Thames Valley League Round-Up
July 13, 2011
Finchampstead’s promotion campaign took another blow on Saturday when they suffered a three wicket defeat at Kew.
After a great start to the season, Finches hopes of returning to the Home Counties League at the first time of asking have hit a hurdle with two defeats and a losing draw from their last four matches.
And with the season reaching its mid-way point, Finchampstead were desperate for victory on Saturday.
Despite good covering following the uncertain weather in the lead up to the match, the pitch looked green with some movement likely.
Kew, winning the toss, put Finches into bat and the start the visitors needed did not materialise as they were reduced to 18-3 in seven overs.
Openers Russell Lane and Gary Loveday departed lbw and bowled off stump respectively, before Geoff Isaacs was trapped lbw as seamer Mike Dunn took two early wickets.
Some good batting from skipper Matt Jones saw the 50 up until spinner Ali Baig had Simon Bell stumped.
Accurate bowler Baig also had Tom Ansell lbw, leaving Finches at 71-5.
The fine strokes continued from Jones until at 120 he was lbw to Baig for a well-struck 85.
Useful knocks from Kwame Appiah and Sam Taylor saw the 150 up before the final wickets fell to leave Finches all out for 161.
There were seven wickets for the spinners with Baig taking 5-35 and Bajaj two.
Given 53 overs, Kew started steadily against the seam of Sam Taylor and the spin of JJ Dewes.
With 26 on the board, Dewes had secured the wickets of opener Ian Maynard, caught at mid off, and Andy Yaxley lbw.
At 39 he had Bruce Fridericks stumped by Simon Bell and then Rob Maier caught without scoring.
At 83, Dewes’ fifth wicket in only his second senior match arrived as Doug Lowe was a second stumping for Bell after a good 26 scored.
With no addition to the score Mike Dunn was lbw Taylor and he then bowled Ed Knowles to leave Kew in real trouble at 94-7.
But without bowling changes until the final overs, Kew skipper Nathan Pearce (52no) hammered big shots around the ground, forming an unbroken partnership of 71 with Baig to see his side home for the three-wicket win.
The fine bowling by Dewes saw a return of 5-85, but the loss leaves Finches in fourth slot in the table.
Finchampstead 2nd picked up their first win of the season in Division 2A with a merited victory over Hayes.
Visitors Hayes were all out for 163 after seamers Nathan Clarke (3-29) and James Robertson (3-63) led the way for Finches.
The seven-wicket win was secured at 167-3 and was led by a good stand between Dan Lincoln (55no) and Sam Cheetham (41no).
Eversley managed to hold out for a losing draw against league rivals Datchet, but in doing so both sides lost ground on the promotion pack.
As Datchet batted first, seamer Tom Cummings removed both openers with 36 on the board.
However, with most of the other batsmen posting decent scores, including a 70-run seventh-wicket stand, they eventually set a very good total of 246-7.
Gareth Cummings (2-22) returned the best figures from his 12 overs, which included three maidens.
He then saw his side off to a decent start in their reply, making 32 before being bowled.
No other Eversley batsmen really managed to put together a good knock, until No.6 Chris Last put on 53 to see his side home for the draw at 201-5.
Wokingham remain top of Division 2B after holding on to gain a losing draw against Reading 2nd.
Batting first Reading set a total of 233-8, and Wokingham, despite looking to overturn the deficit, just fell short at 206-8 at stumps.
It’s as you were for Sonning, who remain fifth despite a stunning four-wicket win against Maidenhead & Bray.
Maidenhead set a very challenging total of 238-6, but Sonning overturned that target with four overs and four wickets to spare.
Duncan Parr (77) and Richard Anderson (66) both hit their highest scores of the season as Sonning reached 241-6.
Royal Ascot kept up their Division 3A title challenge with a hugely impressive one-wicket win over Henley 3rd.
