Week 7 – The Cricksim remains active – we’re stuck at Stage 3 and despite a lot of talk about Stage 4, nothing has been said to clarify the situation.
The 1s were on a road trip to Hampshire where they were the visitors of Cove 2s. Cove won the toss and elected to bat first as the wicket looked good despite the amount of rain over the previous few days.
Skipper Mike Brown opened the bowling and he should have had a wicket first ball as Jack Wilson offered a simple chance to Jack Kendall, but he spilled the chance.
However, the mistake didn’t cost Ascot as four deliveries later, Wilson edged to King, who made no mistake behind the stumps.
J Wilson c A King b M Brown 1
2 for 1 – 0.5 overs
This week’s opening bowling partner was… Nick Sweetman! But this mysterious decision didn’t pay off this week as he conceded 6 runs in the over.
Opposition skipper Josh Godman was now partnered by wicket keeper Daniel Wall. They kept the scoreboard ticking over with some sharp running including two 3s off Will Ellison as the outfield was a little sluggish from the rain but next delivery Ellison got his revenge as Wall tried to cut a ball to close to him and Nick Sweetman took a great catch at second slip.
D Wall c N Sweetman b W Ellison 10
25 for 2 – 5.3 overs
Not the start that Cove wanted with Atharva Kavi now at the crease.
The run rate was not the issue as they reached the 10 over mark on 50 for 2, but this partnership needed to help Cove get the innings back on track.
Godman dealt mainly in boundaries including one massive six while Kavi kept rotating the strike. Ascot kept Cove quiet with the net 6 overs only going for 17, but Kavi decided to go after Jayasingh and hit a six.
In the next over from Kevin May, the 50 partnership came up, but May worked his magic again as he has been doing all season and had Godman out lbw.
J Godman lbw b K May 28
76 for 3 – 17.4 overs
Doug Bewley was the new batsman, and Cove again looked to rebuild with Kavi and Bewley running hard between the wickets.
The 100 was up at the end of the 23rd over thanks to a Brown overthrow.
Kavi was rewarded for his hard work as a cover drive off Andy Murray brought up his 50 off the 28th over, while the next over saw the 50 partnership for the 4th wicket.
After 30 overs, Cove were 132 for 3, and they now needed to take advantage of the last 15 overs.
However, good fielding and some good rotation of the bowlers by Brown meant that Cove were unable to accelerate as they would’ve like. The 100 partnership was reached eventually in the 40th over but next ball, Kavi was out plumb lbw to Jerry Hare.
A Kavi lbw b J Hare 74
176 for 4 – 39.3 overs
Cove now chased quick runs but Bewley was next to go as Ellison yorked him with a great delivery.
D Bewley b W Ellison 46
183 for 5 – 40.5 overs
Collins and Moore swung the bat effectively to get a couple of big overs for Cove and the 200 in the 43rd over and helped Cove finish the 45 overs on a par score for this wicket.
218 for 5 – 45 overs
Atharva Kavi 74 (off 104 balls, 5 fours, 1 six), Doug Bewley 46 (off 70 balls)
Joshua Jayasingh and James Gamble opened for Ascot. Cove nearly got an early breakthrough when Gamble was dropped by Bewley off the bowling of Godman in the second over.
Ascot were making good progress when Jayasingh was unlucky to get out when a superb cut shot was plucked out of the air by Kips Finney off Dewang Sharma. Definitely a contender for catch of the season.
J Jayasingh c K Finney b D Sharma 23
40 for 0 – 8.3 overs
Jack Kendall was the new batsman and Ascot were 49 for 1 off 10 overs, similar to Cove’s total at that stage.
Next over, Gamble went after Matthew Collins with a four and then a great pulled 6. This partnership kept the momentum up and the run rate and the 50 partnership came up in the 18th over and the 100 mark was reached in the following over, with James Gamble reaching a run-a-ball 50 in the same over with a superb drive for 4.
Ascot were above the run rate when against the run of play, Jack Kendall played on to Doug Bewley.
J Kendall b D Bewley 27
122 for 2 – 22.4 overs
Ascot then stuttered as next over, Gamble fell giving a simple catch to Sharma off the bowling of Kavi.
