Thursday, 24 June 2021

Harpsden extend lead at top of the table

HARPSDEN extended their lead at the top of Division 2 after running out winners at HOLYPORT

HARPSDEN extended their lead at the top of Division 2 after running out winners at HOLYPORT on Saturday.

On a pitch affected by overnight rain, and with light drizzle in the air, Harpsden captain Whittaker won the toss and elected to bowl.

The visitors made a tight start with the ball, with Hancock and Wright not offering anything for the batsmen to free their arms.

Hancock made the breakthrough, with Riley top edging the ball to Wright at fine leg, what followed was a bad collapse for Holyport as they went from 21-0 to 37-4 in a matter of overs. This was largely thanks to Johnny Wright, who removed numbers three, four and five in quick succession, the first two thanks to smart catches from Bryan. This brought Sennett to the crease to join Burnett as both batsmen set about rebuilding the innings. They combined smart defence with hard hitting to put on 81 before Sennett could only find the waiting Watson at long off from Brown’s bowling.

Despite only being five down, this proved to be the beginning of the end for Holyport, as Harpsden dismantled the tailenders with regularity, as Holyport lost the final five wickets for just 30 runs, to leave Harpsden requiring 149 to win. The pick of the bowlers was Brown who returned figures of 4-54 from his 13 overs. Harpsden set about the total with Cary and Watson pouncing on anything wayward as they reached 63-0 from 10 overs before the new ball was taken.

The new ball did little for Holyport as it flew to all parts of the ground and beyond, Harpsden eased to their total from just 18.2 overs, with Cary finishing on 98 not out, which included seven fours and seven sixes. He was supported by Watson, who finished on 37 not out.

HURLEY had the hosts nine wickets down at CHALFONT ST GILES but failed to get the last man out as they lost by one wicket.

Batting first, Hurley’s George Lewis was rapidly back in the pavilion falling to his first ball to J Plested in the third over. Naeem Akhtar was then bowled to leave Hurley 22-2 from eight overs.

Opener Dave Simoes started cautiously but settled to add a useful 45 with Shoab Riaz who was striking the ball with power and precision. When he tried to loft Ayres he was pouched at long off.

The rain came in the 22nd over and the match lost 46 minutes and 14 overs. Hurley’s innings was reduced to 45 overs and on resumption Varun Sharma pushed on with Simoes now scoring freely.

Simoes finally fell caught behind and two balls later Shaan Hussein was bowled leaving the visitors 162-6. With nine overs remaining and a target of 200, Scott Taylor piled on the runs exploiting the leg side boundary and stand-in skipper Ross Brown, scoring 18 runs in 17 deliveries, took Hurley to 208-7 from their 44 overs.

With the grey skies clearing Hurley made a bright start dismissing both openers inside five overs with 23 on the board. The visitors’ bowling, fielding and catching then degenerated to an alarming rate as J Plested and P Plested added 97 in 12 overs despite a rapid spell from Shoab Riaz finding bounce in the pitch.

One Hurley over went for 23 including three no-balls and inevitably a catch was spilled off one and the batsmen collected a further three runs.

Riaz returned for a second spell and had P Plested driving at cover where Sharma took a neat catch. The pivotal point was Riaz bowling J Plested for 63 and the home side were still well placed at 141-4 with 21 gone and 21 remaining.

Riaz and Akhtar managed to claw back the run-rate and pick up wickets though Richard Ballard remained a threat. Riaz’s pace had batsmen counting down his over allocation and an adjustment to his length brought results hitting the stumps. Mo Basharat bowled well and Akhtar returned belatedly in the penultimate over to bowl Perkins and Owens with successive balls to leave the hosts on 200-9.

Needing nine to win from 10 balls, Ballard finished the match with a six over long on from the second ball of the final over.


D Simoes, c Turner, b Ayres


G Lewis, b J Plested


N Akhtar, b Ayres


S Riaz, c P Plested, b Ayres


V Sharma, c Turner, b Lancaster


Sc Taylor, not out


S Hussein, b Ayres


St Taylor, b Ayres


R Brown, not out




TOTAL (7 wkts)



R Patel, c Hussein, b Brown


S Lancaster, c Akhtar, b Riaz


P Plested, c Sharma, b Riaz


J Plested, b Riaz


R Ballard, not out


S Kapadia, b Riaz


T Payne, c Nothey, b Basharat


F Turner, lbw, b Basharat


A Perkins, b Akhtar


D Owen, b Akhtar


C Ayres, not out




TOTAL (9 wkts)


In Division 4 both league leaders HARPSDEN 2nds and HURLEY 2nds picked up 30 points each as their opponents could not raise a side.

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