Monday, 14 June 2021

Handy victory for Hurley

HURLEY were in need of a new broom as they entertained WRAYSBURY 2nds after the previous week’s capitulation in Division

HURLEY were in need of a new broom as they entertained WRAYSBURY 2nds after the previous week’s capitulation in Division 2.

Losing the toss was not such a bad omen as Steve Wright (30) rolled back the years with a 29–ball blitz to lay a solid opening stand for Hurley of 43 with a more circumspect Dave Simoes (108, not out).

Wright fell to a sharp catch by Afridi at mid–off, but his innings set the tone as Simoes picked up the pace with the ebullient Naeem Akhtar (101) to smash the 18–year–old second–wicket record for the first team, adding 226 in 38 blistering overs before calling a halt when Akhtar fell to an excellent running catch from Afridi off Imran Ahmed (2–61).

Andy Freeman bowled a tight spell of seven overs (0–22), and it was a puzzle that he didn’t return for a second spell.

With no umpire or scorer, Wraysbury came in to tea bemoaning the target of 270 to win as too high, but with 53 overs and a placid wicket, the declaration seemed fair.

Hurley captured the early wicket of skipper Tom Dibley offering an easy catch to point where Vik Bhagwani squatted to pouch the catch from Varun Sharma (1–41).

At 1–1 Wraysbury had a mountain to climb.

Hurley’s indiscipline then let them down as sundries contributed generously to Wraysbury’s second–wicket stand of 108 between Pav Midha (37) and Imran Ahmed (31).

Wraysbury jollied along at over five an over as Hurley sprayed the ball around but in the 19th over Midha fell to midwicket where Akhtar took the catch off Bhagwani (4–23).

It was almost as if a boil had been lanced as the visitors imploded to 154–9 losing eight wickets for 45 runs as Bhagwani and Phil Ridgeway (4–25) ran through the middle/late orders. With 17 overs then left to secure maximum points, Hurley failed to dislodge the last pair of father and son Andy and Ben Freeman, with 15–year–old Ben (18, not out) particularly impressive.

Wraysbury frustrated Hurley at 196–9 at the close but Hurley need to be more focused on the season and competitive.

Their 65 byes and wides now brings the total number of sundries conceded in their four matches to 143.

HURLEY 2nds’ winning start to the season, came to an end away to DENHAM 2nds in a close contest that saw the hosts get home with seven deliveries to spare.

Mike Cole won the toss and opted to bat first but his openers failed to make an impact in the early overs with Shoaib Kayani (1) and Alan Morgans (1) both falling cheaply.

Kayani was kicking himself after slapping a long–hop from Treacy to Phil Ashworth at square–leg.

Scott Taylor joined Abdullah Ali at 20–2 in the 12th over and progress remained slow as both batsmen played themselves in against some accurate bowling from Ambrose Treacy and Danny Dawson.

Taylor showed more of his recent good form with a solid 40 but it was Ali who provided the boom–bang–a–bang as the pair added a club record second XI partnership of 151 for the third wicket.

By the time Taylor fell to Ambrose in the 41st over, Hurley were well on the way to a good score. 

Maximum batting points were duly achieved and the skipper called his men in after 49 overs with Ali unbeaten on 155, setting Denham 232 for victory.

Hurley opened the bowling with Nigel Haines and Alexander Williams utilising the old ball and Haines made an early breakthrough, having Tobin caught at mid–wicket by Ali.

Stuart Payne (42) and David Hales (84) staged a recovery, aided by some lacklustre fielding. Ali shelled three chances which allowed Denham to recover to 108 for two before Cole had Payne caught in the deep by Henry Graham.

Despite being hampered by an injury, Hales played a decisive innings, finally ended by a good catch from Morgans in the deep to give Haines his second wicket

Hemmen Mehta made a useful 36 before getting carried away and dancing down the track to Kayani and failing to get back before Walton removed the bails.

An excellent catch from Cole at short mid–wicket to dismiss Dawson set the nerves jangling in the Denham dressing room, but Josh Simpson (13, not out) and Treacy (21, not out) kept their nerve to see their side home with seven balls to spare and leapfrog Hurley to go top of Division 4.

Hurley will be disappointed to have lost after such a good batting display, but everybody can hold their heads up high after another good team performance.

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