Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Singh and Cole hit record 216-run partnership as Holyport are put to sword

HARPSDEN 2nds ran out 12-run winners in their Chilterns Division 1 clash away at high-flying HOLYPORT last Saturday.

Batting first, the visitors put on 190-8 with skipper Will Stevens top scoring with 60 and opening batsman Ed Birkett chipping in with 40.

In reply, Holyport were dismissed for 178 with Rod Birkett taking 4-19 and both Toby Stevens and Shazad Gulfraz taking two wickets each.

In Chilterns Division 2 records tumbled at Shepherds Lane as HURLEY 2nds demolished HOLYPORT 2nds by 197 runs with the match featuring the highest ever partnership for any wicket, and maiden centuries for Akash Singh and Josh Cole. Hurley won the toss and elected to bat first with several players arriving late. Hurley got off to the worst possible start with Caskie (1-56) clean bowling his opposite number with the first ball of the match.

This brought Akash Singh (144 not out) to the wicket and he played intelligently mixing wristy leg-side flicks with stout defence as he and Jasdeep Singh (24) cautiously added 59 for the second wicket.

Tristan Head (1-52) then had Jasdeep bowled through the gate in the 14th over. Ravi Singh (eight) didn’t last long, beaten in the flight by Niall Bateman. Just as Holyport thought they were back in the game at 85-3 off 17 overs, Singh and Cole (100) combined to smash a record partnership of 216 off only 169 balls. Both batsmen were fortuitous at times, being dropped twice, but otherwise it was an imperious and sensible partnership with good defence, quick singles, and lusty blows all around the wicket.

Singh’s innings was the 20th highest in Hurley history, with his 144 coming off 128 balls and included 21 fours and three sixes. Cole’s century came from 84 balls and contained nine fours and a six.

Once Singh had reached his century both batsmen marshalled the strike to ensure Cole could approach his own milestone. Once he had his century, the intention was for Cole to return the favour and get Singh to his 150 — in doing so he was run out trying to get Singh back on strike which immediately brought the declaration after 43.3 overs.

Chasing 295 to win, off 46 overs, Holyport needed a bright start and Amar Chana (49) set out his stall early on with some big leg-side hitting. Unfortunately for the visitors he was not well supported by the top order as Mandeep Singh (2-22) removed Archie Gadeke (four), thanks to a diving catch at third slip by Cole, quickly followed in the same over by Amar Mahmood (0) caught at short extra-cover.

Chana was supported by Paul Kenny (nine), the pair adding 67 for the third wicket, as they laid siege and frustrated the home team for more than 20 overs with a draw the only salvageable option for the visitors as the run rate approached 10 an over.

Cole quickly turned to the spin option of brother Liam (0-20) in an effort to illicit an attacking shot, who bowled well without much luck. A rain-break of 30 minutes saw the game resume with no overs lost.

Holyport collapsed after the resumption as Ravi Singh (5-11) was brought into the attack — Kenny caught at slip ending his 64-ball marathon, Chana bowled one short of a well-deserved half-century, and Saif Abbas (two) lbw.

Holyport had scored eight runs in 10 overs for the loss of three wickets but with 14 overs remaining were confident of holding out for the draw at 79-5.

Even with Hurley setting attacking fields, runs were sacrificed with not even the thought of a batting point any enticement as Ravi and Cole bowled several maidens.

Paul Jheeta (eight) hit Ravi for two fours off one over in a brief cameo but was caught behind off an outside edge. Joban (3-27) was recalled to the attack and his first ball saw the Bateman (one) caught at silly point and Hashim Sulaman well caught by Jono Patrick at second slip.

Ravi had Tristan Head (0) caught low down by Williams at slip and Joban finished things off in the 38th over by bowling Caskie (four) with one that just clipped the off stump.

Hurley’s catching was exceptional as Holyport capitulated from 75-2 to 97 all out in 65 balls, with the Singh’s taking all 10 wickets, as Hurley won by 197 runs to move up to second place in the table.

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