Spin bowler Huw Thomas was the hero with career best figures of 9-46 as WARGRAVE maintained their Division 3A promotion push with victory away to THEALE AND TILEHURST.
Wargrave won the toss and batted first. On a difficult wicket to bat on Mandip Sohi and Luke Taylor put on 64 for the first wicket.
Following the loss of two quick wickets Wargrave rebuilt the score to 122-5 off 31 overs when a series of quick wickets reduced them to 123-9 with opener Sohi returning having retired hurt. Sohi was supported by Ken Clark and took the team to 142 all out from just 36 overs.
Wargrave faced the difficult task of defending a small total on a drying wicket.
Opening with the old ball Euan Woods and Thomas set about their task well with the latter dismissing opener J Codd for a duck. The duo continued their tight spell of spin bowling for the remainder of the game as Thomas took his season total to 36 wickets with his nine-wicket haul off 11 overs, only being denied a 10 by the combination Woods brothers — Euan and Alex — with a sharp catch at short leg.
HENLEY 3rds eased to victory at NEWBURY. On winning the toss Henley captain Tom Chappell asked Newbury to bat first on a damp pitch.
A tight opening spell from Hopkins meant the hosts found scoring difficult. Harris-White bowled a good spell to restrict Newbury to 1.5 runs an over. The introduction of Kenworthy saw Henley start to pick up wickets regularly as he returned with figures of 6-56 as Newbury were bowled out for 176.
In reply Henley got off to a circumspect start. Openers Chappell and Kenworthy took 20 overs to score 50 but kept vital wickets in hand.
The in-form Gurung (52 not out) and Ranger took over and upped the rate. When Ranger holed out, and Oldershaw’s breezy cameo came to an end, Hopkins joined Gurung and guided Henley to within three runs of the target.
Hopkins perished trying to win the game with a six and it was left to Johnson to win the match with four balls remaining.
KIDMORE END 2nds boosted their Division 6B survival chances with a comprehensive 10-wicket victory against THEALE AND TILEHURST 2nds at Gallowstree Common.
Kidmore skipper Mark New lost the toss and the visitors decided to bat first. Opening bowlers Mike Jones and Assad Ul Haq were a little wayward at the start as Theale’s openers Mo Jamil and Micky Metha put on 42 for the first wicket before Jones struck with a yorker which knocked Jamil over for 26.
Ul Haq struck soon after by trapping Ram Sankaran on the crease for a duck and left the game evenly poised on 51-2.
The backbone of the visitors’ innings was a 60-run partnership for the fourth wicket which took Theale and Tilehurst to 193-5 with good catching in the outfield from David New and Rufus Emmanuel.
Assad Ul Haq returned the best figures with four wickets as Theale finished up on 222-7 from their 52 overs.
Theale’s opening bowlers maintained a good line and this meant that Kidmore’s opening pairing of Chris Pigden and New mixed defence and attack well to ensure the were always up with the required run rate. New got to 50 first with a trademark straight drive while Pigden reached his half-century with a cut shot. The partnership was brought to an end as Pigden had to retire injured with 61 (containing 10 fours) to his name with the total on 168 due to a calf injury.
New was continuing to play a captain’s innings as he moved Kidmore closer to the winning total. In the process he reached his century with a drive through the covers. With Cameron Livingstone-Smith providing good support with an unbeaten 25 the hosts claimed victory with New finsihing on 117 not out in an innings that contained 19 fours and a six with seven overs to spare.
THEALE AND TILEHURST 2nds
M Jamil, b M Jones 26
M Mehta, c & b R Emmanuel 28
R Sankaran, lbw, b A Ul Haq 0
M Hanham, c R Emmanuel,
b A Ul Haq 45
S Bond, c D New, b A Ul Haq 26
H Hussein, c D New, b M Jones 43
B Cooper, not out 6
J Manning, not out 10
TOTAL (7 wkts) 222
• Best bowling: A Ul Haq 4-79.
KIDMORE END 2nds
C Pigden, retired 61
M New, not out 117
C Livingstone-Smith, not out 25
TOTAL (0 wkts) 224
Division 7A league leaders WARGRAVE 2nds maintained their promotion push with a seven wicket home victory against ROYAL ASCOT 3rds. Having won the toss the hosts put the visitors into bat and bowled them out for 125 with A Rajiv returning figures of 5-18.
In reply Wargrave eased to victory scoring 129-3 with S Bowers top scoring with 58 not out.
HENLEY 4ths’ Division 7B title charge remains on track as they eased to a four wicket victory against RUISLIP 2nds at Nettlebed.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first and were dismissed for 183. In reply Henley cruised to 184-6 with J Palmer top scoring with 70.
KIDMORE END 3rds suffered a six-wicket Division 8B defeat away to promotion chasing CHESHAM 4ths.
Having won the toss Kidmore batted first and were dismissed for 133. In reply the hosts eased to 137-4 off just 24.5 overs to win the match.
Hosts WARGRAVE 3rds continue to keep up the pressure on the top two in Division 9B as they defeated basement side PRINCES RISBOROUGH 2nds in a close encounter.
The visitors batted first and were all out for 109. In reply Wargrave crossed the winning line with 111-9 to ensure victory.