First XI 2009
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Cobham Avorians V Malden Wanderers
With their Premiership status already secured for next season, Cobham Avorians needed to win their last match of the season to gain their highest ever league position. Their opponents, Malden Wanderers, had nothing to play for, and it showed in their performance, as the Avorians cruised to victory, and fourth place in the table.
The Avorians were without several regulars for this match. One of those missing was the captain, Steve Naylor, so vice-captain, Scott Jarvis, took the toss, won, and asked Malden to bat.
Barford and Euston opened, and stood firm against some tight and aggressive bowling from Tom Collins and Jamie Lawrence, but these were the only two Malden batsmen to take the game seriously, and when Euston was run out with the score on 51, the Malden innings degenerated into farce.
While the Avorian bowlers continued to go about their business, the Wanderers elected to swing out at almost every ball, resulting in three Malden batsmen being dismissed first ball, and Graham Crawford came close to claiming a hat trick.
With nearly twenty overs remaining, the Wanderers were dismissed for 136, leaving the Avorians with very little to do to claim the points.
The home side got off to a shaky start. Chapman and Durrandt were both caught behind in the second over with two runs on the board, and the Avorians were wobbling a little. However, Reece O’Connell, playing his last game for Cobham before returning to Australia, was untroubled by any of the Malden bowlers, and carried the Avorians close to their target, only getting out when trying to complete his stay in England with a big six that would have won the match. O’Connell’s 69 made him the highest scorer for the Avorians for the season.
There was steady support for the opener from Tom Collins, the youngster withstanding some heavy sledging on his way to 17, and some aggressive batting from Steve Harpley, who raced to 27 not out, scoring the winning run in the 32nd over.
After the match, the home dressing room was full of talk about the prospect of an assault on the league title next season. The away dressing room was empty. Such was the difference between the two sides.
Weybridge 171 all out Cobham Avorians 172 for 9 Wkts
Cobham Avorians won a tense and long drawn-out contest against near neighbours and arch-rivals Weybridge, scraping home with four balls to spare and one wicket standing.
Weybridge won the toss, and elected to have a bat. Scoring was difficult early on, with Jamie Lawrence, in particular, putting in a series of maidens to restrict Weybridge to 34 runs from the first ten overs. However, neither Lawrence nor Tom Collins could penetrate the Weybridge defence, and it was left to the A’s captain, Steve Naylor, to make the breakthrough.Naylor’s first victim was Waters, caught behind by Kingsnorth, and Franklin came and went quickly, bowled for a first ball duck.
Naylor could not complete his hat trick, but he went on to take five Weybridge wickets including, importantly, that of Z Ansari, who had inched his way painstakingly to a half century when he gave Kingsnorth his second of four catches.Lawrence and Naylor went tit-for-tat with wickets, and Lawrence finished with impressive figures of 4 for 51 from 20 overs. The pair were ably supported by Luc Durrandt who took the last Weybridge wicket to fall, returning figures of 1 for 14 from 6.4 overs.
The dismissal of Mann for 47 signalled the beginning of the end for the Weybridge innings. Although the remaining batsmen ate up overs, there was little else happening on the scoreboard, the last 10 overs providing 18 runs, and Durrandt’s wicket left Weybridge at 171 all out.The Avorians have a reputation as a chasing team, and the target should have been easily in their grasp. Durrandt and Reece O’Connell hit a bright and breezy 51 before O’Connell was dismissed for 23, but when Durrandt was dismissed in the 15th over for 40, the wheels started to fall off the A’s cart.
Mann, the Weybridge spinner, bowled a marathon stint of almost 22 overs, and the Avorian batsmen struggled to get runs. Mann conceded just 34 runs, while the opening bowler, Turner, was steadily picking up wickets.
After an interruption for rain, scoring ground almost to a halt, and when the number of overs available was reduced to 58, it suddenly became possible that the Avorians would not reach the modest Weybridge total. Ben Chapman and Scott Jarvis put on 56 for the fifth wicket, but Chapman’s eventual dismissal for 54 left Jarvis with just the tail end for support.
Harpley went for a duck, Tom Collins for 5, and Jamie Lawrence for a duck, and the equation was simple. The Avorians need three runs from two overs, with one wicket remaining, and Jarvis at the wrong end. Keith Millett, drafted in from the 2nd XI as an injury replacement, blocked ball after ball, to the delight of his cheering teammates, and, with Jarvis eventually on strike, an untouched ball whizzed past the keeper, and the two byes got the Avorians home with four balls to spare.