J Gamble c D Sharma b A Kavi 68
127 for 3 – 23.4 overs
Cove were back in the game and it was left to Nick Sweetman and Jerry Hare to keep Ascot on track. Despite the loss of two quick wickets, Sweetman and Hare decided to continue to attack and keep the run rate high.
Hare hit a couple of great boundaries off Kavi and Ascot made good progress with the 150-mark reached in the 29th over.
Two consecutive sixes from Sweetman reached the 50 partnership in the 33rd over and the required run rate was now below 3 an over.
This partnership was now in the zone and the 200 came up in the 36th over and then Nick Sweetman reached a well-deserved 50 off just 38 balls in the next over.
The end came quickly as Hare finished the match with a 6 and then a hard run 3 to give Ascot a comprehensive victory.
220 for 3 – 38.3 overs
James Gamble 68 (off 71 balls, 8 fours, 1 six), Nick Sweetman 54 not out (off 40 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes)
James Gamble was named man of the match.
The 2s were at home to Thatcham Town 2s. Rob Handley won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. However, four balls into the innings he probably regretted that decision as he was pinned in front by Jack North.
R Handley lbw b J North 1
2 for 1 – 0.4 overs
Gareth Baker joined Billy Baker (no relation) at the crease. Matt Taylor was the other opening bowler and he made a breakthrough early in his third over when Simon Lewis took a simple chance from Gareth Baker.
G Baker c S Lewis b M Taylor 11
18 for 2 – 5.1 overs
This brought Carr to the crease with Ascot in early trouble. Ascot were cautious and took no chances. After 10 overs they were 39 for 2. Thatcham continued with North and Taylor, and they nearly got a third wicket, but Matt Taylor dropped two caught and bowled chances in the space of three deliveries, one from each batsman.
The removal of North and Taylor from the attack made scoring easier and the 50 partnership was reached in the 16th over.
Billy Baker was going well and heading for 50 when Gregor Wells took a difficult caught and bowled chance to remove him.
B Baker c & b G Wells 40
89 for 2 – 18.3 overs
Jez Wing now joined Carr and boundaries were difficult to come by as the Thatcham fielding limited them to singles.
The 100 came up in the 22nd over but Wells struck again as Benjamin Copeman took the catch to remove Carr.
J Carr c B Copeman b G Wells 36
115 for 4 – 24.5 overs
The innings was finely balanced, and Ascot fell into further trouble when Wing played on to Nathan Redmond.
J Wing b N Redmond 19
132 for 5 – 28.2 overs
The 2s now needed the late middle order to wag and get them to a 200+ score.
Samm Daniel looked like he was playing on a different wicket. He was scoring at more than a run a ball when he then brought up the 150 in style with two consecutive sixes.
However, Thatcham continued to chip away. North was brought back into the attack and this brought dividends straight away when he had Ben Clark caught behind by Rhys Lewis.
B Clark c R Lewis b J North 4
159 for 6 – 33.3 overs
Dan Corsini came to the crease and should have been out in North’s next over when Lewis made a mess of a simple chance.
Samm Daniel continued to get Ascot towards the 200 mark and in the 42nd over he reached a great 50 and Corsini then scored a single to get Ascot to 200.
Daniel was finally out bowled by Wells for 51
S Daniel b G Wells 51
203 for 7 – 43.1 overs
Thatcham kept the last 2 overs tight as Andy Wiggett and Dan Corsini tried to throw the bat at everything.
206 for 7 – 45 overs
Samm Daniel 51 (off 53 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes), Billy Baker 40 (off 57 balls, 6 fours)
Gregor Wells 9-0-47-3
Ascot would need to bowl and field well in the second half to keep their unbeaten start to the season.
Simon Lewis and Rhys Lewis opened the innings for Thatcham. Ascot made a good start when Aarav Radhakrishnan had Simon Lewis trapped in front.
S Lewis lbw b A Radhakrishnan 10
22 for 1 – 5.2 overs
Andy Wiggett then took a wicket second ball as a great delivery bowled Wells through the gate.
