Friday, 18 June 2021

Hosts turn up the heat on below-strength Hurley side

WITH poor availability throughout the club, HURLEY could only field one side last Saturday as six second team

WITH poor availability throughout the club, HURLEY could only field one side last Saturday as six second team players were called up to the first team resulting in Hurley 2nds’ fixture being cancelled.

The first team were in action in Division 2 at AMERSHAM HILL where they lost out. In warm conditions on a compact ground with fast outfield skipper Phil Ridgeway chose to bat first but Clive Williams fell lbw to the lively Paul O’Brian from the third ball of the day.

Alan Morgans adopted the foil to the free scoring Naeem Akhtar and these two added 72 in 16 overs before Greg Mackenzie bowled Morgans.

The pivotal partnership between Akhtar and Ridgeway saw the latter struggle with his timing while Akhtar continued to pick off the boundaries. These two took the score on to 147 before Akhtar was bowled by O’Brian, returning for a second spell and then his second over of the new spell saw Ridgeway scooping to mid-wicket and 13-year-old Henry Graham being out lbw. From 147-2 Hurley stuttered to 154-5.

Varun Sharma and Steve Taylor put together 51 with Sharma taking advantage of any loose deliveries. Sharma fell run out trying to keep the strike while he was in fine form but Mike Walton sent him back well short of his ground. Hurley closed on 251-8 after a brief blitz from Mike Cole.

Hurley had a similar early breakthrough as Akhtar demolished Mackenzie’s off stump in the opening over. It was clear that the home side were going to challenge Hurley’s total as Chris Fletcher and Dan Wood added 40 in 10 overs.

Two quick wickets as Akhtar had Wood well caught at slip by Cole, and Ridgeway took Fletcher also at slip to a diving Taylor.

With the match finely balanced and Amersham Hill on 48-3 Laybourne and Ollie Wood added 51 in eight overs. Laybourne heaved Ridgeway high into long on where 15-year-old Joe Graham took a tumbling catch as the ball looked to be sailing over his head. Graham repeated the feat in almost identical fashion to remove Wood as Hurley looked confident with the home side slipping to 127-5. Chris Elder smashed 19 from seven balls but skied Joe Graham and Alan Morgans slid in to swallow the catch. Ben DeCosta then hit an improbable 55 in 21 balls adding 53 in six overs. Ridgeway took the steepling return catch as DeCosta looked to lose another ball and at 211-8 the game swung back to the visitors. Paul O’Brian at number 10 continued the rampage with a brief 23 ball demolition as Amersham cantered home inside 42 overs.

In Division 3 HARPSDEN made it seven wins from seven to remain top of the table as they COLESHILL 2nds.

Having won the toss and electing to bat first Coleshill were bowled out for 144 with J Brown taking 3-45.

In reply Harpsden eased to 145-2 off just 27 overs with W Stevens top scoring with 60 and A Birkett finishing on 48 not out.

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