Sunbury 268 all out Cobham Avorians 121 All out
Avorians Fail To Fulfil Early Promise
Three wickets in the first five overs raised the spirits of the visiting Avorians team at Sunbury, but that was as good as it got, and the Avorians lost heavily to the Premier Division title chasers.
Put into bat, Sunbury were soon in trouble when Scott Jarvis took the wicket of Kuiper with the first ball of the match, and Cliff Hill followed up in the next over, trapping Spencer LBW. When Jarvis took his second victim, London, in the fifth over, Sunbury were reeling at 18 for 3.
However, Maunders, and Sunbury captain, Roland-Jones, steadied the ship, with the former eventually falling one run short of his half-century and the latter just making his 50.
There was a brief revival for the Avorians, with three quick wickets after lunch, but resistance from Stanier and Smith turned into aggression, and the pair punished the bowlers in the later overs before Smith was caught and bowled by Steve Naylor for 43 to end the innings. Stanier remained unbeaten, contributing 63 to the Sunbury total of 268 all out.
In reply, the Avorians offered little. Graham Crawford, who had destroyed Chessington in midweek with an unbeaten 96, was dismissed for a single, while Reece O’Connell, continuing his struggle for any sort of form, went for the same score, and the promise shown by Luc Durandt with two imperious boundaries, petered out with an LBW decision in favour of Lewis.
Steve Naylor showed what could be done, building a steady innings before being caught for 43, but his only support came, too late, from Steve Harpley, who treated the bowling with disdain for a quickfire 33. There was nothing to come from the Avorians’ tail, and the visitors were all out for a disappointing 121.
The Avorians must now hope for an early return to fitness for DJ Umpleby and Ian Cockbain, and a return to form for Reece O’Connell to get the side heading back up the table
Cobham Avorians 85 for 7 wkts Spencer 201 for 7 wkts
In a rain-affected match, Cobham Avorians were very lucky to escape with a draw against Spencer, surviving only because Spencer left their declaration too late to bowl out an outplayed Avorians side.
With the start delayed until after the lunch break, the Avorians, having won the toss, decided to let Spencer bat, backing themselves to win any run chase. In the early stages, it seemed that the A’s had made a good decision. While neither Mawson nor Shankar, the Spencer openers, were about to give up their wicket easily, the scoring rate was slow, and Spencer, despite having all their wickets intact, had only 66 on the board after 22 of their maximum 41 overs.
However, by then, the Avorians injury jinx, never far away this season, had struck again. Jamie Lawrence, having just completed a maiden over, pulled up with a hamstring injury, and was unable to take any further part in the game. This put extra pressure on the strike bowlers, and forced captain, Steve Naylor, to turn to some of the lesser lights to fill in while the top bowlers took a rest.
Spencer took full advantage. Both openers made their fifties, and Surrey contracted player, Alex Tudor, raced to 35 before Jarvis and Naylor returned to put the brakes back on the run rate and make inroads into the middle order, each taking two wickets. Spencer declared on 201 for 7, leaving the Avorians with 34 overs to chase down their score.
In reply, the Avorians got off to the worst of starts. Rajiv Tanna survived just three balls before being caught for 1, one of four victims for Spencer’s teenage bowling sensation, George Edwards. The Avorians best chance of winning lay with hard-hitting Luc Durrandt but, with two boundaries already to his name, the South African was given out to a dubious decision. Officially caught gloving a delivery from Tudor, Durrandt’s demonstration of the seam burn on his arm cut no ice with the umpire, and he had to go.
The rest of the batting line-up had little defence against the pace of Tudor and Edwards. The next three wickets fell for single figures (although Reece McConnell also felt he had cause to be aggrieved about his LBW dismissal), and it was left to Scott Jarvis and Ben Kingsnorth to see out the overs with little or no attacking intent.
Their partnership of 33 took care of 13 overs, ensuring that Spencer could not claim victory, but a cameo performance at the end of the innings by Graham Crawford, hitting 18 runs off 15 balls, showed what might have been. The Avorians closed their innings on 85 for 7, claiming a point from their losing draw.
