Thames Valley Cricket League Round-Up
August 18, 2011
Bottom-of-the-table Thatcham Town visited Finchampstead on Saturday with the home side looking to build on a morale-boosting victory the week before.
The players were greeted with good conditions despite overnight rain and Thatcham decided to bat first after winning the toss.
Openers Ross Screiber and Dan Stone faced the seam of Simon Hards and Sam Taylor, but the Finches duo struggled to find fluency in the early overs.
When spinner JJ Dewes replaced Taylor he took the first wicket when Schreiber skied him to Taylor with 49 on the board after 24 overs.
With the score at 74, four more wickets had fallen, all to Dewes.
He caught and bowled Stone then Scott Gibson played on, followed by two neat slip catches by Gary Loveday.
Russell Lane replaced Hards and the seamer soon had two wickets with Josh O’Flynn and Chris Rochford both caught behind by Simon Bell.
Thatcham, on 90-7 in 40 overs, were in some trouble, but the lower order led by Chris Bird (29) and skipper Robb Fraser (34no) played bold strokes to add some respectability as Thatcham closed on 181 all out in 52 overs.
The fine bowling of JJ Dewes saw a return of 5-47 and there were two apiece for Simon Hards and Russell Lane.
The score proved insufficient for the visitors as openers Loveday and skipper Matt Jones prospered against the attack.
They saw 111 on the board before being parted as Loveday was caught behind for 32.
Jones had already displayed a range of strokes in the partnership and continued to reach his century before the close.
With Geoff Isaacs 25 not out the pair put on 72 for the nine-wicket win at 183-1.
Jones ended on a magnificent 120no in the useful win for Finches.
There was a very good win for Finchampstead 2nd at Basingstoke & North Hants 2nd in Division 2A.
Batting first, Finches totalled 247-9 with both Will Allum and Archie Rajapakse scoring 48.
The hosts were dismissed for 165 with a fine return of 7-74 for spinner Jon Gaffney.
Eversley’s march towards promotion from Division 2A took a big knock after a heavy defeat at the hands of leaders Marlow.
Marlow notched up 248-7, a target which proved too much for Eversley, who never really got started.
They were eventually bowled out for just 110 with a severe lack of resistance anywhere in the batting department.
Sonning suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Falkland 2nd in Division 2B.
Sonning, who won the toss and chose to bat first, were skittled for a disappointing 94 in 33 overs.
Falkland had no trouble at all compiling the necessary runs as Sonning failed to take a single wicket in Falkland’s swift chase, which lasted just 14 overs.
A Simon Myles inspired Wokingham beat promotion-rivals Burnham 2nd in a tense encounter in which neither side managed to chalk up 100.
Myles toppled the Burnham batsmen with his usual crafty skill and every run saved was necessary, bowling them out for 82.
Wokingham’s reply seemed to falter after Waqar Ahmed’s hat-trick, but their tail saw them home with the last few gutsy runs to keep up the pressure on leaders Chesham going into the final few matches of the season.
Royal Ascot recorded an impressive victory to keep pace with the others at the top of Division 3A, beating Hillingdon Manor by eight wickets.
Jamie Romer blew the hosts away with figures of 5-51 after Hillingdon won the toss and attempted to post an imposing score.
In reply Ascot’s batsmen proved much too strong with Marc Inman top scoring with an unbeaten 74 and the comfortable win keeps Ascot flying high in fourth position.
Wokingham 2nd squandered a fantastic chance of moving closer to the top of Division 3B after los-ing to rivals Cookham Dean.
Searching for the maximum 25 points, Wokingham batted first, but they failed to get started, posting only 160 in 49 overs.
It was no match for the Dean who overturned their target in no time.
Now fourth, Wokingham will be rueing their poor performance in such an important fixture.
Bracknell claimed a morale-boosting winning draw at home to Hurst in Division 4B.
The result owed much to another mesmerising individual effort from Hafiz Mahmood, who smashed a fine 131no to continue his productive season.
Dave Fearnley chipped in with a useful 53 as the hosts scored 230-7 in 52 overs.
