Friday, 19 August 2022

Montgomery heroics are in vain

DESPITE a good all-round performance from Charlie Montgomery, CRAZIES HILL fell to their first defeat of the season against READING UNIVERSITY ALUMNI.

Having been put into bat, Crazies began steadily against some good bowling from Sami. A couple of good partnerships left Crazies 48-2. Montgomery joined Norton, who decided attack was the best method on a pitch offering the bowlers encouragement, and immediately looked in good form. Having added 61 in 10 overs, Norton tried to pull Taimur only to feather an edge to the keeper for 39.

Montgomery continued to bat with confidence but, with the remaining Crazies batsmen not reaching double figures, was forced to score the majority of the runs. When he was eventually bowled by Zia for 72, Crazies were 169-8. A few lusty blows from Yeoman allowed Crazies to post a competitive 183 all out.

Reading began with difficulty as Tett removed Eagle for a duck in his first over. Batting continued to be challenging as Searle took two wickets and Montgomery three to leave Reading 67-6 at the halfway point of their innings.

Murphy had looked untroubled and, when he was joined by Jafri, began to rebuild the innings. Gradually Jafri began to find his timing and the pair added 50 in the next 10 overs despite a hostile spell from Saunders.

Still needing nearly eight an over, Murphy and Jafri began to attack the Crazies bowling, reducing the target to seven before Tett finally removed Jafri caught and bowled for 50.

When Walker removed Zia for two in the following over, Reading still required another four runs with only two wickets left. However, Murphy’s assured 49 not out saw Reading home with seven balls to spare. A fightback from PEPPARD STOKE ROW UNICORNS ended with the away side securing a one-run win at PANGBOURNE.

U14 Rudi Derbyshire — presented pre-match with the new orange cap to commemorate the club’s top in-running leading scorer of the season — extended his lead at the top of the charts by making 28 to take his tally to 417 on what was a wicket of uneven bounce.

Yet there was little else for Unicorns to celebrate as only three other players were able to reach double figures, captain Ruaridh Scott (13) ultimately playing a useful cameo at the end of a team innings which ended on 103.

However, as Dan Lowe (36) and Neil Houldey shared an opening stand of 48, it looked like a procession was in order for Pangbourne before Derbyshire made the initial breakthrough by catching the former off his own bowling.

Derbyshire grabbed a second and leg-spinner Tom Southgate one before drinks, but with the hosts sitting on 71-3 after 15 overs, Pangbourne were favourites.

The introduction of Richard Ashton helped invigorate the away side after the interval and with Southgate (2-18), U14 Archie Watson (2-7) and finally Scott (2-13) all holding their nerve, were ultimately held to just 102-9 from their 30 overs.

HAMBLEDEN went down to a 31-run defeat in their first ever encounter with visitors WEST BLADON.

Having won the toss, West Bladon opted to bat. Openers Ash Hambridge and D Floyd scored slowly against the tight bowling of James Grant and Mahesh. By the 15th over they had accumulated 44 runs at which point Grant took a catch in the slips to dismiss Hambridge on nine, off Mahesh.

Grant then took the wicket of Nathan Haywood, in the next over, caught by wicket-keeper Paul Richards, on 0. Floyd and John Bouwer added a further 41 runs before Floyd was dismissed lbw on 49 to Grant. Grant took his third wicket when he bowled Hambridge on three.

Dave Holloway contributed a spell of four overs without reward, conceding 35 runs. Bouwer and T Valentine took the total to 164, Valentine becoming Grant’s fourth victim on 43. Bouwer finished the innings on 55 not out and Grant finishing with figures of 4-65

Hambleden’s opening batsmen Phil Rosier and Ollie Grant were matching the West Bladon run rate when first Grant on three was bowled, then Rosier on 10 was caught by Haywood at mid-on off Jack Barber.

Barber claimed his third wicket by bowling Martin Calder for five. Adam Gayton and partner Sam Francis set about the bowling of Haywood and Steve Poole in a partnership of 74. Francis finally fell on 25, stumped by wicket-keeper Gary Dogert off Dom Delono.

In the next over, Valentine dismissed Gayton, bowled on 46. The wickets of Mahesh (bowled on 10), James Grant (caught by Bouwer on four) and Dave Holloway (bowled for four) fell to Delono, Valentine and Delono again, respectively, leaving Hambleden on 133-8 with only two balls remaining.

Richards saw out the last two balls finishing on 0 not out, with partner Murton also not out on seven.

Visitors WHITCHURCH put CHECKENDON into bat and, following an opening stand of 60 from Sam Arrowsmith and Matt Heslop, recovered well to dismiss the home team for 165.

This was mainly due to a fine spell olf pace bowling from Nick Hill who finished with 4-22 in his seven overs. He also led the way in the Whitchurch reply, making 65 not out and sharing a 72-run second-wicket partnership with Hugh Williams.

However, the pace and accuracy of Sathia Jobe turned the game in Checkendon’s favour as he took 3-14 leaving the visitors 19 runs short at the close of this 35-over contest.

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