Sutton V Cobham Avorians
Sutton 250 all out in 48 overs Cobham Avorians 216 for 7wkts in 50 overs
Injuries Put Brake on A’s Title Chase
Already missing three vital members, the Cobham Avorians’ 1st XI paper-thin squad was further decimated by on-field injuries, leading eventually to their 34-run loss to fellow title contenders, Sutton.
When Sutton won the toss, and elected to bat, the Avorians took the field without first-choice wicketkeeper, Ben Kingsnorth, free-scoring batsman Ian Cockbain, and middle-order man Ben Chapman. With emergency keeper, Graham Crawford, behind the stumps, the game was only minutes old when the injury jinx struck again. James McLaughlin, recently returned from volunteer work in India, overstretched on a throw, and damaged his back, leaving him in agony, and unable to bowl.
On a low and slow wicket, the A’s opening bowlers, Steve Naylor and Scott Jarvis, restricted Sutton to 39 runs in the first 10 overs, but Sutton opener Sharif made steady, if not spectacular, progress, taking nearly two hours to reach his fifty.
At the drinks break, the A’s were forced to shuffle their pack. One bowler short due to the early-match injury, Steve Naylor took over behind the timbers from Graham Crawford, who became the A’s sixth bowler. Naylor was successful both with ball and gloves, taking one wicket during his bowling spell, and two stumpings and a catch as keeper. However, the news was about to get worse for the A’s.
Fielding on the boundary, David Umpleby fell awkwardly, and needed extensive on-field treatment to a badly-torn hamstring. Umpleby, who had scored 69 the previous week against Weybridge, was prone for over half an hour before being driven back round the ground to the pavilion to receive further treatment, taking no further part in the game.
The A’s continued to battle, and a fired-up Scott Jarvis ripped through the Sutton tail, claiming 5 wickets for 42 runs, supported by left-arm spinner Reece McConnell, who took 2 wickets for 50. Sutton were unable to complete their allotted 50 overs, and were all out for 250 with almost two overs remaining.
In reply, the Avorians found scoring difficult. The normally free-flowing opener, Luc Durrandt, was kept in check by some tight Sutton bowling, and, with only nine fit batsmen, the need to preserve wickets. Durrandt eventually perished for 34, following his opening partner Rajiv Tanna (21) back to the pavilion. Naylor and Jarvis offered stubborn resistance, Naylor, in particular, top-scoring with 36 runs, but, when these two went, and Steve Harpley and Tom Collins came to the crease, the emphasis changed from a run-chase to victory to ensuring that Sutton did not claim the bonus point.
With the pressure on, Collins, the youngster of the team, did himself and his club proud. Tom remained not out, finishing with 33 hard-fought runs, and, better than that, in the last over, when it seemed that Sutton would get that valuable bonus point, Tom suddenly found two glorious boundaries to ensure minimum damage to the A’s title chances, as the A’s innings closed on 216 for 7, Sutton winning by 34 runs.
Ben Kingsnorth is expected to return to the side for the next match, against Spencer, but Umpleby faces several weeks on the injury list, and the search is on for replacements to bolster the team and maintain the challenge at the top of the ECB Premier Division.
Cobham Avorians V Weybridge
Cobham Avorians 267 for 7wks in 50 overs Weybridge 129 all out in 33.5 overs.
Cobham Avorians had a great week winning the first of the Twenty Twenty game’s against Old Emanual and going to the top of the Surrey Championship table equal with Sutton following the win on Saturday against Weybridge.
The A’s fielded an under strength team following three injuries to first team players in last weeks game with Banstead. Winning the toss and batting first they got off to a slow start with only Durrandt troubling the scorers to make 58 and with 4 wickets down looked way behind on the scoring rate, Jarvis and Umpleby came to the crease and soon had control of the Weybridge bowlers.
Scott Jarvis was peppering the boundary and made a very fast 64 runs, David Umpleby returning to the side following a stint in Australia had a welcome come back with a fast 69. The two players steered the A’s to a respectable 267 for 7wkts in the 50 overs.
Weybridge came into bat and could not get on top of the Avorian bowlers, skipper Steve Naylor kept the scoring down at one end with Scott Jarvis bowling a good length at the other it was not long before the wickets started to fall and Weybridge struggled to 129 all out in 33.5 overs.
