Week 5 arrived and as we practiced the scoreboard had a new addition – it was displaying an R number – whatever that is. No explanation, but the closer you got to someone the higher it would go and then if you moved away from someone it fell in value.
Selection was straightforward yet again. The same teams for five weeks in a row – this Cricksim seemed to be helping.
The 1s were at home to White Waltham 1s – promoted from last season. White Waltham won the toss and elected to bat first on a good wicket.
Captain Chris Metherell opened the batting with Sam Warren. His opposite number, Mike Brown continued with his strange bowling tactics as Jack Kendall bowled the second over and Nick Sweetman the third over, but all it did was enable White Waltham to get off to a strong start.
After 10 overs, White Waltham made a solid 44 for 0, and the 50 partnership was reached off Jayasingh in the 13th over.
But just as White Waltham were looking to accelerate, Andy Murray struck with a superb ball to have Warren out dead in front of the stumps.
S Warren lbw b A Murray 34
67 for 1 – 16.1 overs
Jathavedan was now at the wicket but did not last long as Jerry Hare was brought into the act and he chopped the ball onto his stumps.
N Jathavedan b A Murray 8
84 for 2 – 19.5 overs
Mahoney was now at the crease and the Ascot bowlers put the squeeze on supported by some great ground fielding. Eventually the 100 came up off the last ball of the 24th over, but disaster struck as May got one to hit Mahoney’s pad and the umpire’s finger went straight up.
J Mahoney lbw b K May 12
111 for 3 – 25.6 overs
In the 29th over, Chris Metherell reached his 50 with a single, but the scoring rate was still just above 4 an over.
White Waltham then started to put the foot on the gas and the 50 partnership was reached in the 36th over as Metherell hit his fifth boundary of the innings.
With White Waltham looking to make the most of wickets in hand, Metherell finally perished when he hit straight to Nick Sweetman off the bowling of Joshua Jayasingh.
C Metherell c N Sweetman b J Jayasingh 78
193 for 4 – 41.3 overs
The 200 came at the end of the 43rd over and two big overs at the end saw White Waltham make 220 for 4 off their 45 overs including Elliott making a very creditable quick 50 with a pull for four in the last over.
220 for 4 – 45 overs
Chris Metherell 78 (off 134 balls, 6 fours), Andy Elliott 51 not out (56 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes)
Joshua Jayasingh and James Gamble opened the batting for the 1s. They made a solid start with 50 coming off the first 10 overs, and the wicket still had a lot of runs left in it. Runs were coming easily when against the run of play, Gamble gave edged behind off Luke Beard for the skipper Metherell to take a simple catch.
J Gamble c C Metherell b L Beard 25
83 for 1 – 15.5 overs
As the saying goes, one became two as Kendall went two deliveries as he was run out by an excellent piece of fielding by Luke Beard.
J Kendall run out (L Beard) 2
85 for 2 – 16.1 overs
However, at the other end Joshua Jayasingh was playing a sublime innings and eased to 50 with a superb cover drive in the same over.
Despite the loss of two quick wickets, Ascot were still above the run rate and the 100 came up in the 18th over. Again, against the run of play, and with the 50 partnership just reached, Ascot lost another wicket. This time Jayasingh being the victim as he was caught behind by Metherell and Luke Beard, the bowler again.
J Jayasingh c C Metherell b L Beard 74
135 for 3 – 22.4 overs
Hare was now at the crease, but it was Nick Sweetman who was keeping Ascot above the run rate with some glorious strokes. At the end of 30 overs, Ascot were 164 for 3 needing just 3.8 runs per over to win.
Again, just as Ascot were looking comfortable, another wicket fell. This time, Jerry Hare was out bowled to a superb delivery from Mohindru.
J Hare b R Mohindru 12
178 for 4 – 33.3 overs
Sweetman went to 50 in the same over as Tony King was the new batsman. In the 38th over, Ascot reached 200 and now needed only 2 an over to win. There was to be one final twist but in reality, a consolation as White Waltham picked up a 5th wicket with Nick Sweetman out lbw.
N Sweetman lbw b L Beard 59
209 for 5 – 40.2 overs
Andy Murray finished the game in the next over with a massive 6 over long on then followed by the winning single to help Ascot to a 5-wicket win.
221 for 5 – 41.3 overs
Joshua Jayasingh 74 (off 84 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes), Nick Sweetman 59 (off 62 balls, 6 fours)
Luke Beard 8-0-48-3
Another good win by the 1s and Joshua Jayasingh was named man of the match.
