Saturday, 12 June 2021

Watson lays the foundations for league win

HARPSDEN, newly promoted after winning their division last season, got their Division 2 campaign off

HARPSDEN, newly promoted after winning their division last season, got their Division 2 campaign off to a fine start home to HOLYPORT on Saturday as they ran out winners by 145 runs.

The visitors won the toss and chose to field first despite having two players stuck in traffic. Sam Imlay (12) and Ben Watson got off to a solid start reaching 30-0 off six overs before Imlay was bowled by a ball that kept low.

Andy Bryan (33) and Watson took the Harpsden innings forward, playing carefully at times on a slightly inconsistent early season pitch.

Harpsden lost quick wickets as the dismissals of Bryan and new captain Whittaker were followed by the loss of Watson for 78 to leave Harpsden 150-4. The spin pair of Morgan and Hayes slowed Harpsden down at this stage with accurate bowling. Johnny Wright (60 not out) and debutant Will Ward (40 not out) then set about the Holyport bowling putting on an unbeaten 100 plus partnership and allowing the hosts to declare on 265-4 after 49 overs.

The Holyport innings started slowly with Jeyachandran and Johnson playing carefully without scoring quickly. Despite a few dropped catches throughout the innings Harpsden managed to take regular wickets with the hosts’ seamers Tom Hancock (4-41) and Toby Stevens (2-11) the pick of the bowlers.

The seventh wicket partnership between Head (24) and the counterattacking Ali (26) brought a few nerves amongst the home side that the match might peter out into a tame draw but the reintroduction of Hancock and Stevens to take their fourth and second wickets respectively saw Holyport bowled out for 120 in 41 overs.

Elsewhere in the division HURLEY went down to a five-wicket defeat at TAPLOW 2nds in a match played out in hail, wind, rain and eventually sunshine.

Hurley stuttered to 90 all out after the covers were rolled back and skipper Akhtar had lost the toss.

George Lewis was the first to depart to an in-swinger from Matt Newman in the second over. Hurley rapidly slumped to 17-3 with a run rate barely above two an over. Varun Sharma and Scott Taylor added 25 for the fourth wicket to briefly put the visitors on an even keel but when Sharma was bowled round his legs by the slow left arm of Faisal Khan the visitors were back in trouble.

Taylor started to be more expansive but also fell to Khan. Vikram Bhagwani launched a six into the pavilion but his exuberant style inevitably led to a stumping demise. Hurley were eventually all out in just 38 overs.

Imran Arshad picked up two wickets in his opening over to leave the home side on 3-2 but it only took two decent knocks from Dale Barton and Andy Mills to see off Hurley and their third wicket stand of 55 broke the back of this victory. Kuldeep Northey took his first wicket for the club in his maiden appearance and Phil Ridgeway collected two wickets.


G Lewis, b Newman


D Simoes, b Barton


N Akhtar, c Uddin, b Barton


V Sharma, b Khan


Sc Taylor, b Khan


I Arshad, c Quereshi, b Uddin


P Ridgeway, lbw, b Uddin


V Bhagwani, st Mills, b Khan


K Northey, run out


J Barrad-Pitt, b Uddin


M Basherat, not out






Best bowling: A Uddin 3-16, F Khan 3-34, D Barton 2-13.


D Barton, b Ridgeway


N Heaton, b Arshad


M Newman, c Simoes, b Arshad


A Mills, b Northey


F Quereshi, not out


M Roberts, c Akhtar, b Ridgeway


J Heaton, not out




TOTAL (5 wkts_)


Best bowling: P Ridgeway 2-14, I Arshad 2-22.

HARPSDEN 2nds, playing their first ever match, won their Division 3 clash away to LITTLEWICK GREEN.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat. Burgess and Mark Cooper opened the batting and got off to a good start, Burgess in particular pouncing on anything loose and dispatching it to the boundary. Cooper fell attempting to hook.

This brought Horatio Cary (39) to the crease who formed a solid partnership with Burgess who continued to score freely. When Cary (39) fell it sparked a mini collapse as Brown, Imlay and Burgess (77) fell in quick succession.

A partnership between Bevan (24) and Howarth (53) steadied the innings after useful runs from A Cary (23). Howarth batted well for his maiden half century hitting seven sixes over cow corner. The two added 60 runs at more than 10 per over to get Harpsden to 241-9 declared with 45 overs to bowl Littlewick Green out. Chris Leakey finished with 55-6.

Harpsden got off to the perfect start as Rod Birkett (4-1) and Alfred Cary (9-2) decimated the top order with tight bowling. Wickets continued to tumble as Howarth, Brooks, Bevan, T Imlay and H Cary all chipped in and Littlewick were bowled out for 62.

HURLEY 2nds got their Division 4 campaign off to a winning start at home to AMERSHAM HILL 2nds.

On winning the toss Mike Cole put the visitors into bat first on a hard dry wicket and was rewarded in the second over when medium pacer Dave Pollitt rattled Jonnie Cooper’s timbers.

Danny Newton and Anurag Abinashi did their best to push the score along but both fell to cross batted hits to Pollitt and Cole respectively.

Amersham’s Ron Hedley steadied the ship to score 41 before Pollitt got one through his defences. Andrew Marsh survived a confident appeal for a stumping off Joe Graham but his reprieve didn’t last long as Graham got an lbw decision in his favour two overs later.

Stuart Squires and Hedley shared a 38 run fifth wicket partnership which was broken in bizarre fashion when Squires lofted Henry Graham to mid-on where Raj Singh spilled the chance but recovered to run Squires out as he attempted a single.

The loss of Hedley at 124-4 in the 36th over signalled the beginning of the end for Amersham Hill with only Luke Saunders providing any resistance as Pollitt and Joe Graham returned to polish off the tail and dismiss the visitors for 140 in the 42nd over.

Requiring less than three runs per over for victory, Clive Williams and Abdullah Ali played cautiously against some tight bowling from Newton and Raul Mall.

The opening partnership had reached 49 in the 24th over when Williams was caught at cover by Mall off the bowling of Abinashi. Jeff Dawson gave the innings the impetus it needed with his trademark leg-side flicks and a cut shot to the cover point boundary.

Ali hit a couple of sixes over long-on as the required rate fell back to around three an over. Christiansen produced a good delivery to get through Dawson and followed it up by bowling Singh first ball. Josh Cole capped off a good day with his first ever six to win the match for Hurley.


J Cooper, b Pollitt


D Newton, b Pollitt


A Abinashi, b Cole


R Hedley, b Pollitt


A Marsh, lbw, b J Graham


S Squires, run out


L Saunders, not out


J Newbury, b Pollitt


N Christiansen, c J Cole, b Pollitt


R Mall, c J Cole, b J Graham


C Tucker, c M Cole, b J Graham






Best bolwing: D Pollitt 5-34, J Graham 3-19.


C Williams, c Mall, b Abinashi


A Ali, not out


J Dawson, b Christiansen


R Singh, b Christiansen


J Cole, not out




TOTAL (3 wkts)


Best bowling: N Christiansen 2-26.

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