Four Counties: Tons galore as batsmen find their form

editorial image

Alex Walker hit his first century of the season for North Crawley, but a stubborn Olney Town middle order wrecked any chances of being a match-winning innings.

Walker’s 134 ensured he remains top of the Four Counties run-scorers list, with great support play from James Armstrong (67) and Pete Barnes (70 not out) as the leaders of Division 1 set 320-4 from their 44 overs.

In reply, Olney proved tough to remove. Tight Crawley bowling ensured the visitors were never in with a sniff of victory, but firm defensive play meant finding wickets was a tough task. Ian Gillam took 3-12 for Crawley, but Olney (112-6) held on brilliantly to take a losing draw.

Milton Keynes City moved up to second, courtesy of another century - this time from John Iqbal. His 106 guided City to 267 against Biddenham, who could only muster 116 in reply.

Fourth place New City (114-2) crushed Eggington Foresters (113) thanks to Dharmesh Mistry’s 54 not out.

Two more centuries in Division 2 helped New Bradwell past Cranfield.

Raj Lall (108 not out) and Alan Quelch (101) saw New Bradwell to 290-4 before declaring.

While batsmen fell around him, Neelabha Chatterjee had other ideas, and became the third centurion of the match, scoring 125 for Cranfield (270), but they came up 21 runs short, as Joel Langley took 5-40.

Peter Young’s 65 not out helped Milton Bryan to a comfortable six wicket win over North Crawley 2nds.

Gavin Knight took 4-30 to reduced North Crawley to 182. Carl Wright and James Bailey got Milton Bryan off to a good start before Young’s knock put them over the line (186-4) with plenty to spare.

Stoke Hammond (199-9) had to settle for a winning draw against Newport Pagnell (152-9) and Aspley Guise (114-3) easily saw off Old Bradwell (111) thanks to Colin Burns’ sensational 5-3 at the end of the innings.

In Division 3, Printers stay top of the league after a rampant bowling display against Pitstone & Ivinghoe.

After setting 195-8, Purus Paran took 4-31 and three wickets apiece for Razzan Mohamed and Thusan Sivakumaran reduced Pitstone to 96 all out.

Open University (181-9)held on to take a losing draw against Luton Caribbean (218-4), while Westcroft (132-1) made light work of Eaton Bray 2nds (131), winning in 17 overs.

Division 4 leaders New City 2nds slipped up against Shenley Church End as yet another century was scored. Shenley’s Rob Hatcher hit an unbeaten 104 as they declared on 325-6. In reply, New City could only score 239-5.

Richard Beardshaw added his name to the 100-club with 100 not out for Olney 2nds (276-7) as they easily beat Milton Bryan 2nds (146).

Ben Warren’s 5-28 saw Milton Keynes 2nds (206-6) past Stewkley Vicarage (151).

In Division 5, Great Brickhill 3rd (196-6) had a losing draw against Elstow (221-6), New Bradwell 2nds (161) beat North Crawley 3rds (137) as David Little took 5-13, and Westcroft (60-5) made light work of Whitchurch (58).

In Division 6, Newport Pagnell 2nds (166) lost to Caddington (167-8), Old Bradwell 2nds ((156-9) lost to Lidlington (157-4) and MK City 2nds (55) lost to Little Horwood (93) and Winslow (227-8 dec) thumped Stony Stratford 4ths (107).

In Division 7, Printers 2nds (112) lost to Aspley Guise 2nds (113-7), New City 3rds (72) lost to Ivinghoe & Pitstone 2nds (75-2) and Wolverton 3rds (110-2)were eight wicket victors against Bletchley 3rds (106-9).