Four Counties League: MK starting to challenge

Bowled over: It was a batsman's wicket at Biddenham as the home side and Old Bradwell used 17 different bowlers to try and swing the match one way or the other. Only three wickets fell all afternoon.
Bowled over: It was a batsman's wicket at Biddenham as the home side and Old Bradwell used 17 different bowlers to try and swing the match one way or the other. Only three wickets fell all afternoon.

Milton Keynes are starting to emerge as potential Division One title challengers as they maintained their good start to the season with a winning draw over Thurleigh.

Up to fourth in the table, the men from Middleton have lost only one of their six games in 2013, and that was at the hands of champions North Crawley.

Saturday’s winning draw over second placed Thurleigh was a close call though as MK totalled 238-9 after being put in to bat, below restricting the home side to 234-8 in reply.

Jalil Sear (64) led the way for MK after a shaky start to the visitors’ innings, before Daniel Ramsell (36) and Luke Anamourlis (27 not out) added some priceless runs towards the bottom of the order.

Huge knocks from Andy Milne (108) and Christopher Wood (73) put Thurleigh on course for victory, but MK hit back with wickets from five different bowlers to hold the home side at bay and see out the remaining overs. And they would have been disappointed not to have secured a victory themselves in the end.

With Thurleigh suffering a losing draw against MK, North Crawley were able to extend their advantage at the top of the table with a commanding win over MK City.

City were left to regret their decision to bowl as Crawley hit a fantastic 304-3 – Alex Walker the biggest hitter with 141, as Matt Goss finished unbeaten on 62.

And City never really got going in reply, bowled out for 122 thanks mostly to Richard Bryce (4-9) as Crawley stretch their lead at the top of the pile to 24 points.

Newport Pagnell are stuck to the bottom of the table after they suffered a losing draw at Eaton Bray.

After the home side made 199-7, Newport fell just short on 191-9 after James Fletcher (45 not out) led the revival.

New City (99) went down to Elstow (215-5) by 116 runs and Cranfield University (162) had a 50 run victory at Olney Town (112).

Division Two

Old Bradwell were simply blown away by a massive 207 courtesy of Biddenham’s Sam Kumar as his side reached a formidable 323-1, with David Morrish (96) in support.

However, buoyed by their first win of the season against early league leaders Eggington Foresters a week earlier, Old Bradwell held firm to secure a richly deserved share of the points thanks to their own big hitter – Ross Poulter finishing on 102 not out.

Greg Poulter added 88 as the visitors saw off the overs to close on 233-2. A possible record 17 bowlers were used during the memorable game, but with scant reward as the two teams settled for a draw. Old Bradwell stay bottom of the division, but on this form, it won’t be for long.

Eggington (237-2) returned to winning ways with an eight wicket win over New Bradwell.

Alan Quelch was unlucky to be on the losing side as he fired off 102 as New Bradwell reached a competitive 236-7. It wasn’t enough though, with the table toppers proving their worth to cruise home on 237-2.

Division Three

North Crawley 2nds have been in fine form this season, but they came unstuck with a surprise 42 run defeat at the hands of Caddington.

After being put in to bat by the visitors, Caddington made 182-9 – which was enough for victory as Crawley crumbled for 140, with Kiran Singh the best of a bad bunch with 23. Despite their defeat, Crawley remain at the top of the table.

Elsewhere Shenley Church End had a five wicket defeat to Bromham after being bowled out for just 148. Simon Sidwell (5-36) single-handedly led the fightback, but the visitors got home on 152-5.

Open University (139) went down by 40 runs to Eggington Foresters 2nds (179) despite good spells from Subhan Ullah (3-14) and Omer Hanif (3-34) who added a spirited 40 runs with the bat late on.

Division Four

Printers are definitely the team to beat in Division Four this year as they maintained their unbeaten start with an excellent six wicket win over early title rivals Westcroft.

The Great Linford-based side secured a fifth outright victory from seven matches as they bowled third placed Westcroft out for just 109.

But they left it late to seal the deal, with Vijay Baburaj (39) not out) leading the way to 110-4 in 46.4 overs.

The win moves Printers 30 points clear at the summit as closest rivals Milton Keynes 2nds suffered a losing draw at home to Milton Bryan.

Choosing to bowl seemed like a good decision for MK as they had Bryan restricted to just 150-9 – Samit Saini (2-11) the pick of the bowlers.

But MK couldn’t finish the job, as only Ian Hand (41) and Ben Warren (28) troubled the bowlers and they finished way off the pace at 129-8.

New City 2nds (260-3) were denied victory but managed a winning draw against Drayton Parslow (137-9) who valiantly held out for 53 overs. Dhruv Pankhania was the star man for New City with a splendid 114 not out.

Tony Ewins (62 not out) led the way for New Bradwell 2nds (162-4) in their six wicket win over Eaton Bray 2nds (161). Ian Godfrey added 58.

Division Five

Great Brickhill 3rds (182-6) stay top after a winning draw over MK City 2nds (127-7) and at the other end of the table, Newport Pagnell 2nds (155-7) continue to struggle following their six wicket defeat against Whitchurch (156-4).

Division Six

Old Bradwell 2nds (217-8) earned a winning draw over Bletchley Town 3rds (116-9) as Luke Moore took 3-30, while Stony Stratford 4ths (82-3) got the better of Little Horwood (81) by seven wickets. Stephen Richardson claimed 5-14 and Ben Arnold 4-13.

Division Seven

Wolverton Town 3rds (135) cruised to a 10 wicket victory over Edlesborough 2nds (134) with Mohammed Queshi (65 not out) and Hasnat Tanveer (64 not out) scoring the runs.