The 2s were looking to continue their good run on the road at Goosecroft, home to Purely-on-Thames 2s. Purely won the toss and decided to bat first.
Oliver-Smith and Singh were the openers for Purely-on-Thames, but it was Ascot who drew first blood. Aarav Radhakrishnan’s first ball was taken comfortably at second slip to remove Oliver-Smith.
A Oliver-Smith c R Handley b A Radhakrishnan 2
7 for 1 – 1.1 overs
Chris Priestley came to the crease and found runs difficult to get. He managed to stay until the 10th over when Dan Corsini took a thick edge off the bowling of Andy Wiggett.
C Priestley c D Corsini b A Wiggett
36 for 2 – 9.4 overs
Captain, Robert Clarke was now in, and announced himself with a four and a massive six but came unstuck as Aarav struck again as he was hit in front and given lbw.
R Clarke lbw b A Radhakrishnan 14
60 for 3 – 13.1 overs
At the other end, Tejpal Singh was going well, including sixes off Ben Clark and Andy Wiggett. In the 20th over, Singh reached a well-crafted 50 with a boundary and then brought up the 100 with a six.
Purley were going well at over 5 an over and the 50 partnership had just been reached when Samm Daniel got the crucial wicket of Singh.
T Singh lbw b S Daniel 65
110 for 4 – 21.2 overs
From a strong position, Purley’s innings went into freefall. Aarav struck again as he got Nick Turner out lbw.
N Turner lbw b A Radhakrishnan 3
116 for 5 – 23.3 overs
Sam Harlowe fell three deliveries later as Aarav took his four wickets as Gareth Baker took a simple catch at mid-wicket.
S Harlowe c G Baker b A Radhakrishnan 0
116 for 6 – 23.6 overs
With Senniappan watching the damage being done at the other end, he was to become the next victim, when Samm Daniel took a good catch on the boundary off the bowling of Ben Clark.
R Senniappan c S Daniel b B Clark 18
121 for 7 – 25.4 overs
Rahman and Poulter were now at the crease with 19 overs still remaining. The pair looked to take the innings deep without giving any chances. Eventually after a 35-run partnership, Trainor got his first wicket as Ben Clark caught Rahman.
I Rahman c B Clark b M Trainor 15
156 for 8 – 36.4 overs
Poulter quickly followed as Carr got him to edge behind to Corsini.
S Poulter c D Corsini b J Carr 16
158 for 9 – 37.2 overs
The end came eventually as Coggs holed out to Gareth Baker on the deep mid-wicket boundary to become the final wicket.
J Coggs c G Baker b B Clark 4
166 all out – 40.6 overs
Tejpal Singh 65 (off 66 balls, 6 fours, 3 sixes)
Aarav Radhakrishnan 9-1-26-4
Handley and Billy Baker got Ascot off to the ideal start as they eased to 51 for 0 off 10 overs. In the end it was poor communication that gifted Purley the first wicket as Baker was run out by several yards as he was run out by Singh.
B Baker run out (T Singh) 37
79 for 1 – 15.6 overs
Handley fell quickly after giving his opposite number an easy catch off the bowling of Rahman.
R Handley c R Clarke b I Rahman 43
90 for 2 – 17.5 overs
Jason Carr and Gareth Baker were at the crease and soon started to get the scoring rate going again. Two fours from the 21st over brought up the 100. In the 29th over, they brought up the partnership and get the runs required to 25.
They knocked off the runs easily and Gareth Baker hit the winning run off the last ball of the 33rd over to take the 2s to an easy 8 wicket win with 12 overs remaining.
167 for 2 – 33.0 overs
Jason Carr 43 not out (off 50 balls, 3 fours, 1 six), Rob Handley 43 (off 52 balls, 3 fours, 1 six), Gareth Baker 39 (off 46 balls, 3 four), Billy Baker 37 (off 50 balls, 4 fours)
Aarav Radhakrishnan was man of the match.
The 3s were at the second Bray Ground as they visited Maidenhead & Bray 3s. Ascot lost the toss and were put into bat first. Weeks and Clarke opened the batting. The wicket had a bit in it for the bowlers and the 3s needed a couple of loose overs to get the innings going.
But Tom Clarke went to a good out swinger from Jalal as James King took a straightforward catch.
