North Crawley continue to lead the way

North Crawley vs Eaton Bray. Pic: Jane Russell.
North Crawley vs Eaton Bray. Pic: Jane Russell.

In-form Alex Walker continued his fine start to the season with another 88 runs on Saturday as North Crawley beat Eaton Bray in Four Counties Division 1.

Walker’s brilliant 88, assisted by James Armstrong’s 66, put the reigning champions firmly on the front foot at the Rye Gardens, as they scored quick runs at the top of the innings.

But while the top order scored big runs, the lower order faltered badly towards the end. James Flecknell was the star of the show for Eaton Bray, taking an excellent 6-51 as North Crawley were eventually bowled out for 232.

Knowing they’d need a mammoth effort to take anything from the game, Bray’s innings never really got going.

Starts from Wes Hosking (21), Andrew Norris (16), Jaco Jacobs (17) and Richard Osborne (22) weren’t enough to help Bray, who were well behind the run rate.

With Bryce brothers Dean (3-27) and Carl (2-13) taking regular wickets for the visitors, Bray were all out for 131.

Olney sit third after picking up a five wicket win over Milton Keynes.

MK lost their top three very cheaply, as Stuart Keeping, who’d finish with 3-24, did the business with the ball. John Richardson restored some pride for MK with his 47, and there was a spirited fight back in the lower order, as Grant Ebrahim (28) and Daniel Brady (18) added vital runs to the score late in the day as MK came in with 179 on the board.

In reply, Marcus Bates got Olney off to a flyer scoring 64. While Nimesh Chavda did his best, taking 3-37, Olney were well on top of the run rate, winning by five wickets (180-5).

John Iqbal was the hero for MK City as they crushed New City by four wickets.

Only three of New City’s batsmen made it to double figures as Iqbal took a mean 5-22, bowling out the visitors for just 81.

And although MK City looked shaky in the middle order, Asif Iqbal’s not out 24 helped them to 82-6 and victory.

Division 2

Aspley Guise remain top of the table despite Saturday’s defeat at the hands of New Bradwell.

Naseem Malik (4-10) and Nadeem Aftab (3-16) were in fine form for Bradwell, tearing through the Aspley Guise order. Mike MacDonald top scored for Aspley Guise with 17, while there were 18 extras as the leaders could only muster 63.

But they thought they were in with an outside chance when Chris Beales took the early wicket of Andy Overton for 4, but there simple weren’t enough runs to defend as Alan Quelch (39 not out) and Raj Lall (11 not out) helped New Bradwell (66-1) cruise home by nine wickets.

Milton Bryan were part of a brilliant batting display by both sides as they ran out nine wicket winners against Old Bradwell.

After winning the toss, opting to bowl first looked like the wrong move by Bryan skipper Peter Young as Old Bradwell scored quickly, finishing with 250-4 from their 44 overs.

But on a pitch perfect for batting, Milton Bryan needn’t have worried.

Young looked in imperious form as he went unbeaten at the crease, smashing 122 not out.

And he was joined by fellow opener Carl Wright, who also reached three figures in a brilliant innings of 105.

Despite losing Wright, Milton Bryan (254-1) took victory in fine style to win by nine wickets.

Stoke Hammond narrowly lost out to North Crawley 2nds by two wickets.

Amit Patel was the top scorer for Hammond, but came up just short of his half century on 48 as the visiting side posted 181-8.

In reply, Joe Mitford (81) got Crawley off to a flying start and put them ahead of the rate.

But as the lower order began to shake, Crawley (183-8) edged over the line with two wickets and two overs to spare.

Cranfield made life easy for Bromham, but still made them work for their three wicket victory.

Number 10 bat Ravikiran Gollakota’s 35 not out was the only saving grace for Uni, who were all out for just 82.

And his 4-22 had Bromham on the ropes at one stage, but with so few runs to defend, the visitors (83-7) made it with plenty of overs to spare.

Newport Pagnell stay bottom after being bowled out for just 40 against Buckland & Aston Clinton (46-3) who won by seven wickets.

Division 3

Westcroft slipped to second in Division 3 after Printers picked up a winning draw against them on Saturday.

Being set 187 to win, Asad Shah’s 63 was not enough to help Westcroft (169-8) to victory, though they held on for a losing draw.

Open University (164) lost by 38 runs to Luton Cricketers (202), who now sit top of the table.

Division 4

Leaders New City 2nds’ fine batting performance wasn’t rewarded with the victory it deserved against Wilden.

Fine knocks from Adil Umer (54), Amit Trivedi (66) and Krishnanand Pandey (64 not out) helped New City to 256-6.

Pandey then took 4-29 with the ball, but mean defensive play from Wilden saw them rescue an unlikely draw on 150-7.

Shenley Brook End put in a brilliant innings with the bat to take a winning draw against Wing with Wingrave.

Scoring 179-8, Wing could only manage 143-8.

Milton Keynes 2nds took a vital winning draw against Olney 2nds. Posting 151-6, Charlie Green’s 60 wasn’t enough to help Olney to victory (145-8) as MK couldn’t quite take the last two wickets.

Division 5

A century from Great Brickhill 3rds’ Chris Jones wasn’t enough to help them to victory over Westcroft.

Jones’ 110 at the top of the order got things off to a great start for Brickhill, but he found support hard to come by.

Fellow opener Matthew Carter was the second top scorer with 27, but they still managed to post a decent looking score of 219-9.

And things looked to be going their way until Zaheer Khan entered the fray at number 5 for Westcroft.

His 76 not out was the boost in the arm Westcroft needed, as they went on to take victory (220-6) by four wickets.

Steve George and Chris Wade were the heroes for New Bradwell 2nds in their five wicket win.

George (4-19) and Wade (4-28) skittled Thurleigh’s order for just 138, a score New Bradwell 2nds (140-5) easily cleaned up in 36 overs.

North Crawley 3rds crumpled with the bat as they slumped to a 145 run defeat to St Andrews.

Chasing 204-9, North Crawley could only muster 59 in reply.

Division 6

Stony Stratford 4ths (126) lost by 60 runs to 60 runs to Lidlington (186), Newport Pagnell 2nds (170-8) shared a dramatic tie with Little Horwood (170-7), but MK City 2nds (178-8) had to settle for a losing draw against Winslow (201-9)

Old Bradwell 2nds batted brilliantly to see off Wing with Wingrave 2nds by 155 runs.

Adil Asif (68) and Kashif Salim’s unbeaten 80 helped Old Bradwell to a competitive 229-6 from their allocation. John Nixon took an excellent 3-19 for Wing.

In response though, only two batsmen made it into double figures, as Wing were bowled out for 74.

Division 7

Printers 2nds (267-9) thumped Bletchley 2nds (102) by 165 runs, Stoke Hammond 2nds (89-4) beat New City 3rds (86) by six wickets and Wolverton 3rds (73) lost by 120 runs to Buckland & Aston Clinton 2nds (193-7).