May 16th Banstead 231 All Out.. Cobham Avorians 295 for 8
Cobham Avorians 1 st XI crushed the challenge of league newcomers Banstead, but paid a heavy price, with injuries to three key players. Ian Cockbain, scorer of 133 runs in the first two league matches , looks set to miss the next eight matches after re-breaking a big toe broken only a few days previously. Ben Kingsnorth, the A’s keeper, fielded with a broken finger, while the captain, Steve Naylor, sustained a leg injury in the field. Naylor’s injury is reported to be not as serious as first feared, but Kingsnorth will visit hospital this week for treatment on the finger. On an unexpectedly bright day, where the forecast rain stayed away, Banstead won the toss, and elected to field. Luc Durrandt and Rajiv opened, as usual, for the A’s, and, as usual, it was Rajiv who provided the anchor as Luc set about taking advantage of the mandatory 10-over fielding restrictions. The opening 50 partnership between the two consisted of 49 runs for Durrandt, and a single for Rajiv, but the balance worked, and, when Rajiv was run out for 11, the pair had put on 89 runs in 21 overs. Luc again showed his liking for the quicks, but shrank into his shell when the spinners came on, and it was left to Ian Cockbain, at number three, to continue the run gathering, hitting three successive sixes off the hapless Jak Luxford. Durrandt eventually perished just three short of his century, and Cockbain followed just four overs later, for a hard hitting 71. Both batsmen fell victim to Adam Clarke, who took four of the six wickets to fall, albeit very expensively, going for 90 runs in his 10 overs. Clarke’s long run up and almost endless field tinkering kept Banstead very close to penalties for slow play, but they survived unpunished.
Runs dried up in the middle-order. Reece McConnell scored 26, but his single boundary evidenced the problem that the A’s had in getting the ball off the square. Phil Reeves (0 for 26) was instrumental in keeping the scoring rate down.
However, with 13 overs remaining, Steve Harpley was promoted up the order to increase the scoring rate. Although his performance was not quite the clean-hitting slaughter of the previous week, nevertheless Harpo generated enough power to score 30 from 23 balls, including 10 consecutive scoring shots in the middle of his innings. Tom Collins and Keith ‘Seedy’ Millett (promoted from the 2 nd XI) kept the scoreboard ticking over, and the innings closed with the A’s on 295 for 8.
Over tea, Harpley voiced the fear that, on an easy track, the A’s might be 20 runs short of a defendable total, and, at the start of the Banstead innings, it looked as though he might be right.
By the 20 th over, Banstead were well ahead of the required rate, with Lancefield and Houghton both hitting half-centuries, and the opener, Burns, chipping in with 29. But, then, a magical piece of quick thinking, and quick fielding, by Steve Naylor changed the whole complexion of the game. Lancefield, facing Naylor, tried to straight-drive the bowler back down the pitch, but a lightning pick-up and rapid flick at the other end saw the wicket broken and Houghton out of his ground. Houghton was run out for 50, and Lancefield followed immediately afterwards, caught by Jamie Lawrence.
With two new batsmen to bowl at, the A’s bowlers came at Banstead with renewed vigour, and, while Jack Martin, the Banstead captain, stood firm without really increasing the run rate, wickets were falling around him with regularity. By the 40 th over, Banstead were 26 runs in arrears, with 5 wickets down, and five overs later, it was all over, Banstead subsiding to 231 all out, and the A’s victors by 64 runs. Tom Collins and Jamie Lawrence each claimed three wickets, and Steve Naylor, as well as the run out, took 1 wicket for 42 in 10 overs, completing his stint carrying a painful injury.
May 9th Wimbledon 282 for 7 wkts v Cobham Avorians 283 for 8 Wkts
A thrilling match and an apparently impossible run chase ended with a scintillating knock from Avorians’ Chairman of Cricket Steve Harpley and an improbable win for the Avorians 1 st XI at Wimbledon, with just two balls to spare.
With three hours of the match gone, the A’s could have been forgiven for packing their bags and leaving just to avoid further humiliation. They had elected to bat, and had taken to the field one man short as team captain, Steve Naylor, was away in Essex ‘doing the shopping’. Wimbledon took full advantage of the absence, as their openers, Grace and Pudney, and their number 3, Neil Turk, had put on 128 runs before Naylor and carrier bags arrived.
