Saturday, 12 June 2021

Bradley‘s five-wicket haul helps league leaders

HURLEY skipper Naeem Akhtar hit an undefeated 117 runs during Saturday‘s Division 2 draw at BINFIELD

HURLEY skipper Naeem Akhtar hit an undefeated 117 runs during Saturday‘s Division 2 draw at BINFIELD 2nds.

Heavy rain on Friday had left the wicket soft despite the protection of the covers. Akhtar lost the toss and the visitors were invited to bat.

Steve Wright clipped the third ball square for a boundary but then got a brute of a ball that popped off the wicket and looped to the keeper.

Dave Simoes and Akhtar then had a difficult 10 overs as the ball continued to rear, but they battled on to add 44 in 13 overs before Simoes couldn‘t get over another rising ball and was caught at leg slip.

The return of George Lewis produced some big hitting as he added the majority of the 67 runs for the third wicket. Steve Taylor was struggling with an injury but when he fell with the score on 153-4, this opened the gates for Shaan Hussain.

With Akhtar hitting the ball through the field, Hussain opted for the big hitting over the top. His 50 came in 32 balls and Hurley added 99 runs from their last 10 overs. Akhtar brought a well-deserved 100 up with a six over mid-wicket as Hurley declared on 287-4 in 51 overs.

Opting to start with the old ball Akhtar‘s spin and flight enticed Gupta to loft to mid-off in the fourth over. Akhtar struck twice more in quick succession to reduce Binfield to 68-3 as Dave Simoes took a thin edge behind and Hussain clung on at long off. Richard Higginson could not be enticed into an error and continued to accumulate the bulk of the runs while James Browning showed little inclination of taking advantage of the drying wicket and increasingly quick outfield.

These two added 111 in 32 overs as Hurley rotated seven bowlers in an attempt to tempt Browning out of his bunker.

Phil Ridgeway gained an edge from Browning, well taken by Simoes. This precipitated a mini collapse from 179-3 to 195-6 but it came too late for the visitors as the match ended in a draw.


S Wright, c York, b Scully


D Simoes, c Wright, b Scully


N Akhtar, not out


G Lewis, c Scully, b Boad


S Taylor, b Goddard


S Hussain, not out




TOTAL (4 wkts)



K Gupta, c Balakrshan, b Akhtar


R Higginson, not out


J Scully, c Simoes, b Akhtar


J Wright, c Hussain, b Akhtar


J Browning, c Simoes, b Ridgeway


H Lee, c Sharma, b Ridgeway


S York, c Simoes, b Ridgeway


Kathir, not out




TOTAL (6 wkts)


Best bowling: N Akhtar 3-49, P Ridgeway 3-49.

On a damp afternoon Division 3 leaders HARPSDEN won the toss and asked PINKNEYS GREEN to bat first.

This proved to be a good decision as opening bowlers Tom Hancock and Johnny Wright found a responsive pitch and were troubling the batsmen with almost every ball. Wright especially found bounce and movement which was rewarded with three wickets.

Jack Brown and Alex Bradley replaced the opening bowlers with Pinkneys struggling with four wickets down. Brown exerted good control drying up the scoring and being rewarded with a well taken catch at short leg.

Bradley was to prove the star of the show as, bowling with unerring accuracy, he was well supported by his fielders and took his first ever Harpsden five-wicket haul. This helped dismiss Pinkneys Green for just 82.

Defending this was always going to be difficult but Pinkneys bowled with accuracy and restricted the flow of Harpsden runs well to pick up three wickets.

Sam Imlay was the mainstay of the innings and ended 37 not out as Harpsden ran out winners by seven wickets.

HURLEY 2nds crashed to a heavy defeat at home to DENHAM 2nds in Division 2.

The visitors won a vital toss and asked the hosts to bat first on a wicket that had been protected from Friday‘s monsoon by the covers.

After losing Abdullah Ali, well caught in the covers by Rulach before a run had been scored, Hurley slumped to 16-3 after 11 overs.

Jack Tomlinson did most of the damage with the wickets of Ali and Asif Junaid. Mike Walton and Alan Morgans helped stem the fall of wickets, but inevitably the runs were few and far between as both batsmen concentrated on survival against some accurate bowling. Morgans battled for an hour for three runs off 54 deliveries until Karl Woodham enticed him into an edge to the keeper. Josh Cole came and went without troubling the scorers, also falling to a catch behind, this time off Ambrose Treacy. Ben Fraser curbed his attacking instincts and batted sensibly with Walton to add 40 runs in 15 overs. With the overs ticking away, both batsmen attempted to pick up the pace and paid the price. Fraser was well caught by Rulach, taking a diving one handed catch at mid-wicket. Skipper Cole also departed without scoring, trapped in front by Tomlinson and when Walton edged Ashworth to slip Hurley were reeling on 71-8. A spirited rearguard action by Nigel Haines helped the hosts to a meagre total of 88 all out in the 48th over. With such a small total to defend, the only hope Hurley had was to press for wickets. Junaid almost got an early breakthrough as Hemmen Mehta edged to slip where Mike Cole couldn‘t hang on to a sharp chance.

Mehta‘s reprieve didn‘t last long; he had only managed three runs when attempting to slog an in-swinging Yorker from Junaid saw him lose his middle stump. Junaid and Dave Pollitt continued to keep the batsmen tied down but with the pitch becoming more docile Hurley had to keep changing things to try and pick up wickets.

Cole, Fraser and Dave Walton leaked runs as 50 were added in nine overs. Nigel Haines picked up the consolation wicket of Tobin who top edged to backward-square, to give Hurley a solitary bowling point, but Rulach and Dave Tang secured the victory without further alarm.


A Morgans, c Payne, b Woodham


A Ali, c Rulach, b Tomlinson


A Junaid, lbw, b Tomlinson


J Dawson, c Ashworth, b Magner


M Walton, c Magner, b Ashworth


J Cole, c Payne, b Treacy


B Fraser, c Rulach, b Woodham


M Cole, lbw, b Tomlinson


N Haines, not out


D Walton, c Tobin, b Ashworth


D Pollitt, b Magner






Best bowling: J Tomlinson 3-25, J Magner 2-10, P Ashworth 2-12, K Woodham 2-14.


C Tobin, c Junaid, b Haines


H Metha, b Junaid


R Rulach, not out


D Tang, not out




TOTAL (2 wkts)


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