Graham brothers keep their cool to help side to victory
HARPSDEN moved to the top of Division 2 as they maintained their 100 per cent start
HARPSDEN moved to the top of Division 2 as they maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with victory at home to WRAYSBURY 2nds on Saturday.
On winning the toss Wraysbury, who were missing their captain due to being stuck in traffic, elected to bat.
Hancock and Birkett began well but for little reward as P Midha (17) and S Midha (14) started steadily.
Eventually an in-swinger from Hancock resulted in Midha losing his middle stump. Harpsden captain Whittaker began to ring the changes as Paice started to pick up wickets at regular intervals to gain figures of 3-23 from his 10 overs.
I Ahmed batted well for his 36 but was then caught and bowled by Whittaker and after more steady bowling from Hancock — who picked up another two wickets in his second spell to finish with figures of 15-3-33-3 — Harpsden were in the hunt for all five bowling bonus points. Harpsden wrapped the innings up after Wright removed A Sattar for 24 and Freeman was well caught by Cary off Whittaker for 5 in the last over of the innings, leaving the hosts a target of 158 for victory from 48 overs.
H Cary and B Watson began the reply for Harpsden. Cary was by far the more fluent of the two, as shown by the fact that when Watson was dismissed for 9 the partnership had already rocketed to 62.
After A Bryan (42 not out) found his range the result seemed a formality with the only uncertainty being whether or not Cary would be able to reach his century. Bryan made sure this was not the case when, with eight runs required for victory, he cracked two boundaries through the covers to leave Cary stranded on 90 not out.
HURLEY eased to a comfortable victory at BRAYWOOD in a match that saw Bhagwani take six wickets for the visitors.
Hurley lost the toss and were invited to bat. George Lewis clipped a square boundary in the opening over but Vijayan found the edge as Hurley lost their first wicket in over one.
Dave Simoes and Naeem Akhtar provided a second wicket stand of 31 in 10 overs but a change of attack saw the banshee Bhatti trap Akhtar lbw and then found one to rear at Vikram Sharma who could only fend to mid-wicket.
Scott Taylor joined Simoes to add 26 and take Hurley to 63 before Bhatti removed Taylor edging behind. Hurley added useful wicket stands but no one could push on to a big score. Ross Brown hit a six before he fell with Hurley 102-6.
Bhagwani hit a robust innings as Hurley squeezed out 159 before Basharat was bowled first ball in the 50th over.
Hurley kept the old ball and wheeled away with spin. Bret Carter and Waheed did well to survive five overs before Bhagwani forced Waheed to edge behind where Simoes took a sharp catch.
Phil Ridgeway proved almost unplayable and trapped Carter lbw next over. From thereon in a procession of batsmen trudged back to the pavilion as Bhagwani and Ridgeway cleaned up Braywood inside 19 overs with only skipper Raza making double figures as Braywood were dismissed for 47.
G Lewis, c Jathaneden, b Vijayan
D Simoes, lbw, b Bhatti
N Akhtar, lbw, b Bhatti
V Sharma, c Raza, b Bhatti
Sc Taylor, c Jathaneden, b Bhatti
R Brown, b McDermott
I Arshad, b McDermott
P Ridgeway, b Raza
V Bhagwani, c Jathaneden, b Bhatti
K Northy, not out
M Basharat, b Bhatti
Best bowling: A Bhatti 6-29, R McDermott 2-37.
M Waheed, c Simoes, b Bhagwani
B Carter, lbw, b Ridgeway
R Gill, b Bhagwani
N Jathaveden, c Lewis, b Ridgeway
A Raza, c Simoes, b Ridgeway
Y Ahmed, b Bhagwani
H Akhtar, c Ridgeway, b Bhagwani
P Vijajyan, c Arshad, b Ridgeway
R McDermott, st Simoes, b Bhagwani
A Bhatti, b Bhagwani
S Bennett, not out
Best bowling: P Ridgeway 4-12, V Bhagwani 6-34.