There were three wickets apiece for Ascot bowlers Jamie Romer and Kevin May, but they came at a cost as Henley set a good total of 238-8.
With 48 overs to reach their target, Ascot started positively, making 102 for the opening wicket before Andy English went for 38.
Fellow opener Marc Inman made a fine 64, but as the wickets fell around him, it was left to Nick Sweetman to top score with 81no and guide Ascot home to victory at 242-9.
Wokingham 2nd slumped to a disappointing 50-run defeat against Harefield 2nd as their Division 3B promotion push loses pace.
Mahesh Chandra returned fine figures of 6-51 as Wokingham looked to be cruising to victory, bowling out Harefield for 144.
However, the Oaks found runs hard to come by, and were skittled out for a meagre 94 runs as Harefield claimed maximum points.
It was tough going for Finchampstead 3rd as they were soundly beaten by Division 4B leaders Purley-on-Thames.
Finches were dismissed for 137 with Ian Rose scoring 51 and then the hosts passed the modest score at 140-1 for the nine-wicket win.
Bracknell recorded their second win on the spin as they saw off basement side Cove 3rd.
Paul Dewick was in devastating form for Bracknell, taking 5-35 as Cove were all out for 102.
Hafiz Mahmood was once again the top man for Bracknell, hitting 77no as his side reached the target to record an easy nine-wicket win.
Sonning 2nd were just 13 runs away from pulling off a shock victory against Division 5A leaders Stoke Green.
Mark Anderson helped himself to a fine return of 6-36 as Stoke were shot out for 195.
Kevan Smith also grabbed two wickets.
In reply, Jason Dance scored 49, with Adeel Razaq and Jamil Ahamed also scoring in the 30s, but Sonning gave away far too many cheap wickets, and were bowled out for 183.
Royal Ascot 2nd kept the pressure on Division 6A leaders Boyne Hill 2nd with another victory, this time against Chalfont St Peter 2nd.
Murray Barter remains on course for his most productive season ever thanks to his score of 56, while David Baker scored 37.
However, wickets fell at regular intervals and Ascot were all out for 168.
Chalfont’s reply, however, never really gathered momentum, thanks mainly to the fine bowling of Saeed Ahmed (4-32) and Jason Carr (4-30), and they were bowled out for just 96.
Hurst 2nd failed to register a single point as they were soundly beaten by Division 6B high-flyers Yateley 2nd.
All out for 88, Hurst had no luck with the ball, and Yateley knocked off the runs in 20.2 overs to win by 10 wickets.
There was a good win for Finchampstead 4th in Division 7A as they beat Chiswick & Latymer 3rd by 86 runs.
Finches totalled 204-7 with Malcolm Blogg top scoring on 86 and Alex Jones hitting 30.
In reply the visitors were all out for 118 thanks to good bowling returns from Kanki Sehmi (5-46) and Mike Simmonite (3-17).
Having suffered a points deduction, Wokingham 3rd have it all to do if they are to rekindle their title hopes, and they continued to rack up the wins with a 46-run victory over Boyne Hill 3rd.
Will Ellison was once again on top form, hitting 58 as Wokingham reached 233-7, and then Rich Runham returned outstanding figures of 7-20 as Boyne Hill were skittled out for 187.
Eversley 3rd held on by the skin of their teeth to earn a losing draw against title-challenging Ruislip 2nd.
There were two wickets apiece for James Berger-North, Matthew Spooner, Tony Critchley and Jason Collen, but they came at a price as Ruislip were 230 all out.
Only Paul Mission (35) made any headway with the bat in Eversley’s reply, but they somehow held on for 48 overs to reach stumps on 99-9.
Finchampstead 5th recorded a good win in Division 8A against Basingstoke & North Hants 5th.
Basingstoke, batting first, were all out for just 103 with the bowling honours going to youngsters Max Uttley (5-37) and Max Stevenson (4-23).
In reply Finches were home for the win at 104-4, led by Jim Dewes with 52.