T Clarke c J King b M Jalal 15
33 for 1 – 7.3 overs
Deep Mohain followed quickly as he smashed a cut only for Jaime Newell to take an amazing catch off Ed Sears
D Mohain c J Newell b E Sears 0
35 for 2 – 9.2 overs
Ascot were then in further trouble as Ralph Weeks was bowled by Jaime Newell.
R Weeks b J Newell 17
39 for 3 – 10.2 overs
Calum Dougal and Mark Wiggett were left to rebuild the innings. But Maidenhead and Bray kept bowling and fielding tight. Ascot finally made 50 in the 14th over.
The fourth wicket partnership were able to keep the score ticking at 3.5 runs per over. The 50 partnership came up in the 25th over and they then got the score to 100 with a Wiggett single in the 28th over.
But they soon lost Calum Dougal when Jaime Newell had him lbw.
C Dougal lbw b J Newell 36
105 for 4 – 28.4 overs
Dan Mallett joined Mark Wiggett at the crease, but runs were still difficult to reach. With 10 overs left, Ascot were 118 for 4 and needed to score quickly to get anywhere need a decent total.
The 38th over helped release the shackles and with 15 scored off a Tom O’Toole over. Mark Wiggett went on to get 50 in the 40th over – although there was a short break for oxygen as they ran three.
The last 6 overs saw 42 runs and the 3s reached a respectable 185 for 4, which looked about par for the wicket.
185 for 4 – 45 overs
Mark Wiggett 64 not out (off 90 balls, 6 fours, 1 six), Dan Mallett 40 not out (off 45 balls, 4 fours), Calum Dougal 36 (off 79 balls, 3 fours)
Ward Senior and Nimba opened the batting for Maidenhead and Bray and soon found the same difficulties as Ascot when batting.
Ben Ward Senior was first to go as Weeks to a great catch in the gully off Summers.
B Ward Senior c R Weeks b J Summer 14
19 for 1 – 5.6 overs
After 10 overs, they were 32 for 1, and were in further trouble as Summers took his second wicket as he cleaned bowled Nimba.
A Nimba b J Summers 12
34 for 2 – 12.1 overs
Manchanda and Michaux helped bring up the 50 in the 17th over but could not increase the run rate above 3.3. Howson was brought back into the attack and with late outswing got Wyatt Michaux out caught behind by Dan Mallett.
W Michaux c D Mallett b T Howson 13
67 for 3 – 20.2 overs
Duncan Brown was now at the crease and was nearly out when Dougal failed to hang on to a chance off Summers.
But despite the reprieve the run rate was still climbing, and Maidenhead & Bray needed more than 5 an over.
James Summers came back into the attack and immediately took two wickets in an over. First Manchanda was out plumb lbw.
S Manchanda lbw b J Summers 35
100 for 4 – 28.2 overs
Two balls later Brown was well caught behind by Dan Mallett.
D Brown c D Mallett b J Summers 15
101 for 5 – 28.4 overs
Gary Parker should have gone next over, but Mike Wyatt dropped a simple chance off Tom Dummigan. Parker didn’t get a second chance though as Ames had him lbw.
G Parker lbw b M Ames 5
119 for 6 – 31.3 overs
Jalal and King now had to look to continue the run chase and get Maidenhead & Bray back into the match. While they took the game deep the required run rate was now over 6 an over. King hit a massive six off Ames in the 40th over but when he attempted the same shot next ball Ames held his nerve and Tom Clarke took a good catch on the boundary.
J King c T Clarke b M Ames 31
154 for 7 – 39.3 overs
With three overs remaining, Maidenhead & Bray needed 26 runs to win. Tom Dummigan conceded only 3 runs in the next over. O’Toole went after Mohain and they made 8 runs off the first 4 deliveries but was out well caught by Tom Dummigan.
T O’Toole c T Dummigan b D Mohain 9
171 for 8 – 43.5 overs
They needed 15 runs off the last over and Ames decided to take on the responsibility. He only conceded 6 runs to see Ascot squeeze home by 8 runs.
177 for 8 – 45 overs
Swapnil Manchanda 35 (off 74 balls, 1 four)
James Summers 9-0-26-4
A thrilling match which could have gone either way. James Summers was man of the match.
The 4s were at Locks Rides with Hillingdon Manor 3 the opposition. There was an incident before the match when the police had to be called and Richard Baker was charged for “crimes against cricket captaincy” as he insisted that the team reverse the batting order. Fortunately for him, he was released with just a warning and not to make anymore cricketing crimes (so he won’t be bowling in a match this season either).
