Four Counties: Ill-tempered match drawn

Olney's Marcus Bates celebrates taking the wicket of Eaton Bray's Andrew Norris
Olney's Marcus Bates celebrates taking the wicket of Eaton Bray's Andrew Norris

There’s always a lot of needle when New City take on Milton Keynes and this Saturday was no exception as the sides went head-to-head again.

The on-field chatter started early as both sides looked to get the psychological edge as they battled it out for third place in Division One.

New City won the toss and skipper Kaival Patel opted to bowl first.

And it looked a good decision as he quickly took out both openers.

MK’s dangerous-looking captain Nick Hillman then fell for 26 to Arshad Mahmood,(3-28) who also took care of Tom Hilson (14) and Neil Gordon (1) in quick succession.

The game sparked into life when the visiting side objected to Daniel Brady’s dismissal and both sides were warned by the umpires for their language.

A fired up Viral Shah (3-26)then took three wickets, but New City couldn’t dismiss the in-form Daniel Ramsell who finished unbeaten with 66.

Captain Patel returned to skittle the final two batsmen to finish with figures of 4-23 as MK ended their innings all out on 188.

Ramsell carried on with the ball where he left off with the bat taking both New City openers Mahmood (6) and Dhruv Pankhania (5) and Mihir Choksi (4).

When Amit Trivedi (12) fell, New City looked to be in trouble at 30-4.

Ashish Ratia and Shalin Parikh helped steady the ship for the home side.

But Ratia fell for 26, and he was quickly followed by Jai Dave (0) and Viral Shah (1) which left New City struggling with just 80 runs on the board and seven wickets down.

Parikh was joined by his captain at the crease, and the pair set about the rescue operation.

After a dubious run-out appeal saw tempers flare once again, Patel was then run-out at the non-striker’s end as he backed up awaiting the bowler’s delivery.

But he was asked to return to the crease by his opposite number Hillman, settling the animosity between the two sides somewhat.

New City were now 150-7, but a long Patel lunge had him in agony as he felt his hamstring go, forcing him to retire hurt having scored 44.

Parikh then fell for 26, leaving Mahmood and Burjor Bugli to see out the remaining four overs. And with two overs remaining, New City required 11 to win.

But with the affair finely poised, the umpires decided that it was time to call time on the match - league rules stating games must be finished by 8.30pm.

The ill-tempered draw means Milton Keynes remain third in the table, level with second place Elstow and eight points ahead of New City in fourth.

Olney moved up into sixth above Saturday’s opponents Eaton Bray after their last over victory.

Marcus Bates took 4-25 as Eaton Bray were restricted to 176-8 from their innings.

He added 34 with the bat, but Stuart Keeping’s 96 was the highlight.

It led to a nail-biting finale, but Olney (178-8) scored the final runs with three balls remaining to take a two wicket win.

North Crawley (135-1) remain top after beating second placed Elstow (133) by nine wickets.

Cranfield (133)climbed out of the relegation zone with a 81 run win over Milton Keynes City (52).

And Newport Pagnell (178-9) remain bottom, losing by seven wickets to Thurleigh (179-3).

In Division Two, Old Bradwell suffered a five wicket defeat at the hands of promotion hopefuls Eggington Foresters.

Raza Salim top scored for Old Bradwell with 38, but it wasn’t enough as they were bowled out for 144.

But it took Eggington (148-5) just 23 overs to see off the total.

Division Three leaders North Crawley 2nds were four wicket winners over Open University.

Rahkesh Mistry took a brilliant fifer as he ripped through the OU middle order, finishing with 5-33 as OU were bowled out for 199.

While they lost six wickets along the way, Jack Chapman (43), Sam Howe (49 not out) and Kamran Bahra (30 not out) saw North Crawley home.

Shenley Church End lifted themselves out of the drop zone courtesy of Homer Evans’ unbeaten 100 against Stewkley Vicarage.

The opener lead Shenley to 256-2 declared, with Sat Alawattegama 51 not out too.

In reply, four wickets apiece from Lal Patel (4-22) and Shiv Meeda (4-17) skittled Stewkley for 106 to secure a 150 run margin of victory.

Division Four pace setters Westcroft (260-5 dec) hammered Eaton Bray 2nds (68) thanks to Mustafa Iqbal’s 100 not out.

Printers (158-2) kept up the pressure in second as they were comfortable eight wicket winners over Milton Bryan 2nds (157).

New Bradwell 2nds (135) lost by 102 runs to Harlington (237-7) and Milton Keynes 2nds (212-2) were eight wicket winners against New City 2nds (211-8). Both Sachin Shukia (103 not out) and Ian Hand (104 not out) scored unbeaten centuries.

In Division Five, Olney 2nds (222) beat Whitchurch (177), Great Brickhill 3rds (185-5) beat Elstow 2nds (183-9), MK City 2nds (159-9) beat North Crawley 3rds (126) and Thurleigh 2nds (222-7) beat Newport Pagnell 2nds (221-8).

Old Bradwell 2nds (234-7) drew with Edlesborough (174-8) to remain in the top two of Division Six.