Monday, 04 July 2022

Reigning champions fall short in first match of season

WOODCOTE’S defence of their Premier Division title began disappointingly with defeat by 22 runs against FARLEY HILL last Saturday.

The home side elected to bat but didn’t have things all their own way as they scored 154- 8 in their 40 overs.

The five main Woodcote bowlers all returned good figures with Simon Fitzgerald leading the way with 2-25. Keeper Ryan Lennard had a good day with three catches while Jonny Clark and debutant Joe Webber also played their part with good throws for run outs.

From the start of their innings, Woodcote struggled against the pace of opening bowlers Lewis Hart (5-23) and Kash Ali. However, 71 by Jonny Clark revived fortunes and gave some hopes of victory.

Stefan Gordon (29 not out) also batted well and there still seemed some hopes of a win while captain James Worsfold was his partner. Number 11 batsman, Connor Mattimore, showed resilience as well but finally Gordon was bowled to leave Woodcote all out for 132 in 30 overs.

In Division 1A, CHECKENDON ran out 81 run winners against at home to BEKRSHIRE ROYALS.

Prashant Khare and Tommy Ellis made 91 for the first wicket in 18 overs and the middle order all contributed with Sam Arrowsmith, Pradeep Shokeen and Vikas Sharma particularly notable as the total sped to 241-8 by the end of the 40 overs.

Azmath waa the pick of the visiting bowlers, taking 3-28 in seven overs.

Berkshire Royals opener Shukry took the attack to the home team, hitting 60 in 65 balls but even he had no answer to the variations of slow bowler Rama Adigantal, who finished with 5-46 as Checkendon triumphed.

Elsewhere in the division PEPPARD STOKE ROW 2nds were edged out by two wickets at home to READING UNITED. The hosts suffered a disastrous start as they crashed to 18-3 and then 30-4, only for new captain Matt Vines (40) and his nephew Taylor to rebuild the innings with a degree of aplomb.

Kyle Tappan (34) provided further impetus, but they suffered a second collapse of the game in being dismissed for 164.

United lost captain Kiran Alluri early on, but took control as Anil Rebello’s 50 led them to 84-1.

However, they then fell apart as Tappan (3-39) and the venerable Mick Chard (2-14) got to work, the game well and truly in the balance as the visitors slipped to 147-8.

Yet United were not to be denied, and after Vinay Kumar struck a glorious one bounce straight four, he then finished the job off by hitting a maximum.

Teenager Jacob Lamsdale starred with bat and ball for a never-say-die PEPPARD STOKE ROW 3rds, but they were ultimately edged out by one wicket at home to MORTIMER in a tremendous Division 2 battle at the Les Clark Oval. Gerry Bacon top-scored with 41 for Peppard Stoke Row, while Lamsdale added a 35 in the middle-order to help the home side reach 182-9 from their 40 overs.

Shakil Chowdury was the pick of the Mortimer attack with 3-16.

The visitors seemed to have the game in complete control as Andy Makinson’s 54 ushered them towards the target, but the spin twins of Lamsdale (3-25) and Aled Roberts (2-46), aided by a brace of run outs from Mark Harper and James Rowson, left the game in the balance, only for Mortimer to just get over the line from the final ball of the 39th over.

Newly-formed WOODCOTE 2nds’ Division 3 match was cancelled after Yateley 3rds conceded the match. In a hastily arranged friendly against HOUNSLOW AND WHITTON Woodcote ran out five wicket winners. The visitors were bowled out for 102 and in reply Simon Fuller’s 40 runs paved the way for victory.

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