Naylor’s entry to the field made little initial difference as Wimbledon’s Neil Turk continued on his merry way, backed up by Mohammed Jaffer, and, when Jaffer’s wicket fell, caught behind by Ben Kingsnorth, Wimbledon were 236 for 3 and ready to have a thrash for the last five overs.
Naylor, and Scott Jarvis, were having none of it, though, ensuring the Wimbledon tail failed to wag, and the next four wickets fell for forty runs. Nevertheless, none of the A’s bowlers were able to get the better of Turk, who finished on 113 not out as the Wimbledon innings closed on 50 overs with the score at 282 for 7, leaving the A’s needing to score at more than 5.6 an over to achieve victory.
The afternoon session began more peacefully, but only in the scorers’ box, where the party disco next door had finally, and mercifully, ground to a halt. On the field, the usual opening fireworks were taking place where Luc Durrandt (sorry, Luc, for the previous misspellings) was trying to win the match on his own, preferably in the first ten overs. However, his display of big-hitting was short-lived as he departed, caught, for 13 after three effortless boundaries.
Time, then, for the batting side to dig in and see how close they could get to their target, and the middle order all chipped in with runs. Ian Cockbain led the way with 62 runs, and there was support from Naylor, niggling his way to 31, keeper Ben Kingsnorth stubbornly picking off the singles on his way to 43, and Scott Jarvis, following up his 10-over spell with some big hitting before being bowled by Moody for 44.
Stubborn resistance then, but, with six overs remaining, the A’s were still sixty runs in arrears, and needing an unlikely 10 runs an over. Cometh the hour, cometh the Harpo. ‘Savage’ is probably the only word to describe what followed as the A’s unlikely hero settled into the crease. Still recovering from a shoulder injury, and unable to bowl in the first innings, Harpo launched a devastating attack on the Wimbledon bowlers. A first-ball single gave no clue for what was to come, as Harpo then proceeded to smash another 42 runs off the next 15 balls faced, including five boundaries off consecutive balls. This was no slog, either. This was controlled aggression and cultured cricket, complimented by both umpires after the game as “some of the most ferocious and high-quality batting they had seen”.
Harpo was not to get the glory of scoring the winning runs, though. That honour fell to Jamie Lawrence, a deserved honour, too, as with only Cliff Hill to bat after him, he held up his end and, taking the singles where they were available, ensured Harpo got the strike. Jamie’s final two runs of the innings, ironically off the bowling of centurion Neil Turk, took the A’s to 283 for 8, and a two-wicket victory with two balls to spare.
Should the A’s win the league, the celebration might not be as great as it was for this victory. The whole team, resplendent in their 2009 shirts (the contents of Nails’ carrier bags) massed on the boundary to greet Harpo and Jamie, and to rejoice in a splendid, team-inspired, victory. The side of 2008 might not have won this match, but a new team-spirit was there for all to see, and the new season could, indeed, be one to relish.
The next match for the 1 st XI is away to Banstead on Saturday 16 th May.
Meanwhile, the Avorians 2 nd XI fell agonisingly short in their run chase against Ashtead 2 nd XI, completing their allotted 50 overs on 203 for 8, just 3 runs short of their target. Dan Lane took 4 for 29, and Mike Bailey 3 for 32, while John Winslade scored 50. The 2nds next meet the Bank of England, at home, on Saturday 16 th May.
Cobham Avorians select 210 for 7 Byfleet 109 all out
There was some concern that this match might not get underway at all after heavy overnight rain had left the outfield damp, but, with an extra half-an-hour of drying time, pro-ceedings commenced in this friendly match against Byfleet Select.
Avorians won the toss, elected to bat, and unveiled close-season sign-ing Luke Durrant. Luke, a left-hander captured from Valley End, made his intentions plain right from the start. With just a few balls to get used to the conditions, Luke then proceeded to march down the pitch to almost every delivery, despatch-ing the Byfleet bowlers for five fours and three sixes on his way to a score of 57 in just 36 balls for a strike rate of nearly 160. None of the Byfleet bowlers were able to get the better of him, and Luke, having reached his 50, elected to retire.
For an opener to be able to hit out, there has to be somebody at the other end solidly going about his business and, for Avorians, that man was Sammy Smart. Sammy nar-rowly missed his 50, being caught off the bowling of Ahmed on 48
when trying to accelerate. And there was not just Durrant to support. Fol-lowing Luke to the wicket was captain Steve Naylor, apparently determined to go one better than the newcomer. Honours were divided. Naylor had the same number of boundaries, scored four runs more than Durrant, but took slightly longer to do so, with a strike rate of around 145.