G Wells b A Wiggett 1
23 for 2 – 6.2 overs
Copeman joined Rhys Lewis at the wicket and looked to add impetus to the innings. They were 41 for 2 after 10 overs and while they started slowly, they built quickly after one big over and the 50 partnership was reached at the end of the 18th over.
The required run rate remained at just under 5 an over and just as Thatcham looked like they had the run chase under control, a great piece of fielding from Dan Corsini saw Rhys Lewis run out by a couple of yards.
R Lewis run out (D Corsini) 43
94 for 3 – 22.5 overs
Copeman continued to keep Thatcham going and they reached 100 with a massive 6 towards the nets. Marcus Gainlall was now at the crease.
Ascot started to put the squeeze on Thatcham and while there were no wickets the required run rate was now 5.67 at the end of the 30th over.
In the 33rd over, Benjamin Copeman reached 50 as Thatcham kept the required run rate below 6, and the fourth wicket pair reached the 50 partnership in the next over.
However, despite the partnership developing, Ascot’s bowling and fielding held firm and the required run rate went to 6 and then 7 by the 38th over.
Something had to give, and it was Thatcham as Gainlall was bowled by Daniel.
M Gainlall b S Daniel 32
156 for 4 – 38.1 overs
Copeman continued the chase as he hit Daniel for 6 in the same over and then hit 6 off the next over from Trainor but Trainor had the last laugh when with his last delivery, he pinned Copeman in front.
B Copeman lbw b M Trainor 74
170 for 5 – 39.6 overs
Thatcham needed 37 from the last 5 overs. This became 26 off 4 when Rochfort hit Andy Wiggett for six and then four.
Trainor bowled the 42nd over and Thatcham could only get 2 from the over to make it 24 from 3 overs.
Jason Carr bowled the 43rd and it looked as if it was going to be another tight over but Sprigg managed to squeeze away a boundary off the 5th delivery. 17 now needed off 2 overs.
Trainor bowled the 44th over and another great over saw only 4 conceded. So, Thatcham needed 13 to win Aarav Radhakrishnan was chosen to bowl the last over.
44.1 Radhakrishnan to Rochfort, OUT, that looked convincing and the umpire has no doubt, out LBW
C Rochfort lbw b A Radhakrishnan 15
194 for 6 – 44.1 overs
44.2 Radhakrishnan to Wylie, no run
44.3 Radhakrishnan to Wylie, OUT, that’s out by a couple of inches. Jason Carr made an excellent effort in the field, out for a duck
E Wylie run out (J Carr) 0
194 for 7 – 44.3 overs
44.4 Radhakrishnan to North, no run, A lot of movement being extracted by Radhakrishnan
44.5 Radhakrishnan to North, no run, A swing and a miss
44.6 Radhakrishnan to North, one run
A very close match indeed, but in the end the Royal Ascot 2 bowlers contained the Thatcham Town 2 batsman, to grasp victory.
195 for 7 – 45 overs
Benjamin Copeman 74 (off 96 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes), Rhys Lewis 43 (off 68 balls, 1 four)
Samm Daniel was named man of the match.
The 3s also were on the road to Hampshire, visiting Eversley 3s. Ascot won the toss and elected to bowl first. Burnett and Nawale opened the innings for Eversley.
They made a confident start and were 49 for 0 after 10 overs, but Ascot eventually struck the next over when James Summers had Vijay Nawale pinned in front.
V Nawale lbw b J Summers 24
49 for 1 – 10.2 overs
1 became 2 as Ames brought himself into the attack and Burnett went after him first ball but was excellently stumped by Dan Mallett.
51 for 2 – 11.1 overs
B Burnett st D Mallett b M Ames 20
Howson was then brought back into the attack and struck as Heywood was cleaned up by a great out swinger.
J Heywood b T Howson 2
56 for 3 – 12.3 overs
So, Eversley were now looking to rebuild with Mathew Salter and Ian Smith. Salter took 13 balls to get off the mark, but Smith kept the innings ticking over. They reached the 100 mark in the 23rd over and made the 50 partnership in the next over to swing the momentum back towards Eversley.
Ian Smith was going comfortably at a run-a-ball when the introduction of Tom Dummigan was his undoing. Dummigan got one to move away and Dan Mallett pouched the catch to break the partnership.
