The final weekend of league matches, and the 1s were in a couple of points of promotion and in pole position to win the division. It was also the last weekend of the Paralympics – hence the reference to The Last Leg programme on Channel 4 which was born from The London 2012 Paralympic Games.
1s v Aldershot
Aldershot were the visitors with both teams having a lot to play for. Ascot with promotion and the division title, Aldershot needed a win to avoid relegation and the bottom 3.
Aldershot won the toss and elected to bat first. Aldershot got off to a quick start but then lost both openers. Myles Trainor then had Ben Harris smartly caught at silly mid off by Andy Murray to secure the 2nd bowling point and promotion.
At 107 for 7, Ascot looked to have gained the upper hand but an 8th wicket partnership by Amir Hameed (22) and Jamie Grover (36) helped them to 142 and Tom Varney’s 17 got Aldershot to a competitive 171 all out. Andy Murray was the pick of the Ascot bowlers with 3 for 18.
Greg Fanshawe got Aldershot off to a great start, by removing both openers including a superb catch by Jamie Grover to reduce Ascot to 10 for 2. Fanshawe then had to go off after pulling a hamstring, but the rest of the Aldershot attack continued to put the pressure on.
Harry Watson was the mainstay of the Ascot innings with 45 and his 8th wicket partnership with Nick Wiggett gave Ascot some hope but the innings subsided with three run-outs (4 overall in the innings) and Ascot were all out for 116.
Despite gaining promotion, the team were disappointed not to seal the championship and were now reliant on the Windsor v White Waltham result. Confusion reigned – as a call suggested that White Waltham has won, then the result was published on the Thames Valley Cricket League website showing Windsor had won and so also won the title, but another phone call confirmed the result was wrong and that White Waltham had won a thriller off the last ball by one wicket!
Celebrations then started in earnest at the Racecourse Ground, and a big congratulations to the 1s on a great effort and on winning the title for the second season running – last season there was no promotion or relegation because of COVID-19.
Andy Murray top scored with 429, followed by Mike Breet 389 and Tharindu Denipitiyage with 297. Andy Murray topped the bowling as well with 29 wickets followed by Nick Wiggett with 22. Tom Walsingham was the best out fielder with 8 catches.
2s v Boyne Hill 3
The 2s finished on the road at Boyne Hill 3s. They were put into bat after losing the toss but made the most of it with Kamran Zaki (64), Saria Muhammad (50 not out), Jeremy Wing (36) and Jason Carr 35 helping Ascot reach a strong 236 for 7 off 45 overs. Usman Alam had the best bowling figures of 2 for 31.
In reply there were contributions from Jamie Shepherd (52), Armaan Alam (40) and Raghu Ramanujam (32) but it was not enough as they fell just short on 214 for 7.
The 2s finished in a respectable 3rd place especially after the loss of skipper Robbie Handley during the season – with Jason Carr ably picking up the captain’s reins.
James Docker top scored for the season with 362 followed by Jeremy Wing on 286. Jason Carr was top wicket taker with 30 followed by Tim Howson on 24. James Docker led the fielding stats as well with 9 catches.
3s v Kidmore End 2
The 3s moved venue for the last match which was at Warfield Cricket Club. Ascot won the toss and elected to bat first. Some good batting from Sadiq Khan (39), Hassan Sohail (36) and Waqar Soomro (32) was then enhanced by a great 77 from Satpal Singh Madhan to help the 3s reach an imposing 240 for 7 off 40 overs.
In reply, the openers Mark New (25) and George Batty (36) helped Kidmore End to a great start but after that only Razvullah Sheikh with 44 got into double figures as they finished on 166 for 9. Satpal completed a man of the match performance with 4 for 49.
The 3s finished in 8th place which unfortunately looks likely to see them relegated as at least three and probably four teams will be relegated.
Satpal Singh Madhan finished top scorer with 273 followed by 192 from Dirk Benneyworth. Satpal also finished top wicket taker with 24.
4s v Wargrave 4
The 4s finished their season on the road at Wargrave. Wargrave won the toss and elected to bat first. Several batters got into double figures but with opener Mayank Gudimetla (29) top scoring, Wargrave finished on 166 for 9. Harry Johnston finished with the best bowling figures of 3 for 16.
Owen Bowles (62) and Harry Johnston (47) got Ascot off to a great start and it was apt that skipper Richard Baker saw the 4s home to a 5 wicket win with 14 deliveries remaining.
The 4s finished in a very respectable 4th place although the final positions are still to be confirmed as the Wargrave 4 v Kidmore End 3 match is under investigation.
Owen Bowles finished top of all 3 tables with 242 runs, 18 wickets and 8 catches.
Congratulations Royal Ascot. What a great year. So glad you got this season in and not only that….. a top result as well. Well worth the celebrations. 🎉Cheers from Down Under🏆🏆