From there, it was downhill all the way. Tom Collins provided some resis-tance, holding out for four overs, but, apart from the top 3, no other Avorian reached double figures. The major reason for the capitulation was Byfleet bowler Savage, who claimed 6 wickets in 11 overs in an expensive, but effec-tive, spell.
Avorians completed the allotted forty overs, finishing on 210 for 7.
An opening maiden from Jamie Law-rence gave a clue to Byfleet‟s chances of overhauling the Avorian score, and so it was to prove. Tom Collins forced Byfleet opener Hockin into giving a catch to keeper Gary Collins for a duck, and only Savage, whose six wickets had given Byfleet their chance,
offered any real resistance, before being caught by Joel Bailey for 31.
A wicket each for Lawrence and Joel Bailey, with Scott Jarvis coming on late to make an impact, provided a backdrop to Avorians bowling hero, Sammy Smart, who followed up his 48 runs with a four-wicket haul for a mere 27 runs, and Byfleet subsided to 109 all out from 36.1 overs.
Celebrating the Avorians win, captain Steve Naylor commented “A good solid start to the season with the new boy Luke showing us what he has to offer and some good valuable overs for Jamie Lawrence and young Tom Collins. Will the overseas player get a bowl with the new spin twins in town (Jarvo and Nails are the future)? Hopefully we can take this into the next few games and into the start of the league season”.
There are three more matches before the league season begins in earnest, with a Select team visiting East Mole-sey on 25th April, and the full 1st XI and 2nd XI playing Henley-on-Thames (2nd XI home, 1st XI away) in friendly matches on 2nd May.
the bar after the casuals match for that week. So far, so good.
In order to add a little interest to the raffle, it has been de-cided that perhaps there should be some prizes for the winners. Extravagant, per-haps, but it is traditional. Except, we do not have any!
Well, we have a few, but not enough to get us through a long season.
So, this is a begging letter. If you can spare something that could be used for a raffle prize, could you please pass it on to anybody on the Social Committee (Hayley, Julia, Irene, etc), or leave it behind
You may have read elsewhere in this newsletter of the diffi-culties that the club faces in the credit crunch. Every little helps, and the Social Commit-tee has decided to run a weekly raffle throughout the season. Tickets for each raffle will be on sale immediately after the previous week‟s draw, likely to take place in
Raffle Prizes Wanted
Cool Hand Luke Cobham Avorians Select 210 for 7, Byfleet 109 All Out
Cobham Avorians“Luke then proceeded to march down the pitch to almost every delivery...”
Cobham Avorians select 195 for 9 East Molsley 197 for 4
There are new league rules in the ECB Premiership this season for limited overs cricket. Nobody (apart from John Lane) understands them, and nobody was any the wiser after the Cobham Avorians friendly match at East Molesey!
With the new rules imminent, it was decided to play the match under the limited overs playing conditions , but in a 45-over match instead of 50. The 10-over mandatory power play became 9 overs, and the batting power play became 4 overs instead of five. Clear so far? It is all to do with the number of fielders who are inside or outside drawn semi-circles, and the Avorians batsmen chose their power play almost at random! However, there was some entertain-ment to be had from the rules as the umpire, at various points, imi-tated a helicopter and an SAS assas-sin as he signalled to the scorer! There was the first „free hit‟ of the season, too, but we had to wait for it as the bowler who had conceded the free hit from a front-foot no-ball also conceded two further wides
before delivering a legitimate ball. Who‟d be a scorer?
But, to the match itself. Avorians won the toss, a habit that could prove use-ful during the season, and elected to bat. Luke Durrant opened with Steve Harpley, and Luke, not content with his down-the-pitch adventures in the previous match, abandoned his crease altogether, scoring a sharp 27 of 14 balls before being bowled by Wi-jetunga while possibly on his way to investigate the nets at the far end of the pitch! Harpo and Scott Jarvis were back in the pavilion soon afterwards, and the Avorians were suddenly in trouble at 51 for 3. However, the ship was steadied by a splendid knock by Baby Joe Burnett who hit 45 at almost a run a ball before being stumped.
