1s v Wokingham 2
Ascot won the toss at the Racecourse Ground and elected to bat first. Unfortunately wickets fell at regular intervals and despite a defiant 42 from Christof Karemaker, Ascot were only able to reach 109 all out in 37.3 overs. John McDonald took 3 for 6 and Jarrett Bobb 3 for 21.
In response, the openers Michael Cowdell (34 not out) and Anthony Clapham (65 not out) eased Wokingham to a 10 wicket win.
Bracknell v 2s
The 2s made the short trip to Bracknell but it was to be a very disappointing day after being asked to bat first. Katreddy with 5 for 31 and Kanagaraj with 4 for 18 bowled Ascot out for 61.
Bracknell won at a canter in 10 overs with only 3 wickets down.
3s v Binfield 3
At Locks Ride, Binfield were the visitors and Ascot won the toss and elected to bat. At 25 for 6, it looked like a very short day for the visitors but Murray Barter (24) and skipper Tom Clarke (62 not out) managed to get Ascot to 134 all out. Mahesh Acharya took 4 for 14.
But Binfield eased to victory by 7 wickets as Jack Green (44) and Subramanian Narayanan (42 not out) knocked off the runs
Maidenhead & Bray 4 v 4s
It was left to the 4s to avoid defeat, but fortunately, John Dunnet was skipper for day. Some say that John is the finest cricket skipper to have come out of Middlesex since Mike Brearley. He is rumoured to have been offered millions to write the Art of Captaincy 2 but turned down the opportunity when told that the book had to be more than 30,000 words.
John won the toss and elected to bat first. There is not enough space to do justice to his mercurial leadership skills but we will mention several of those captaincy nuggets in this report. We hope to do a podcast of John’s reflections of the whole match and potentially sell the film rights.
Inspiration No.1 – partnering youngster Edward Clarke with Cedric Cooray moving up to opener. They both scored 57, to get Ascot off to a rapid start.
Inspiration No.2 – he ran himself out on 10 because he was not scoring fast enough for the team. He had a total in mind and made the ultimate sacrifice for the team.
Inspiration No.3 – giving William Powell the freedom to play like Johnny Bairstow which helped Ascot increase the run rate against the very effective Tilly Stearns, who took 3 for 31 for Maidenhead & Bray.
Ascot finished on 221 for 8 off 40 overs.
The second highest scorer for Maidenhead & Bray was Liam O’Mahoney with 17. But the match was in the balance due to magnificent knock by Kapil Jain.
Inspiration No.4 – opening the bowling with Toby Way who took a great 5 for 48 while supported by the metronomic Naeem Mohammad who kept the run rate down at the other end.
Inspiration No.5 – the match was in the balance with 9 wickets down and Maidenhead & Bray needing 19 off 3 deliveries. Kapil Jain was on 116. Edward Clarke had one over left but while the wisdom of the crowd would suggest leaving him for the 39th over, he gambled and bowled him for the 38th.
The field was widespread to stop the boundary but this was just a ruse as Clarke bowled a beautiful delivery that bowled Jain first ball and saw Ascot home by 18 runs.
Apparently, around Bray people could hear the tune of O Flower of Scotland as follows:
“O Johnny Dunnet,
When will we see
Your likes again,
That fought and died for,
The purple and gold glen,
And stood against them,
Proud Bray’s Army,
And sent them homeward,
Tae think again.”