Hampton Hill’s 2nd XI were in Bushy Park again for their second league game against Merrow and again had to start the game with 10 players.
Skipper Paul Thornley won the toss and put the opposition in to bat, hoping for an early breakthrough with openers Tahir Butt and Jack Fullicks. Despite some economical bowling the wicket didn’t come and the Merrow openers, Woodriffe and skipper Bow, comfortably set up a solid base for their team. The introduction of Chris Page had little effect and the batsmen started to find the gaps left by the missing 11th man.
Finally, with Shadab bowing his spin, he finally enticed Woodriffe down the track and he was stumped by James Burns for 68. Any hope that this may have caused a collapse were dampened by No3 Mead , taking the attack to the bowling, scoring a run a ball 33 before being bowled by Stuart Hedley. 174/2 became 174/3 as Bow hit one to many in the air against Chris Page and Jamal Bhatti took a comfortable catch. Trueman and Jones then steadied the ship, getting to just shy of 200 before Tahir picked up a well-deserved wicket, bowling Jones. Windus then came in and with a handful of overs remaining both batsmen went after the bowling, despite HHCC now being up to the full complement of players. At 217, Windus was superbly caught on the boundary by Ajmaloff Jack’s bowling. Three more runs were added before Tahir bowled the final over. Not only was it a maiden but he alsopicked up three wickets, all clean bowled, to finish with 4/34.
221 to win was an achievable target and Stuart Hedley and Shadab Ahmed strode out with purpose. Shadab started well with two nice fours , but that was as good as it got for him as he was bowled by Mead for 10. Stuart quickly followed as he gave a simple catch to gully and when Ajmal hit a full toss straight to cover, HHCC were 23/3. Skipper Paul and Vignesh Ayyathurai were now required to bed down and re-group but Paul also fell to Mead. Jack Fullicks then came in and started to rebuild the innings, albeit with some kamikaze running.Vignesh skied one off Windus and James Burns followed quickly. Jack was playing some nice shots and looking quite comfortable with bat on ball, but alas his cavalier/reckless abandon when running was to be his downfall, his luck running out and him getting run out for 18 leaving HHCC 67/7. The late arriving Javed Khan and Chris Page were now at the crease but despite a couple of hefty blows from Javed,they both fell before HHCC had reach 90. The last pair wasWill Owens and Tahir and with the victorious 1st team now back cheering them on, they started to set targets for bonus points. 120 was reached and now they were both enjoying themselves and quickly, batting bonus point number two was achieved. Could they reach 160 and bonus point number three or even get to 221 and an extremely unlikely victory? The crowd started to believe, but it was not to be as Tahir finally hit one too many in the air and was caught off Windus for 41, leaving Will on 25NO
A disappointing result for the home team but it could have been a lot worse without the efforts of Will and Man of the Match Tahir.