The remaining Avorian batsmen hung around stubbornly without amassing any great scores, Mike Bailey being the pick with 21, while Will Davis‟ con-temptuous shot into the covers when the East Molesey quickie, McMillan, starting sending spin down to him (Will is a member of the Academy under 15 team), also brought applause from the balcony. Sadly, Wijetunga was less
generous, and when he took out mid-dle stump to bowl Will, the Avorians innings finished on 195 for 9 from 41.1 overs, Avorians fielding on 10 men. The visitors‟ total was greatly augmented by the concession of 51 extras by East Molesey, comfortably top-scorer for the Avorians.
The East Molesey innings got under-way with both Tom Collins and Scott Jarvis generating some real pace, and the East Molesey openers struggled to reach only 28 by the 8th over, when the first wicket fell, Henderson being caught behind by Gary Collins off the bowling of Scott Jarvis. However, Odedra, joined by Lawford, weathered the storm, and their 100 partnership all but ensured victory for East Mole-sey. The match was wrapped up in the 42nd over with only four wickets down, but not before Will Davis had made his mark again, bowling an aggressive bouncer to Sachdev. East Molesey finished on 197 for 4 to win by six wickets.
For the first time since formation, the Academy Under 15 team has won two matches in a row. Having disposed of Effingham the previous week, the Avorian Colts strangled the resistance out of Spelthorne Sports, winning their 20-over league game by 46 runs.
On a bright and warm day (although it was more than a bit chilly in the shade), Spelthorne won the toss and elected to bowl. Rory Whelehan and Dominic Worth strode to the wicket, the pair giving the scorers no prob-lems in identification. The Avorians looked like they might be in trouble when the first wicket fell with just 4 on the board, Whelehan unable to repeat his heroics of the previous week and being bowled by the Spelthorne captain, Goldfinch, for 1, but Worth, and incoming batsman Tom Dunn survived the Spelthorne swing bowling to take the score to 28 before Dunn fell to a sharp catch.
The departure of Dunn brought one of the crash and bash twins to the wicket as Jonathan Tribe came out to bat, and he was soon joined by
the other when Will Davis replaced Worth one run later. Anticipating fire-works, the spectators sat back to en-joy the spectacle, and they were not disappointed. While Tribe took a while to get into his stride, Davis hit three boundaries in rapid succession before being bowled, his strike rate hovering around 110.
Batting at number 5 was Ollie Razzell, generally acknowledged to have one of the best eyes for the ball in the team, and, after a dodgy initial over, he pro-vided the perfect foil for Tribe, anchor-ing while Tribe went on the rampage. In true Twenty20 style, Tribe scored 45 runs from 45 balls, and he and Razzell (who contributed an im-mensely valuable 11) saw out the innings, with the Avorians finishing on 113 for 4.
The plan for the Spelthorne innings was clear, as the two opening bowlers looked to starve Spelthorne of oppor-tunities to score, and, while the visi-tors still had all their wickets intact at the end of 8 overs, they had put a mere 13 on the board. The first change bowlers were able to take full
advantage of the Spelthorne need to push on, and Ewan McTaggart and Matt Adams took 3 wickets while still keeping the runs tight.
At the end of the 20 overs, Spelt-horne had been restricted to 67 for 3, with Tribe conceding just 4 runs from 4 overs, Tom Dunn 3 runs from 3 overs, and Matt Adams taking 2 for 16 from 4 overs.
Team manager Darren Talbot, who coaches both teams, commented after the match “This was another good performance by the team al-though without the 50 partnership from Jonathan Tribe and Oliver Razzell at the end, we could have ended up 20 or 30 runs short. We need to work harder on keeping the score ticking over in the first 10 overs so we don‟t put the middle order un-der too much pressure”.
The Under 15s next match is against Ashtead on 10th May, while the Under 13s, who missed out on a pre-season friendly, open their season with a cup match against Chertsey on Thursday 7th May at 6:00 pm. Both matches are at Avorians.
Sporting Victory Cobham Avorians Under 15s 113 for 4, Spelthorne Sports 67 for 3
The first XI completed their prepara-tions for the forthcoming league season with a friendly match against a strong Henley-on-Thames XI away at Henley‟s picturesque Brakspear ground.
