, he dispatched a six off his second ball.

Hester brought up his 50, never looking in any trouble he was eventually run out for 75, pushing for the runs needed for victory.

Donovan, continuing his attack got to his 50 in 26 balls. He fell shortly after hitting his milestone.

Still needing the runs to seal the victory, the innings headed to the final over, with Tom Jordan run out chasing the final runs, it was Crockett left to finish the match.

Needing four off two balls, he missed his first opportunity, but then he struck the final ball into the air, the ball eventually trickling across the boundary sealing a first win of the season and a first for Chappell as captain.

In Division 6B WARGRAVE 3rds beat THEALE AND TILEHURST 2nds by eight wickets.

Sam Pepall picked up three wickets and Christopher Hattey and Scott Walker two apiece as Wargrave restricted Theale to 150-9 from the 40 overs.

In reply, opener James Norton saw his side over the line with an unbeaten 68 runs, ably assisted by JJ Harris and Harpreet Singh, who scored 28 and 23, respectively.

In Division 7A KIDMORE END 2NDS lost to EVERSLEY 3rds by 17 runs.

Anthony Holland and Assad Ul Haq picked up three wickets each as Eversley were bowled out for 197.

But in reply, despite a knock of 70 by Gregor Hearn, Kidmore fell short and were bowled out for 180 inside 35 overs.

In Division 8A WARGRAVE 4ths lost to WOKINGHAM 5ths by 42 runs while in in Division 9A ROYAL ASCOT 4ths beat KIDMORE END 4ths by six wickets and in the same division KIDMORE END 3rds beat YATELEY 2nds by three wickets.

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