Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Ridgeway is the all-round hero as Hurley triumph

HURLEY 1sts extended their winning sequence to two matches with an eight-wicket win over CHALFONT ST GILES 2nds at Shepherds

HURLEY 1sts extended their winning sequence to two matches with an eight-wicket win over CHALFONT ST GILES 2nds at Shepherds Lane in the sixth round of matches.

The visitors, who gained promotion from Division 3 in 2012, had made a bright start to the season but were arriving off an eight-wicket defeat at Coleshill, having opted to bat.

The visitors were probably hurt more than the hosts by last-minute drop-outs, with Hurley nemesis Richie Ballard reportedly having been elevated to Chalfont’s home match.

The game itself was notable for David Simoes’ first 50 of the season, and a remarkable all-round performance by Phil Ridgeway.

Chalfont St Giles again elected to bat on a sunny but breezy day, and on a track which had seen very little rain in the preceding three weeks.

Hurley captain Ross Brown opened the bowling from the Lane end again in tandem with Jonathan Langlands.

The first wicket came when Langlands found Zala-Webb’s leg stump in the fourth over with the score on nine.

Thereafter Hurley lost their way a little, and a double bowling change was implemented after 12 overs.

Mike Cole, having taken his 700th wicket at Great Kingshill only two weeks previously, replaced Brown but bowled an over which was somewhat below his own standards and asked to be replaced.

Vikram Bhagwani replaced Langlands at the Farm end, and Phil Ridgeway replaced Cole. The two slow bowlers successfully re-asserted control, and in his second over, Ridgeway teased an outside edge from the bat of Stannard which flew in the air and was caught by Langlands at leg slip with the score on 75.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals, although Paul Plested showed aggressive intent with shots to mid-wicket, and he and Raj Patel added 40 for the sixth wicket.

Brown finished his spell at the Farm end.

The Chalfont innings was dominated by Patel, who batted for all but one over and two runs of the total, and was the ninth wicket to fall.

His innings was one of solid defence and patient accumulation, but several thick edges along the ground found the boundary behind square on the off side by the barbecue.

Patel reached his 50 in the 32nd over. Cole’s catch to remove Patel was taken low down at gully. The Chalfont innings ended when Ridgeway bowled a slower ball to tiny Delaney, and Trevor Balchin took a one-handed catch lying on his back.

In reply, Cedric Ayres opened the bowling with the old ball from the Farm end in tandem with Raj Patel.

Patel withdrew after two overs citing a lower leg injury, and the new ball was immediately taken.

Ollie Zala replaced Patel at the Lane end. Ridgeway and Simoes thrived in the conditions, and in short the predominantly young Chalfont team was unable to deal with the fluent strokeplay. Ridgeway reached his 50 in the 17th over, and Simoes brought up his 50 just seven overs later.

Ridgeway was particularly brutal with Zala, exploiting the short boundary in front of the pavilion, and played several cover drives towards the scoreboard and hit one six at long on.

The opening stand of 123 was broken when Ridgeway was bowled at the Farm end in the 26th over by the newly introduced Paul Plested.

With victory in sight, Varun Sharma swept two huge sixes over the nets at mid-wicket but was then bowled.

The fall of the second wicket left Simoes and Steve Taylor just 10 runs to score for victory.

Even with Dean Nye still to return, this was Hurley’s strongest team of the season.

Simoes scored his 34th 50 for Hurley. Ridgeway took the 33rd five-wicket haul of his career and scored his 213th 50. The next fixture is Denham at Cheapside Lane.

After six matches, HURLEY 2nds are still without a win and anchored firmly to the bottom of Division 3.

Taplow skipper, Chris Paskins, won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first on a very dry pitch, which turned out to have no pace and very low bounce.

The opening pair of Clive Williams (15) and Colin Ainger (3) struggled to get the ball away and the score limped along to 17 in the ninth over when Ainger lost track of a high full toss from Dani Mehmood and was bowled.

Mehmood’s slower ball accounted for debutant Ramesh Sistla (0) and David Morgans (6) to reduce the visitors to 31 for 3 after 17 overs.

Hurley’s predicament worsened in the next over when a vicious off-spinner from Les Andrew took Mike Walton’s leg bail.

Alan Morgans joined Williams at the crease and attempted to dig Hurley out of the pit down which their innings was rapidly disappearing.

Callum Stay replaced Mehmood at the House end and struck with his first delivery, tamely chipped to mid-off by a disappointed Williams.

Will Krag batted sensibly for half a dozen runs before falling to a quicker delivery from Ed Hedley leaving Hurley floundering at 60 for 6 and the odds on them reaching treble figures looking greater than a 5-0 Aussie victory in the Ashes this summer.

Dave Pollitt was promoted up the order and together with Morgans, proceeded to take the attack back to the bowlers, reaching the first batting point in the 40th over.

Pollitt pressed on to 54 before skying a Dale Barton delivery to cover where Stay took the catch. Scott Taylor (3*) joined Morgans (48*) to push the score up to some respectability as Hurley finished on 158 for 7.

Hurley opted to open the bowling with Pollitt and David Morgans using the old ball in the hope that Taplow would have similar problems with the lack of pace in the wicket.

Pollitt bowled tidily conceding 23 from seven overs without looking threatening.

With Morgans going at five an over he was replaced by Dave Walton, but he failed to reproduce the form which saw him take six Denham wickets the previous week. Lewis Fisher (54*) and Chris Paskins (90*) rarely looked troubled by the Hurley bowling and the odd mishit shot fell safe, as the total moved on steadily. Hurley tried all their bowling options but were unable to make a breakthrough as Taplow eased to victory inside 29 overs. Once again Hurley’s lack of fire power with the ball was exposed.

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