Monday, 14 June 2021

Harpsden maintain winning run

HURLEY slipped to their first Division 2 defeat of the season as their batting line-up collapsed

HURLEY slipped to their first Division 2 defeat of the season as their batting line-up collapsed at WHITE WALTHAM 2nds.

The visitors lost the toss and were put into bat first on a green wicket.

Yasir Ali looked at three balls before smashing Jeff Brooker for a straight boundary but next over Jez Ellis trapped him lbw and the following over Dave Simoes edged the ball on to his stumps off Brooker.

From 5-2 Hurley slipped to 49-7 as a range of undisciplined shots buried the visitors. Only skipper Naeem Akhtar, who hit 60 not out, stayed around after surviving a dropped catch when on 11.

Akhtar and Asif Junaid brought brief hopes of posting a reasonable score with an eighth wicket stand of 41 before Junaid played one too many expansive shots to hole out to extra cover. Hurley were eventually all out for 107 in 41 overs.

After tea Simon Jessop and Dave Griffith added 94 before the former drove to mid-on to give Hurley their own bowling success after two spilled catches.

The visitors conceded 17 extras as the home side hit the winning runs in the 24th overs.

HARPSDEN made it two wins out of two as they ran out comfortable winners in their Division 3 fixture away at CHALFONT ST GILES.

The visitors made a good start with the ball, with T Hancock flattening Gorton’s leg stump before removing Leonard thanks to a low catch at second slip from B Hancock. This left Chalfont reeling on 7-2, but their saviour came in the shape of Plested, who attacked from ball one as he hit 50 in five overs to turn the run rate on its head.

The big moment came when Paice was introduced to the attack and once he found his range he hit Turner’s off stump, before picking up the wicket of Plested, caught at short third man.

From this point Harpsden took the initiative, picking up regular wickets to peg Chalfont back. Paice was the pick of the bowlers, with his eventual figures of 11.3-2-47-5 proving to be match winning.

Imlay and Watson opened the batting for Harpsden with Chalfont keeping the old ball as they opened the bowling with spin.

Gorton trapped Watson lbw without troubling the scorers. This brought Bryan to the crease and in what proved to be a game-changing partnership, he put on 96 with Imlay before the latter was stumped for 39.

Bryan was then caught in the gully for 65, leaving Harpsden on 111-3. This was the last bit of success for Chalfont, as Whittaker and captain Stevens comfortably guided Harpsden home to victory by seven wickets with 21 overs to spare.

HURLEY 2nds’ blend of youth and experience continued their 100 per cent start to their Division 4 campaign with a three-wicket victory over AMERSHAM HILL 2nds at Shepherds Lane.

Mike Cole won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first as the opening attack of Scott Taylor and Dave Pollitt got some swing.

Taylor struck with the third delivery of the match, an in-swinger to the left handed Ron Hedley which bowled the veteran opener via his inside edge.

Danny Newton and skipper Sam Bugden began cautiously against the swinging ball but it wasn’t long before Newton started to hit a variety of leg side shots. Cole replaced Taylor at the river end and claimed the wicket of Newton with his second delivery as the batsman slapped to Taylor in the covers.

Stuart Squires employed the lap shot to good effect in a third wicket partnership of 22 with Bugden. Joe Graham picked up the wicket of Bugden, thanks to another catch by Taylor. Not to be outdone by his brother, Henry Graham ripped out the middle order with four wickets in his six over spell, including a sharp caught and bowled.

With Taylor returning to dismiss Hart and Nigel Haines trapping Nick Ridgeway lbw the visitors found themselves nine wickets down with 108 runs on the board.

Chris Tucker and Rob MacKenzie frustrated the hosts for a dozen overs, adding another 44 for the last wicket before Haines wrapped it up as Tucker advanced down the track but could only succeed in top edging the ball on to middle stump.

The Hurley reply made good progress as Shoaib Kayani and Abdullah Ali posted 39 in eight overs before Ridgway trapped Kayani in front.

Ali and Jeff Dawson kept the scoreboard ticking at a reasonable rate, reaching 82 in the 19th over before Ali fell lbw to Bugden, precipitating a mini collapse with Tucker dismissing Taylor and Josh Cole.

When Bugden picked up his second wicket with the third lbw of the innings to dismiss Dawson, Hurley found themselves wavering at 93-5.

Mike Walton and Joe Graham, who made a dozen runs out of the sixth wicket partnership of 40 in 12 overs, stemmed the flow of wickets. Ridgeway returned to take Graham’s off stump and followed up two balls later with the wicket of the other Graham brother to leave Hurley still requiring 20 runs with three wickets remaining.

Mike Cole hit three boundaries to put his side within a couple of runs of their target which Walton finished off, driving MacKenzie to long-on to give Hurley victory with five overs to spare.

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