I Smith c D Mallett b T Dummigan 39
128 for 4 – 26.4 overs
As before, 1 brought 2 as Ames tempted Salter to mishit to long off for Tom Clarke to take the catch.
M Salter c T Clarke b M Ames 32
130 for 5 – 27.2 overs
Ames then struck again as Tom Dummigan took a comfortable catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary to remove Umair Pervaiz.
U Pervaiz c T Dummigan b M Ames 2
132 for 6 – 29.1 overs
Harry Leach was now joined by Benjamin Salter at the crease. They took a while to get going and got the score to 150 in the 36th over. With 5 overs remaining they were 167 for 6, as they looked to pile on the runs to get them 200.
They got there in the 44th over with one big over off Mike Wyatt and Leach finished the innings off in style to get Eversley to a respectable score.
208 for 6 – 45 overs
Harry Leach 46 not out (54 balls, 2 fours, 1 six)
Marc Ames 9-0-43-3
Ascot needed a good start, but they lost last week’s centurion, Ralph Weeks, early as was caught by Heywood off the bowling of Mathew Salter.
R Weeks c J Heywood b M Salter 6
19 for 1 – 3.1 overs
Ascot were then in further trouble when Slater struck again to remove the other opener, Tom Clarke, with Nawale taking the catch.
T Clarke c V Nawale b M Salter 16
29 for 2 – 5.2 overs
Deep Mohain was now joined by Calum Dougal. They took Ascot to 49 for 2 off 10 overs to keep Ascot above the run rate. The 50 partnership came up in the 18th over, but as with Eversley, Ascot found runs difficult to come by.
Deep Mohain was dropped by Stuart Tidbury off Mathew Salter’s bowling and Ascot managed to reach 100 in the same (21st) over.
Calum Dougal reached 50 in the 25th over as they kept up with the run rate. At the end of the 29th over, this 3rd wicket partnership reached 100 but the required run rate had now crept up to 5.
Mohain reached his 50 in the 32nd over and despite the strong partnership Eversley were still able to keep the required run rate growing.
Colin Webb eventually broke the partnership as Stuart Tidbury took a good catch to remove Mohain.
D Mohain c S Tidbury b C Webb 54
148 for 3 – 33.2 overs
Mark Wiggett was next man in, but Eversley kept the squeeze on and by the 37th over, the required run rate was 6 an over.
Again, something had to break, and this time it was the wicket of Calum Dougal as he was out plumb lbw to Stuart Tidbury.
C Dougal lbw b S Tidbury 71
166 for 4 – 38.5 overs
With 5 overs left, Ascot with Mark Wiggett and Dan Mallett at the crease needed 37 to win (the same equation as Thatcham against the 2s).
A tight over from Stuart Tidbury conceded only three runs so 34 was now needed off 4 overs.
Jamie Tidbury bowled the next over and Dan Mallett eased the pressure with two boundaries leaving Ascot 26 off 3 overs.
Stuart Tidbury bowled the 43rd over and Ascot scrambled 7 off the over, leaving them 19 off 2 overs.
Jamie Tidbury was given the 44th over and Ascot managed another 7 off the over, so it left the equation of 12 needed off the last over to keep their winning record.
Stuart Tidbury was to bowl the last over for Eversley.
44.1 Stuart Tidbury to Dan Mallett, SIX, A display of raw power and brutality by Dan Mallett!
44.2 Stuart Tidbury to Dan Mallett, FOUR, A brilliant cover drive by Dan Mallett evades the boundary fielder!
44.3 Stuart Tidbury to Dan Mallett, no run, Played and missed
44.4 Stuart Tidbury to Dan Mallett, FOUR, that was a full toss delivery crashed to the boundary!
One of the most thrilling games this season. The Royal Ascot 3 batsmen just managing to overtake the total with just 2 balls to spare!
211 for 4 – 44.4 overs
Calum Dougal 71 (off 108 balls, 3 fours, 1 six), Deep Mohain 54 (off 87 balls), Dan Mallett 33 (off 21 balls, 4 fours, 1 six)
Calum Dougal was named man of the match, although Dan Mallett was very close.