Henley had first use of a ground described by Avorians quickie Steve Harpley as „one of the best he had bowled on‟, and the Henley strength in depth was amply demonstrated as eight of their batsmen reached dou-ble figures. Particularly galling for the Avorian bowling armoury were the 50 run last wicket stand which took the home side from a chase-able 197 to a challenging 247, and the 30 extras conceded. Neverthe-less, the bowlers were able to get Henley all out within the allotted overs when Naylor caught Allen off the bowling of Tom Collins, and Henley were all out for 247 from 46.3 overs.
Having just stepped off the plane three days earlier, and not having played competitively for three months, the Avorians overseas player, Reece O‟Connell, struggled to come to terms with conditions, and with the characteristics of an alien ball, but the left-arm spinner was given plenty of practice by Steve Naylor as he took 16 overs off the belt, each over an improvement on the previous one, and Reece finished with 4 wickets for 101 runs.
While all of the bowlers did their bit, most of the menace was provided by Tom Collins, who bowled smoothly and aggressively to take 2 for 37, and by Steve Naylor. Regularly sledged by Henley „friends‟ on the balcony, Nails, after seven average overs, started to turn on the ferocity when, to the delight of the onlook-ers, he was slapped over the bound-ary for six. As vocal as usual, Nails, who at that point was 1 for 44, pro-ceeded to take a further wicket at the cost of another 4 runs only in 3
overs to go some way to silencing the barrackers.
Perhaps it was the luncheon that was the problem (a wonderful repast, thank you, Henley), but the Avorians flattered to deceive in their innings, subsiding to 172 all out when a little more application might have seen them emerge as winners.
First to go was Luke Durrant. Clearly and comfortably mastering a powerful bowling attack, Luke was again depos-iting the ball over the boundary on a regular basis before another four meant that the ball was lost in the long grass for several minutes. After the lengthy break, Luke got one with a bit more pace, the stump was out of the ground, and he was gone for 24. Another Durrant innings oozing class, with a strike rate of 150.
A newcomer to the team, Ian Cock-bain, batted at number 2. Again, the class was obvious, and he, too, had little difficulty finding the boundary, but he fell in the twenties, too, being trapped LBW for 21. Meanwhile, re-placing Durrant at the wicket was an-other newcomer, Rajiv, who was busily providing the anchor that the innings needed, but he was caught up in an unfortunate run-out incident with O‟Connell.
In one of those „yes-no-yes-oops!‟ scenarios guaranteed to make any batsman shiver, Reece and Rajiv wound up at the same end before Reece was left with the impossible challenge of getting back to his own end before the stumps were broken. As his teammates were quick to point out, it was a long way from Perth to be run out after two dot balls!
While Rajiv continued to defend and garner singles, Naylor came and went, top-scoring with 31 including a purple patch of four boundaries and three singles in eight balls, and David Um-pleby made a welcome return to the team.
Rajiv was the sixth man to go, for 26, but there was still resistance to come from this Avorians team. Ben Kings-north added to his catch and stump-ing in the Henley innings with a well-crafted 25, but he was caught just as he was getting into his stride. How-ever, the real fun was at number 10, where Jamie Lawrence scored a light-ning 23 off 13 balls, including two consecutive, and almost identical, sixes, the second down on one knee. Unfortunately, with the Avorians a player short, there was not enough support remaining to see how far Jamie might have gone, and, when Harpo was caught for 1 run, the in-nings was ended on 172 from 36.1 overs.
Beaten by 75 runs, nevertheless the A‟s were by no means disgraced. Their quicker scoring rate showed what their capabilities were against a bowling line-up described by Harpo as „much better than any the A‟s will meet in the league‟, and, had any of the cameos turned into an innings of significance, or the last-wicket Henley partnership broken earlier, the A‟s could have been home and dry.
The 1st XI first league match is away, against Wimbledon, on 9th May.
Meanwhile, in the reverse fixture, the 2nd XI were soundly beaten by a strong Henley 2nd XI at Burhill. Henley scored 278 in their 45 overs, with three of their batsmen retiring at 50, while the Avorians scored 156 for 9 in reply. Mike Bailey took 2 wickets for 42 runs, and scored 23 runs, to be the Avorians‟ top performer, while, at 10 and 11, Academy players Will Davis and Jonathan Tribe both batted to scores of 20 plus, neither losing their wicket.
The 2nd XI first league match is at home, against Ashtead, on 9th May.
Cameos Not Enough For 1st XI Henley-on-Thames 247 All Out, Cobham Avorians 172 All Out
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