Despite the weather forecast being as reliable as England’s Test batting line-up, we managed to get a full weekend in.
1s v White Waltham
White Waltham were the visitors at the Racecourse Ground and on winning the toss elected to bat first. The innings was constructed around the second wicket partnership of Ali Damirchi and Nikhil Jathavedan. They put on 86 for the second wicket until Andy Murray had Damirchi lbw for 57.
After that the middle order succumbed to some tight bowling from Murray (3 for 35) and Tharindu Denipitiyage (2 for 60) and only Jathavedan stood in their way with 94 not out enabling White Waltham to reach 207 for 7 off 52 overs.
Ascot got off to a flying start with Nick Sweetman’s 38 off 43 balls. But it was a 123 run partnership for the third wicket from Mike Breet (84) and Andy Murray that saw Ascot within touching distance of victory. Andy Murray (59 not out) and Adam Smith (6 not out) saw Ascot home by 7 wickets with 23 balls remaining, just before the non-forecast rain fell!
2s v Bracknell
The 2s were at Large Lane against Bracknell 1s. Jason Carr won the toss and elected to bat first. The top order did well with Ian Dawkins (54), James Stock (30), Steve Bowles (29) and Deep Mohain (27) helping Ascot to reach a good total of 186 for 9 off 52 overs. Hassan Afzal was the pick of the Bracknell bowlers with 3 for 43.
Bracknell’s innings never reached lift-off. Only two players reached double figures and thanks to Steve Bowles 5 for 10, Bracknell were 51 all out off 31.1 overs.
3s v Reading 3
Reading were welcomed to Locks Ride and on winning the toss elected to bowl first. After the collapse of last week, the Ascot batters had a much better week, as all of the top and middle order got into double figures with Dirk Benneyworth 40 not out and Saria Muhammad 31.
Bryn Davies was the pick of the Reading bowlers with 3 for 20.
It was a very close match as opener Kaval Singh (46) and Pradeep Shokeen (21) kept Reading up with the run rate. But a great spell from Amit Singh with 5 for 32 ensured that the match entered the final over with all 3 results available as Reading needed 10 runs with only 1 wicket remaining.
Despite the best efforts of Chris Dishington and Bryn Davies, Reading fell just short and lost by 3 runs to give the 3s a most welcome victory.
4s v Wokingham 6
Due to ground availability issues, this match was moved to Sunday and played at Wokingham CC. Wokingham won the toss and elected to field first.
Youngsters Charlie Puddifoot (23) and Owen Bowles (26) did well and were ably supported by the slightly older Rob Bennett (41).
But an imposing total of 213 for 6 off 40 overs was reached down to a great innings of 96 not out by Kamran Zaki. Ashley Cable with 4 for 21 was the pick of the Wokingham bowlers.
Ascot were unable to make early in roads and despite Wokingham falling behind the run rate they were able to accelerate in deteriorating weather conditions thanks to an unbeaten 4th wicket partnership between Raj Acharya 81 not out and James Bywater 51 not out, to see Wokingham home by 7 wickets and 3 overs.
The wide count made a significant difference as Wokingham conceded only 1 wide compared to Ascot’s 20.