Table toppers maintain unbeaten run thanks to Birkett’s quick fire scoring
THE dawn of the summer solstice proved to be another false dawn for HURLEY, crippled by
THE dawn of the summer solstice proved to be another false dawn for HURLEY, crippled by poor availability and then late rain that washed their Division 2 game out with BINFIELD 2nds on Saturday.
Hosts Hurley lost the toss and were put into bat. Clive Williams and Alan Morgans faced the lively bowling of Jon Scully and Kat Kutmanie but both openers were back in the pavilion with only 23 on the board.
Naeem Akhtar and Phil Ridgeway dug Hurley out of another hole with a stand of 57 in nine overs, peppering the boundary to lift the gloom of the afternoon.
Kumal Gupta trapped Akhtar lbw with the score on 80 and Ridgeway’s fluent innings was cut short as a crisp drive was well taken at short extra cover.
Steve Taylor marshalled the rest of the innings but he could not stop the crumbling of wickets at the other end as Hurley disappeared from 133-5 to 157 all out in 45 overs with Mo Basherat stranded and run out trying to keep Taylor on strike.
Naeem Akhtar gave Hurley the ideal start, bowling Tony Boad in the opening over before Richard Higginson and John Bartlett hit the accelerator with dark clouds looming as the duo added 54 in 10 overs.
Akhtar demolished Bartlett’s stumps at 55-2 and Ridgeway’s guile forced Higginson to lob tamely back to the bowler at 68-3.
James Colett and Harry Lee swung the match in favour of the visitors with a fourth wicket stand of 40 ended with a steepling catch by Akhtar.
Two wickets in two overs brought the match back in balance when the rains came at 6pm with Binfield on 121-5 as no further play was possible.
C Williams, b Kutmanie
A Morgans, c York, b Scully
N Akhtar, lbw, b Gupta
P Ridgeway, c Kutmanie
St Taylor, not out
V Sharma, b Boad
Sc Taylor, c York, b Gupta
J Dawson, b Gupta
D Day, b Boad
R Singh, lbw, b Boad
M Basherat, run out
Best bowling: T Boad 4-41, K Gupta 3-32.
R Higginson, c & b Ridgeway
T Boad, b Akhtar
J Bartlett, b Akhtar
J Colett, not out
H Lee, c Akhtar, b Sharma
A Taylor, lbw, b Ridgeway
K Gupta, not out
TOTAL (5 wkts)
PINKNEYS GREEN hosted Division 3 league leaders HARPSDEN on an overcast day where rain was always threatening.
Harpsden captain Will Stevens won the toss and chose to bowl on a pitch that looked to favour the bowlers early on. The Harpsden opening pair of Wright and Paice started well, with Paice getting the early breakthrough of Elliot. Swapes and Stemp then rebuilt steadily until the former was caught by Stevens off the impressive Bevan.
Wickets then began to fall regularly with batsmen getting starts but failing to go on. The introduction of Brown and R Birkett slowed the scoring rate to a crawl with Brown picking up figures of 3-26 off 15 overs.
Purchese batted well to reach 36 not out but ran out of partners as Paice and Wright returned to clean up the tail.
Harpsden replied well after tea with Adam Birkett and Watson accumulating well. It was during this partnership that the rain began to play a part in the match.
After a 15-minute delay the players were back on, after which Watson was caught behind by Snapes off Austin for 39. Imlay came to the crease attempting to score the remaining 85 runs before the rains could return. His quick fire 20 was halted by the same combination of Snapes and Austin bringing Bryan into the fray.
Rain this time threatened to take victory from Harpsden’s grasps as 40 minutes were lost, but thanks to the covers being removed quickly after the rain departed Bryan and Birkett returned under orders to finish the match quickly.
Birkett, who had passed his 50 shortly before the delay, hit 23 runs off the next six balls he faced including a six as he top scored with 79. Bryan also weighed in with a six of his own allowing Harpsden to reach their required total of 165-2.
M Elliot, c —, b Paice
T Snapes, c —, b Bevan
J Stemp, c —, b Paice
L Basson, c —, b Bevan
P Cary, c —, b Brown
B Purchese, not out
P Savage, c —, b Brown
J Austin, c —, b R Birkett
J McDonagh, st —, b Brown
N McDonagh, b Paice
A Purchese, lbw, b Wright
Best bowling: Brown 3-23, Paice 3-52, Bevan 2-12.
A Birkett, not out
B Watson, c —, b Austin
S Imlay, c —, b Austin
A Bryan, not out
TOTAL (2 wkts)
Shorn of several regulars due to first team call-ups and fasting for Ramadan, HURLEY 2nds could only muster 10 players to make the Division 4 trip to LITTLE MARLOW.
Skipper for the day Mike Walton called incorrectly and the visitors were asked to bat first in the humid conditions.
Walton and fellow opener Dennis Allen found scoring difficult against some tidy seam and swing from Ryan North and Matt Wilson but stuck to their task to see off the new ball and post 33 runs in 16 overs.
Ged Holmes replaced Wilson and removed both openers, Walton lbw and Allen bowled in the space of eight deliveries. Nigel Haines, batting up the order, provided the backbone of the Hurley innings. Jordan Barradell-Pither was unlucky to pick out McCrea at square-leg who held a sharp chance off the bowling of Craker.
Dave Pollitt announced his arrival at the crease with a six and a four off Craker but could only add another single before the returning North produced a good delivery to remove the batsman’s off stump. Haines’ innings was interrupted when a throw from Junior-Marie struck him on the helmet and sent him tumbling to the ground. While Haines recovered, Dave Walton replaced him but only lasted one delivery as a Yorker from Tim Potter proved too good for him.
Henry Graham added 10 runs before also falling to Potter. Haines returned to finish off the innings along with debutant Alex Norris taking Hurley to 113-8 from a rain reduced 50 overs and denying the hosts maximum bowling points.
Another rain shower at tea reduced the Little Marlow reply to a maximum of 39 overs. With the storm clouds gathering, openers Guy Thistlethwaite and Junior-Marie started with positive intent, scoring 15 from the first two overs.
Asif Junaid pulled things back for Hurley, swinging a full toss into Junior-Marie’s pads in the third over at 16-1. Skipper Neil Lancum joined
Thistlethwaite and continued to attack. The score had reached 49 in the ninth over when a running catch from Barradell-Pither accounted for Lancum, giving Junaid his second victim. Thistlethwaite reached his half-century before a direct hit from Norris saw him run out by a distance.
McCrea survived an appeal for a stumping off Haines as the rain started to fall, but Smith and McCrea saw their team home without further alarm and before the rain came.