They fell just short of completing the victory, reducing Hurst to 155-8 as captain Alex Fillingham provided enough stiff resistance with 53 to keep Hurst afloat and one place above Brcknell.
There was a very close but well earned win for Finchampstead 3rd over Odiham & Greywell.
Skipper Mike Arnold opening the batting for Finches and hit a fine 118no.
Gareth Biggs added 63 as Finches declared on 250-4.
The hosts were just short at 245 all out in a good finish.
There were three wickets for Justin Clarke and two apiece for James Robertson and Ian Rose.
Eversley 2nd hung in for a draw away to Aldershot as they hope to stave off relegation.
Batting first Aldershot amassed runs at will for some time, scoring 238-8 in 48 overs.
Seeking an improbable 239 for victory, Eversley weren’t too far off with 60 from Andrew O'Kelly boosting their score up to 192-6 in 52 overs.
They now lie third from bottom, splitting Bracknell above and Finchampstead 3rd below.
Sonning 2nd suffered a nail-biting loss to Division 5A’s second-placed side Burnham 3rd.
After James Moore had ground out 61 to give Sonning a fighting 219, Burnham were on the edge of disaster, losing wickets at vital moments.
They managed to pull through, though, to win by three wickets with less than two overs remaining.
In Division 6A Royal Ascot 2nd made quick work of Stoke Green 2nd to cement their place in the promotion hunt.
Saeed Ahmed and Murray Barter starred in the win as Ahmed’s 5-20 helped rollover their opposition for a lowly 142 before Barter hit a solid 71no to secure another important win for Ascot.
Their task now is to chase down Boyne Hill 2nd at the top of the table.
There was also a simple victory for Hurst 2nd who easily strolled past Beaconsfield 3rd by seven wickets in Division 6B.
Chasing 102, Hurst reached 105-3 in just 27.3 overs to claim a win that condemns Beaconsfield to bottom, while Hurst will be looking to push on to go higher than their current fifth position
Wokingham 3rd continue to prosper in Division 7A after a low scoring victory against Eversley 3rd.
Wokingham won the toss and decided to bat first, but the bowlers began to get more out of the pitch as the match went on.
Wokingham scored 157 in 47 overs which was on the cusp of being a good score.
And they were rewarded for their patient batting by Alan Clarke’s line and length masterclass with figures of 5-26 bringing back the glory days for the Wokingham veteran.
Ruislip 2nd had by far the best of a draw as visitors to Finchampstead 4th.
Finches, fielding first, had the visitors on 2-3, but they recoverd to 246-8.
There were three wickets for Dan Foster as Finches closed on 136-7 for the draw.
With the club’s other sides dishing out valuable victories, it was up to Royal Ascot 3rd to keep up and make it a clean sweep – which they duly did with victory over Falkland 4th in Division 8A.
Kyle Philander top scored with 60 as visitors Ascot posted a good target of 224-7, and although Falkland may have backed them-selves to chase it down, Andrew Wiggent put pay to their chances with a flourish of wickets at im-portant times.
Figures of 6-30 ensured Wiggent and Ascot enjoyed their day out.
Finchampstead 5th enjoyed a 16-run win against Yateley 3rd.
Batting first, Finches totalled 178 with Jim Dewes scoring 38.
Yateley, having raced to 101-1 then rapidly lost wickets and were dismissed for 162.
There was a return of 3-24 for Ollie Armstrong-Wood in the useful 25-point success.
The 20 points came easier than normal for Eversley 4th as their opposition Basingstoke 5th were unable to raise a side.
It puts the sides level now in the league, with Eversley just ahead on bonus points.
Division 9A was also hit by cancelled matches with Royal Ascot 4th profiting from Yateley 4th failing to raise a side.
Theale 3rd increased their lead at the top by virtue of a walkover, as Bracknell 2nd couldn’t put 11 men onto the field.
Wokingham Oaks and Acorns may have thought their score of 133 all out in 42 overs wasn’t enough against Kidmore End 3rd.
Wokingham’s attack took early wickets and in a tight finale Kidmore were bowled out for 125, meaning that Wokingham took maximum points in an eight-run victory.