Unbeaten so far, Emsworth were back at Rugby Camp, Portsmouth, to face Servicemaster – and won again.
Emsworth lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. Servicemaster had Lawrence Prittipaul (ex-Hampshire batsman) opening the batting with George Wilson. These two hit some lovely shots down the ground for fours and sixes.
Both were out, Mike Norris taking an excellent catch to dismiss Prittipaul. After being 58-0, the hosts were now 63-2.
Lewis Roberts’ slow bowling made runs few and far between. Lee Gray chipped in with a wicket before Rob Norris bowled Tony Sizer.
Mike Offord and Ant Norris cleaned up the last couple to bowl Servicemaster out for 137 off 43.4 overs.
Emsworth’s opening pair continued their excellent partnership, reaching 50 without loss. James Swaine finally mistimed a shot and got caught.
Emsworth captain Barrie James didn’t last long, edging one on to his foot and being caught. Roberts hit a couple of shots before missing one that was straight.
Mike Norris reached 50 and was well-supported by Stuart Parsons. A few more big hits and Emsworth got over the line without any more wickets falling. Emsworth remain top and unbeaten.
Midhurst v Grafham & Smithbrook
I’Anson League division four
Midhurst comprehensively outplayed rivals Grafham & Smithbrook in a ten-wicket win and now sit top of the table.
Midhurst invited Grafham to bat first. A Akbar and U Pervaiz began uncertainly against the pace of Rob Doick and accuracy of Tom Creed, Akbar swingly wildly and unsuccessfully at Doick on many occasions.
Creed struck first, having Pervaiz (9) caught by Chris Adams. Akbar began to find his rhythm and started to score freely but aerially. Sean Kearney was introduced into the attack and soon began to tie up the rate and Doick had his revenge removing Akbar LBW for 34.
Craig Edwards and Kearney continued to torment the batsmen and regular wickets fell with Midhurst holding their catches well, Tim Dixon and Harry Green bagging two apiece.
Only Gareth Williams (18) provided resistance and the Grafham innings spluttered to a close for 118 all out in only 34 overs with Edwards taking 4-27 and Kearney 4-23, including his 1,500th career wicket for Midhurst.
Simon Lush and Richard Gough played and missed at the good early pace of Grant Williams and Ali Wadiwala with Lush surviving an early LBW scare.
But Gough started to hit his straps and the boundary boards with some sumptuous shots, hitting ten fours in his unbeaten 63.
With the scores level, Lush carved a final boundary to earn himself another 50 and win it at a canter for Midhurst.
The I’Anson League is restructuring at the end of this season and with only the champions being promoted, there is still all to play for.
Midhurst host Witley second XI at Cowdray Ruins this Saturday.
Kirdford hosted their President’s XI in the first home game of the season on a beautiful Sunday. The match, a four-innings T20, started at midday with Kirdford going into bat, and promptly heading back to the pavilion, all out for 68.
Ben Jeffery opened and scored 23, the batting having been torn apart by the likes of H Hook, Freddie Thomas, the younger Plummer, and John Upton who starred for the President as he used to for Kirdford, with 4-11.
Plummer jnr and snr opened well for the President’s XI before three quick wickets from Rich Davies and James Smyth left them 47-4. However, the brief light for Kirdford was extinguished by Freddie Thomas’ 62 not out, supported by Hollowood and Cairns with 31 and 35 not out, which took the President’s team to a massive 162.
Kirdford reversed the order but slipped to 40 for six in quick time thanks mainly to some aggressive bowling from D Parker (4-7). The evergreen Jamie Rountree (51 off 31) and Gus Fletcher (53 no off 35) blasted a superlative 102 partnership, guiding Kirdford to 150 and a lead of 56.
President’s all-rounder Parker ably knocked the runs off with an assured 30 and the game went to the President’s XI for the tenth year running, won by nine wickets.
Thanks went to David and Victoria Thomas for welcoming the teams to their beautiful home - the perfect setting for bringing the Kirdford cricketing community together.
Bognor Under-14s v Stirlands Under-14s
At the Regis Oval, after winning the toss and fielding, Stirlands had Bognor on the ropes at 32 for four. This didn’t deter young Ben Woolnough, who counter-attacked with a gritty 25 (retired) and with support from Danny Pearce with 21 and late-order lusty blows from Ethan Teasdale (27 retired), Bognor ended on 107-5.
In reply all was going well for Stirlands as Josh Taylor and Dan McKitterick both retired out with the score at 93-1. However with an RAF Typhoon lurking in the midst, the Bognor boys whipped up a storm as tidy bowling and two run-outs saw Stirlands needing six off of the last over.
It came down to them needing two off of the last ball from Harry Lindsey but smart work from gloveman Charlie Jays saw another run-out and Bognor won a cracking game by one run.
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