The 4s were at home with Kew 4s the visitors. Kew won the toss and elected to bat first. Ahmed and Shukla opened the batting for Kew. Ascot struck quickly though as Rajiv Shukla was well caught by John Dunnet at square leg off the bowling of Dylan Baker.
R Shukla c J Dunnet b D Baker 3
4 for 1 – 1.2 overs
And then Baker struck again bowling Govind with a superb in swinging yorker.
M Govind b D Baker 0
4 for 2 – 1.4 overs
Gogay was next in to join Ahmed and Ascot kept the bowling and fielding tight. But Jamie Gogay hit two massive sixes and got Kew to 46 for 2 off 10 overs.
But Ascot got the initiative back when Basudev Pal tempted Gogay to go for another six and bowled him.
J Gogay b B Pal 30
50 for 3 – 12.3 overs
Peter Berg was next in and survived when Rob Bennett dropped him off Gary Abrams when he was on 1. They managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and at 20 overs, Kew were 90 for 3.
The 50 partnership was made in the 22nd over and Imtiaz Ahmed reached a good 50 the following over.
Rob Bennett was able to redeem himself when he took a great catch to remove Ahmed a couple of overs later.
I Ahmed c R Bennett b B Pal 55
118 for 4 – 23.6 overs
Baker was brought back into the attack, and the bowling change paid off as Bennett took an easy catch to remove Berg.
P Berg c R Bennett b D Baker 24
138 for 5 – 29.3 overs
Tom Padden and Sohail Arndale were now in and they tried to increase the run rate. Padden smashed as six off Baker but lost the battle at the end of the over when he hit a simple catch to Richard Wyatt at the end of the over.
T Padden c R Wyatt b D Baker 30
164 for 6 – 33.6 overs
Arndale was joined by Patel now. Ascot kept the runs down and despite not making a breakthrough, the bowlers were able to keep them down to 3 an over until the end of the innings.
195 for 6 – 45 overs
Imtiaz Ahmed 55 (off 76 balls, 4 fours, 1 six)
Dylan Baker 7-1-33-4
Ascot were chasing an under-par score but got off to the worst start possible as Rob Bennett edged the first ball to Peter Berg off the bowling of Alex Le Hunte.
R Bennett c P Berg b A Le Hunte 0
0 for 1 – 0.1 overs
Nino Trapani was in next and became Le Hunte’s next victim as he played on.
A Trapani b A Le Hunte 14
36 for 2 – 8.4 overs
Paul Ames came in and looked on form when he hit Arndell for four, six and four, but then was bowled the next delivery.
P Ames b S Arndell 15
60 for 3 – 11.6 overs
Ascot were in a spot of trouble and needed a partnership. Richard Wyatt joined John Dunnet and Richard Wyatt went on the attack hitting the Kew attack at over a run-a-ball. The run rate stayed over 5 an over and the 100 mark was reached in the 19th over.
The 50 partnership came in the next over with a glorious cover drive for four from Dunnet, but he was fortunate to reach 50 when Padden dropped a catch and they ran through for the single.
Ascot were now flying and pushing to finish the match early. Dattani was smashed for six by Dunnet and then four by Wyatt as Richard Wyatt was pushing towards his 50.
Le Hunte was brought back into the attack and while Ascot reached 150, he struck again to remove Dunnet after he gave a simple catch to Arndell.
J Dunnet c S Arndell b A Le Hunt 73
158 for 4 – 28.6 overs
Rob Major was in next and despite Le Hunte’s impressive bowling figures, he hit him for consecutive fours, keen to finish the match.
Richard Wyatt took a single of Arndell to reach his well-timed 50.
The innings finished quickly as Major hit a six of Arndell and then Richard Wyatt completed the win with a six off Dattani to finish proceedings.
197 for 4 – 34.1 overs
John Dunnet 73 (off 89 balls, 8 fours, 1 six), Richard Wyatt 62 not out (off 72 balls, 2 fours, 1 six)
Alex Le Hunte 9-0-35-3
A decisive six wicket victory for the 4s, with Dylan Baker winning the man of the match award.
The latest Fantasy League standings can be found here: https://royal-ascot.fantasyclubcricket.co.uk/
Stay safe and stay well!