Sunday cricket was the winner after a delightful game of friendly cricket between two club X1 sides, both containing players from all X1's. The delightful weather added to the occasion and brought out the crowds as well. Skipper Armstrong won the toss and had no hesitation in batting, simply based upon the hot weather and no thought of the 89 scored the previous week.
Openers Blair King and new incumbent, Faisal Aziz, got M & B off to a bright and breezy start, playing attacking shots from the outset. Aziz was strong all round the wicket and King was strong on the drive and pull. M & B had moved serenely through to 41 in the seventh over when calamity struck with a capital "C". First ball a misunderstanding in the communication / running led to both batsmen being at the same end and King had to go. Third ball Aziz tried to pull a short ball but just top edged it high into the sky and was caught for 22. Fifth ball of the over, and second for Yusuf Qureshi, he was bowled. According to Yusuf by a pea-roller, but on later comment from the umpire, it did keep low but he should have been on the front foot. So after the disastrous seventh over it led to Mike Parkinson jnr facing up with fellow left hander Gunbarul. Despite the fact that Parkinson hadn't picked up a bat since last September he stroked two of his first four balls behind point for four. Playing around his solid forward defensive technique and driving ability he began to build an innings. Gunbarul kept Parkinson company for 6 overs before he was bowled by slow bowler Wyatt as he played across a ball which again kept low and was castled. This brought to the wicket Aussie Ashley Becker, still smarting for his demotion down the order from 3 to 6. Guided by Parkinson's encouragement they formed the main partnership of the innings to lead M & B from a dicey situation to one of strength. Becker was watchful, especially against the slower bowlers but was much more comfortable against the seamers, where he could use the pace on the ball to drive the ball through the covers or slice it through the covers. The pair rotated the strike well and waited for the bad balls to be punished. M & B reached drinks at 110 for 4 after 20 overs, with Parkinson on 38 and Becker on 14. By now Parkinson had begun to play shots all round the wicket, taking advantage of being a left hander as most bowlers stray down leg, by pulling a number of balls to the leg side boundary. Indeed he did miss a number of other scoring opportunities but in fairness he probably played over the ball as the ball continued to keep low. The pair took the score to 156 when Becker succumbed to he wily Wing for a well crafted 29 in 17 overs for a partnership of 81. From this moment onwards Parkinson tried to find the boundaries as the running between the wickets was finally catching up with him. He did this to good effect off Corsini hitting him to cow corner for six and hitting him next ball for another six over mid on. Tom Allen had joined Parkinson at the wicket and batted intelligently to help put on 23 for the 7th wicket. He hit two boundaries in a score of 12, one a flick through midwicket off a full toss and the other a delightful extended flowing forward defensive push which sailed for six over mid off ! Unfortunately for Parkinson he ran out of overs and could not find the boundaries near the end, as a result of tiredness and the bowlers ability to bowl legal deliveries wide of off stump. Still 91no in 33 overs is nothing to be sniffed at considering he had not had any pre-season practice. His innings contained 11 4's and 2 6's, mainly from drives and pulls, although he did get a number of runs via the cut. 205 for 7 off their 40 overs meant M & B had something to bowl at.
Ashley Becker opened the bowling from the Road End and made early inroads castling opener Wiggett with an inswinging yorker and having the other opener Wiggins wonderfully caught by a diving Yusuf Qureshi at point, much to everyone's surprise. Ascot skipper James Wensley, coming in at number three, was aggressive from the start, hitting over the top of mid-on and mid-off and quick to punish anything short and full on the leg side. He cleverly saw off Becker by pushing singles to midwicket and did punish one short delivery by pulling through midwicket for 4. Wensley was particularly severe against Moorthy, who was extremely unlucky and bowled better than his figures suggested. Becker finished with fine figures of 5/2/17/2. By now it was becoming a game within a game, deep fields for Wensley, letting him have the single and more attacking fields for the other batsmen. The plan worked in respect of the next wicket as Payne tried to hit Amin over mid-on but only found the safe hands of Gunbarul. Amin was lucky to take a wicket as he bowled three overs of filth, with far too many full bungers(in the nets for you Mr Amin). Tom Allen collected a wicket from the Road End as Corsini attempted a sweep only to top edge it to keeper King. By now Wensley had been becalmed due to the number of boundary riders, which had halted his boundaries. Amin was replaced by Chris Butler at the Road End and he proceeded to spin his web, bowling another colt and getting another with a delivery which kept low and bowled the batsmen who had moved out of his ground. As always Butler has the canny knack of dismissing the best batsman and this was the case again as he claimed Wensley courtesy of a brilliant boundary rider catch from Becker. A short delivery was pulled to the midwicket boundary, it would have gone for six but Becker made terrific ground to his left and he took the catch above his head to end Wensley's captain's inning of 79. Butler claimed another wicket with an lbw decision before he ended with excellent figures of 8/2/24/4 to take his tally of wickets to 7 in two games from 13 overs. Although Wing and Wyatt fought valiantly to the end Aziz and Armstrong claimed wickets as Royal Ascot were dismissed in the final over for a total of 194 and victory by 11 runs.
The Royal Ascot players took advantage of the excellent club bar to stay long into the night as most of the M & B players had left. Congratulations to skipper James Wensley and his girlfriend who managed to out last skipper Armstrong, who declared from the bar at five to midnight to leave Parkinson still rejoicing his career best club score of 91no along with Becker and GT ! All in all a great day of Sunday cricket on and off the pitch, well played Royal Ascot.
Time to put pen to paper with my thoughts of the 2016 campaign whilst…
Mat Armstrong - Oct 11, 2016
About Maidenhead & Bray Cricket Club
The Cricket Club is situated in the beautiful village of Bray, Berkshire, on the banks of the Thames, overlooked by the Church of St Michael. The main ground is widely acknowledged as one of the most picturesque in the country.
Est. in 1798 and a member of the Morrant Thames Valley League, with three senior teams and a thriving colts section both boys and girls
Address: The Pavilion, The High Street, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2AA
Goyals is a schoolwear outfitters based in Maidenhead in Berkshire
Goyals is a family owned business that has been supplying school uniforms in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire area for more than 40 years, including Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough, Burnham, Taplow and Marlow.
Berkshire Cricket is the governing body for ALL cricket within the County of Berkshire and one of the leading non-professional Counties in England, recently enjoying substantial success on the field with both men and women's County teams.
Welcome to Marlow Cars, we buy and supply prestige marques, specialising in Bentley. We stock over 60 prestige motors cars at any one time making us one of the largest independent in the UK, this includes Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Porsche, Range Rover and Mercedes. Established for over 30 years offering wide model choice and variation, our extensive market knowledge, resources and customer care provides an unrivalled service.
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