Five star Doran sets up opening winBy Adam Lee
May 15, 2008
Wokingham's Home Counties Division 2 West campaign began as brightly as the weather as they beat last year’s third place finishers Kidlington.
New skipper Martin Bushell lost the toss and Wokingham were asked to bat on what looked a good track.
Wokingham began solidly, with Soza and returning Aussie Dan Doran opening the batting and scoring at a fair pace.
However, Wokingham’s Achilles heel of recent years reappeared and the good start was undone by three soft dismissals to leave them in need of a partnership at 63-3.
Appiah (42) joined his skipper at the crease and played with assurance and aggression in equal measure.
Between them they steadied the ship and put the pressure back on Kidlington, reaching lunch at 128-3.
Kidlington, however, responded with vigour as the talismanic David Taylor stoked a revival.
Bymalka picked up Bushell’s (59) wicket with the first ball after lunch, and then new signing Tom Jones looked solid before an excellent catch at midwicket cut his innings short.
Thava and Appiah both then fell to harsh decisions, while Gilbey and Hiscoe struck a few late blows.
In the end Taylor (5-72) blew away the tail, leaving Wokingham short of their target at 194 all out.
Taylor lead Kidlington’s chase with aggression right from the off and put Wokingham’s new-ball bowlers under pressure, bringing their fifty up inside 10 overs.
Skipper Bushell made the decision to bring leg spinner Doran and Thava on early, and the decision proved inspired as the pair put the brakes on for the home side.
Doran bowled Taylor between his legs and Thava cleaned up Oliver.
Two more quick wickets for Doran, including a sharp catch at short leg for Appiah, set Kidlington’s nerves jangling.
Bushell’s captaincy again proved insightful as he gave Wilson an over before lunch, and his second ball promptly uprooted Pearson’s off stump, leaving Kidlington at 124-5.
Wilson (2-42) picked up a second soon after the break and when Doran had Buckingham well caught at slip by Reddyhough, Wokingham sensed victory.
Doran (5-50) picked up his fifth wicket in a fine bowling display before Thava (2-23) ended N. Ali’s stubborn resistance during a bizarre sun shower.
Hiscoe and Doran combined to wrap up a fine comeback victory with forty minutes and 26 runs to spare following a run out from the boundary.
Having avenged last season’s defeat, Wokingham look ahead to next week’s away trip to newly promoted Buckingham looking to build on the platform from this excellent all-round team performance.
* Wokingham 2nds began a tough season following back-to-back promotions with a trip to Beaconsfield, themselves relegated from HCPL 2 West last year.
Bowling first, Wokingham began brightly, taking four early wickets to reduce Beaconsfield to 95/4, with Wes Budd posting 4-60, before Beaconsfield took advantage of a couple of dropped catches and a missed stumping to record a formidable total of 262-6, with Harris (144) top scoring.
In reply,Wokingham crumbled in the face of Owen’s steady bowling and the returning former Pakistan test player Ahmed’s spin.
Early setbacks set the tone for a dismal display and Wokingham succumbed to an embarrassing 47 all out, leaving much to ponder ahead of next week’s vital clash with Fleet.
* Wokingham 3rds managed to hold out for a draw against Newbury 2nds thanks to a battling 51 from Anthony Durdin.
Newbury, batting first, posted 207-9. In reply Wokingham stuttered before holding on for the draw at 175-9.