Thursday, 29 July 2021

Big-hitting Wilkin stars with bat as Berkshire triumph

OLLIE Wilkin blasted his way into the BERKSHIRE record books in spectacular style this week.

OLLIE Wilkin blasted his way into the BERKSHIRE record books in spectacular style this week.

He produced two remarkable innings on his debut in the Unicorns Championship game against HEREFORDSHIRE at Colwall, scoring a total of 322 runs.

There were also outstanding bowling performances from spinners Chris Peploe and Henley’s Euan Woods as Berkshire completed a 269-run victory before lunch on Tuesday.

Wilkin, who had first-class experience with Middlesex before suffering a shoulder injury that kept him out of action last season, hammered an unbeaten 159 on Sunday.

He smashed five sixes and 20 boundaries in his innings where he faced 167 deliveries, scoring off 68 of them.

The 24-year-old opener shared a seventh-wicket stand of 54 with Peploe (31) and 93 for the next wicket with Henley’s Stewart Davison (38) as Berkshire improved from a shaky 107-6 to 276 all out in 61.4 overs.

This was after he had been dropped in the slips first ball and offered another chance to the wicket-keeper two overs later. Herefordshire were then dismissed for 239 with 17-year-old Wood taking 6-69 off 24.1 overs and Peploe 3-70 off 37. Wilkin returned to the crease to crash 163 in the second innings. He reached 50 off 27 balls, his century off 65 and 150 off 88. The Ealing all-rounder was eventually bowled for 163, having spent 117 minutes at the crease, during which he clobbered eight maximums and 17 fours.

He and Waqas Hussain (50) put on 130 for the first wicket in just 17 overs, while Henley’s Richard Morris helped him to add 129 for the next wicket in 15 overs.

Richard Morris (69) and brother James (59 not out) kept the runs flowing before Berkshire declared on 411-5 after just 57 overs to set a demoralised-looking Herefordshire side an impossible target of 449.

The home side made just 179, collapsing from 76-1 to 101-8 before their tailenders decided to swing the bat, putting on 78 for the last two wickets.

Peploe took 7-66 while Wood had figures of 2-70. Both spinners and Tom Nugent (1-22) were backed up by some smart catching, particularly from close-in fielders Dan Lincoln, Matt Carter and James Morris.

The full Berkshire line-up was as follows: Wilkin (Ealing), Hussain (Slough), R. Morris (Henley), Rogers (Finchampstead), J Morris (Datchet), Woods (Henley), Lincoln (Finchampstead), Peploe (Datchet), Davison (Henley), Carter (Finchampstead), Nugent (Henley).

Berkshire’s next game is against Wales Minor Counties at Henley’s Brakspeare Ground on June 19.

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