Hillingdon Manor won the toss and decided to bat first. Dylan Baker struck with his first ball as Rob Alexander edged straight to Rob Major at gully.
R Alexander c R Major b D Baker 1
1 for 1 – 1.1 overs
Christopher Daley joined Chaggar at the crease and announced his early intentions with a six. But the early introduction of Gary Abrams brought this to an end as Basudev Pal took a good catch at point to remove him.
C Daley c B Pal b G Abrams 11
20 for 2 – 4.6 overs
Next in was Mohammed Raza, and despite the early setbacks, Hillingdon Manor were intent to take the attack to the 4s. Gursharan Chaggar hit Richard Wyatt for four and six in one over, and then repeated the same trick a couple of overs later off Rob Major.
But Gary Abrams struck back and had Chaggar lbw in the 10th over.
G Chaggar lbw b G Abrams 36
54 for 3 – 9.4 overs
Skipper Mandeep Rehall was next in but was involved in a mix-up with Raza which saw him run out by Rob Major by several yards.
M Raza run out (R Major) 4
54 for 4 – 10.2 overs
Things went from bad to worse as Pal got in the act as he got one to turn and take the edge of Rehall’s bat for Trapani to take a good catch.
M Rehall c A Trapani b B Pal 5
62 for 5 – 11.3 overs
It was now left to Aman Johal and Maheep Singh to rebuild the innings, but it should have been 6 down if Rob Bennett had held on to a simple chance given by Singh off Abrams.
Singh was looking to hit Hillingdon Manor out of trouble with two sixes, but Abrams got his man with one that straightened and would have gone on to hit the stumps.
M Singh lbw b G Abrams 29
99 for 6 – 18.1 overs
Johal now batting with Sean now looked to try and bat out overs while keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
They had put on a partnership of 25 when Johal pulled a loose ball from Jacob Parry only for John Dunnet to take a great catch at square leg.
A Johal c J Dunnet b J Parry 18
124 for 7 – 24.5 overs
Sean with Graham Rice continued to bat in a similar vain, but Sean fell to another great catch at point by Ian Dummigan this time off the bowling of Pal.
R Sean c I Dummigan b B Pal 19
147 for 8 – 32.3 overs
Aujla was next in but another mix-up in communication led to him being run out by Nino Trapani as they looked to take a leg bye and he threw down the wickets.
R Aujla run out (A Trapani) 5
163 for 9 – 36.3 overs
Dylan Baker finished off proceedings as he yorked Graham Rice to bowl out Hillingdon Manor with more than 4 overs remaining.
G Rice b D Baker 27
170 all out – 40.2 overs
Gursharan Chaggar 36 (off 35 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes)
Gary Abrams 9-0-29-3
A good bowling and fielding performance by the 4s and the score looked around 50 runs under par.
Rob Bennett and John Dunnet opened the innings for the 4s.
Hillingdon Manor were able to strike early as the skipper Rehall dived to take a great catch at mid-off from Rob Bennett.
R Bennett c M Rehall b M Singh 12
24 for 1 – 4.6 overs
Despite the early setback, Dunnet and Trapani reached the 50 in the 9th over, and in the 13th over the 50 partnership was brought up bringing the required run rate below 3 an over.
However, the same combination that got Bennett out combined to get Nino Trapani as he mistimed a drive to provide a simple chip to mid-off.
A Trapani c M Rehall b M Singh 24
81 for 2 – 13.2 overs
Paul Ames was next in and showed his intent with a couple of boundaries and then a six over the ice cream hut to bring up the 100 for the 4s.
In the 18th over, John Dunnet celebrated his run-a-ball 50 as all parts of the Locks Ride crowd cheered.
A brilliant cover drive by Dunnett brought up the 50 partnership at the end of the 22nd over and the required run rate was now well below 2 an over.
That soon became less than 1 an over as Dunnet smashed two fours and a six in the 24th over. Another six from Dunnet saw the 4s within one stroke of victory and the end came off the first ball of the 29th over when a leg bye sealed a comprehensive win for the 4s by eight wickets.
171 for 2 – 29.1 overs
John Dunnet 82 not out (off 84 balls, 6 fours, 4 sixes), Paul Ames 40 not out (off 56 balls, 5 fours, 1 six)
Another great week for Ascot with John Dunnet named man of the match.
The latest fantasy league table can be found here – https://royal-ascot.fantasyclubcricket.co.uk/team-standings
Keep safe and keep well.