HARPSDEN 2nds maintained their 100 per cent record in Division 4 as they ran out six wicket winners at THE LEE 2nds.
Skipper Sasha Burgess won the toss and put The Lee into bat on a grassy strip. Will Bevan’s pacy out swing and Rod Birkett’s wobbly in swing left The Lee’s batting line-up in tatters. The bowling was helped by some fine fielding which included a good catch from Tom Cary and a diving grab from Mark Cooper. The Lee collapsed to 22-9 when Bevan and Birkett were given a well earned breather. The two Toms, Cary and Imlay, bowled well but without luck and the final pair put on 57 before Birkett was brought back on and finished the innings with the first ball of his second spell. Bevan finished with figures of seven overs, six maidens, six wickets for just a solitary run.
In reply opener Cooper fell for a golden duck before a good stand between Burgess and Justin Bradley steadied the ship. Two wickets in two balls for Ed Boakes soon followed by Justin Bradley who was well caught at point left Harpsden on 49-4.
Adam Birkett was then joined by Archie Speirs on his Harpsden debut and between them they put on 35 runs and saw Harpsden home with Birkett bringing up the victory with the first six of the match.
THE LEE 2nds
E Boakes, b Bevan
B Harris, c Cary, b R Birkett
J Francis, c R Birkett
N Glasgow, c M Cooper, b R Birkett
S Pain, b Bevan
R May, b R Birkett
J Sharman, lbw, b Bevan
M Beckford, b Bevan
J Searle, b Bevan
F Gibson, not out
M Cooper, lbw, b Glasgow
S Burgess, b Boakes
J Bradley, c Gibson, b Glasgow
J Harris, b Boakes
A Birkett, not out
A Speirs, not out
TOTAL (4 wkts)
Elsewhere in the division HURLEY 2nds made it two wins out of two as they defeated PINNER 2nds at Shepherds Lane.
The Graham brothers picked up five wickets between them and put on a match-clinching eighth wicket partnership of 40 to help the hosts to victory.
On winning the toss Mike Cole put the opposition in and was rewarded when Andy Maher tried to fetch a wide delivery over mid-wicket but only succeeded in dragging it on to his off stump.
Rob Fells looked to push the score on after the loss of Sikhander Merchant, bowled Pollitt without scoring. Pollitt’s nagging accuracy paid dividends, frustrating Fells who chased a wide delivery, edging it to Mike Walton behind the stumps.
With Nigel Haines keeping things tight at the River End, 59-2 soon became 80-5 as Pollitt ripped through the middle order. Jo Graham replaced Pollitt and had an immediate effect thanks to a good piece of juggling by Jordan Barradell-Pither at mid-on who hung on to a chance on the fifth attempt to dismiss Nick Lawrence.
Cyrus Barrett provided some resistance before falling to a one-handed catch by Pollitt off Graham. Not to be outdone by his older sibling, Henry Graham was brought on to take the final wicket, bowling skipper Kam Mistry for 18 to dismiss the visitors for 145.
In reply Hurley lost opener Abdullah Ali early on, trapped on his crease by Lawrence before Clive Williams and Jeff Dawson added 63 for the second wicket to put the hosts in command.
Williams tried to loft Foskett down the ground but only found the safe hands of Lawrence. The score of 75-2 became 76-4 as Josh Cole and Barradell-Pither only lasted half a dozen deliveries between them, both falling to Barrett.
Mike Walton joined Dawson in the middle and the duo looked to be getting the innings back on track when Dawson emulated Williams. Mike Cole became the third batsman to fall in similar fashion and all of a sudden Pinner fancied their chances of turning the game round.
Joe Graham and Walton added a dozen more runs before Walton was trapped in front from Barrett.
With 40 more runs needed the two Graham brothers kept their heads, keeping out the good balls and despatching any loose ones to the boundary to see their team home with six overs to spare.