Kher century buries Wargrave
Wargrave 200-7 Jesters 201-3 (Kher 103, Chak 49)
Won by 7 wkts
Our winning streak continued at Wargrave thanks largely to Sahil Kher's wonderful 103 off 81 balls. The hosts posted 200-7 in a 30 over contest (two wickets each for Hillyard and Short) and we reached our target with four deliveries to spare. Captain Louis Harris delegated the match report to
Andrew Short whose account appears below...
Unusually we played a 30 overs a side game against Wargrave. Their youngsters were playing that morning in the county under-15 final and the senior players wanted to watch. Some of us thought travelling so far for such a short game was a waste of time - which just goes to show how wrong you can be.
Skipper Louis Harris lost the toss and we were condemned to field on a hot afternoon, with a good batting wicket and large outfield. What's more we only had 9 1/2 players so there would be gaps in the field - the half being a largely immobile Adnan Mohammed generously playing despite a nasty cartilage injury.
The not entirely unexpected carnage duly followed. The Wargrave top order raced along at something approaching ten an over before we took pace off the ball and regained a measure of control. Managing to take wickets throughout their innings also helped stem the flow. When they closed on 200-7 we felt it could have been much, much worse. We'd need to bat well but it certainly wasn't an impossible target.
DJ Chak and Sahil Kher started circumspectly against a decent new ball attack before picking up the rate. A feature of their partnership was the running between the wickets - or rather the contrast between Sahil's keen eye for a league single and DJ's rather more, shall we say, 'hesitant' approach. Their indecision made for nervous viewing and at one point Sahil would have been run out had the keeper gathered the return cleanly. Perhaps sobered by this 'near miss' both batsmen began to unfurl some lovely shots. When DJ was bowled for an excellent 49 in the 17th over the score was 107 and we were up with the rate.
At this point the lame Mohammed limped to the crease at no.3 and the innings took on a very different tone. Gone was any thought of a quick single and the proportion of 'dot' balls increased. Were we about throw away our advantage?
Sahil responded with a succession of exquisite boundaries. His driving was particularly fine - skipping out of his crease several times to hit Wargrave's former Berkshire left-arm spinner back over his head for four. It was glorious stuff. Sahil went to his century (off just 79 balls) with his 19th four and we were perfectly placed for victory. Adnan had done well giving Sahil the strike and the pair had added 73. But then a superb piece of theatre! Sahil was stumped for 103. Suddenly 180 in the 27th seemed a perilous rather than comfortable position.
Enter Alex Smith who proceeded to play a superb 'finishing' innings. 21 off 13 balls. Two dot balls to begin; four singles as he warmed up; two 2s; a boundary; and then another single to bring him on strike for the final over. Six to win. No worries. The first ball was crashed for four. And the second back over the bowler's head for another. The luxury of as many as four balls to spare!
Many thanks to Wargrave for their excellent hospitality - and putting out such a decent side on a Sunday. We're very pleased the under-15s won their final.