Watson’s match-winning innings helps villagers wrap up title at first attempt
HURLEY won their third match of the season to keep their Division 2 survival hopes alive
HURLEY won their third match of the season to keep their Division 2 survival hopes alive at home to AMERSHAM HILL last Saturday.
Despite high temperatures, Hurley skipper Naeem Akhtar opted to field. Greg MacKenzie survived an appeal for a catch at cover but the umpire declared a bump ball.
MacKenzie then went on to punish anything short or wide and raced to his half century. Hurley’s fielding wilted as the visitors added 114 before MacKenzie drove to mid-off where George Lewis took the catch.
Three overs later Ridgeway had opener Fletcher caught well at short mid-on by Cameron Wright and Dan Wood fell next ball lbw to change the complexion of the match with Amersham Hill on 120-3 from 27 overs.
The visitors then imploded as Vik Bhagwani and Ridgeway twirled away pegging back the visitors as they lost their last nine wickets for 83 runs.
The innings closed in the 49th over as Lewis took a one-handed catch high over his head at gully as Amersham were all out for 197.
Hurley’s reply got off to a bad start as the first ball arced into Steve Wright and re-arranged the timbers. Soon after Dhanwani was bowled by Natarajan.
Akhtar and Lewis then dug in to settle the innings. Six consecutive maidens saw the scoreboard becalmed on 15, but once settled, Lewis produced a fine innings as despite only two scoring shots that weren’t boundaries he brought up his half century with a six. It took a fine catch at square leg to send Lewis back with Hurley back in contention at 98-3 after a third wicket stand of 83.
Akhtar continued to turn the screw and show why he is the division’s top scorer. Dave Simoes was resolute in taking Hurley to victory with Akhtar dominating the fifth wicket stand of 64.
Akhtar fell to Rob Laybourne with the score on 188-5. Ross Brown briefly shone but it was Simoes who took the home side to victory with five overs to spare.
G MacKenzie, c Lewis, b Bhagwani
C Fletcher, c C Wright, b Ridgeway
R Laybourne, c Simoes, b Ridgeway
D Wood, lbw, b Ridgeway
J Evans, c Simoes, b Bhagwani
O Wood, b Bhagwani
P Collins, c & b Ridgeway
D Telford, c Sharma, b Brown
P O’Brien, not out
V Natarajan, lbw,b Ridgeway
D Plats, c Lewis, b Arshad
Best bowling: P Ridgeway 5-45, V Bhagwani 3-45.
S Wright, b O’Brien
R Dhanwani, b Natarajan
N Akhtar, b Laybourne
G Lewis, c Natarajan, b Platts
V Sharma, c Fletcher, b Natarajan
D Simoes, not out
R Brown, c Telford, b Platts
P Ridgeway, not out
TOTAL (6 wkts)
Best bowling: D Platts 2-36, V Batarajan 2-39.
HARPSDEN were crowned champions of Division 3 after beating their closest rivals CHALFONT ST GILES.
Visiting Chalfont batted first, but found scoring difficult due to tight bowling from Tom Hancock and Toby Stevens.
On numerous occasions the Chalfont opening batsmen hit out at thin air as their outside edges were beaten by the pace and movement and with 12 overs gone the score stood at just 17. The introduction of Rod Birkett and Alfred Cary made the break through for Harpsden.
The pair bowled 27 overs between them and conceded just 75 runs, picking up five wickets along the way including the key wicket of the Chalfont skipper, Lancaster, for a patient 52. With Lancaster gone the Chalfont tail tried to accelerate the scoring but were pegged back by accurate bowling by Adam Birkett who ended with four wickets.
Knowing that a win would secure the title Harpsden nerves were not helped when Imlay fell without scoring. These nerves proved to be unfounded as Adam Birkett and Ben Watson started to accumulate runs steadily.
With Chalfont shuffling their bowlers Watson was brutal on anything loose, striking a number of boundaries on his way to a match winning 78.
Harpsden took the win by nine wickets to win the title with two games remaining and maintain their 100 per cent record.
CHALFONT ST GILES
S Lancaster, c Bryan, b Cary
F Turner, c Hancock, b R Birkett
J Drage, lbw, b Cary
J Baumohl, b R Birkett
R Leonard, b Cary
A Gorton, c R Birkett, b A Birkett
M Pembroke, b A Birkett
A Meaney, b A Birkett
R Dean, c & b A Birkett
R Chalmers, b Hancock
C Ayres, not out
S Imlay, lbw, b A Gorton
A Birkett, not out
B Watson, not out
TOTAL (1 wkt)
An improved batting display by HURLEY 2nds put them in position to win their Division 4 match at AMERSHAM HILL 2nds before they went on to lose out.
On calling correctly, Mike Walton opted to bat first. Some uneven bounce kept the opening pair of Walton and Junaid on their toes. A solid opening partnership of 57 set the stage for a decent total. Junaid survived a confident appeal for a catch behind and was then dropped by Rae at mid-wicket but it was Walton who was the first to fall, bowled off inside edge and pad by Dan Newton.
Henry Graham and Abdullah Ali both failed to get off the mark but Junaid continued to attack anything loose. Faisal Ahmed, Nigel Haines and Yasir Khan provided useful support but it was Junaid who scored the majority of the runs before Benson D’Costa swapped his wicket-keeping gloves to bowl some leg-spin and had Junaid caught in the deep by Ashish Patel for 125. Hurley achieved maximum batting points in the penultimate over, finishing on 211-8.
The Amersham Hill reply got off to a shaky start with Joe Graham picking up the first three wickets inside half a dozen overs. Newton was the first to go, playing all round a good delivery which took the top of off stump.
Ash Patel survived a sharp chance behind the stumps to a rising delivery only to top edge to gully a couple of balls later where Yasir Khan made no mistake.
Joban became Graham’s third victim thanks to Taqadas Tasadiq who held a steepler at mid-on. When Junaid struck to bowl Saunders off his pads, the home side were in trouble at 30-4.
Ben D’Costa and Anurag Abinashi staged a recovery with a partnership of 42 for the fifth wicket. A running catch on the square leg boundary by Joe Graham off his brother’s bowling accounted for D’Costa and at 72-5 Hurley were firmly in the driving seat.
However, inconsistent bowling coupled with lacklustre fielding allowed the hosts back into the game as Abinashi and Rae added 98 in 11 overs to put Amersham Hill in sight of victory.
Haines picked up the consolation wicket of Rae, stumped by Walton. Ron Hedley brought the scores level and the match was ended by a wide delivery as the hosts won with 18 overs to spare.
M Walton, b Newton
A Junaid, c Patel, b B D’Costa
H Graham, b Saunders
A Ali, c Patel, b Newton
F Ahmed, b Abinashi
J Graham, c Abinashi, b M D’Costa
T Tasadiq, c Saunders, b M D’Costa
N Haines, not out
Y Khan, b Abinashi
D Walton, not out
TOTAL (8 wkts)
Best bowling: M D’Costa 2-28, D Newton 2-49, A Abinashi 2-53.