Kings Hill 1st XI won by 63 runs
Kings Hill 221 for 5 in 50 overs
Majid Sialvi 50, Neil Taylor 38*
Old Williamsonians 158 all out in 43.2 overs
Shaun McMurray 3/13, Josh Louw 3/39
A concerted team performance in tricky conditions. That’s probably the best way to describe the KHCC first team’s important win away at Old Williamsonians.
Based on previous seasons, the pitch was expected to be a challenge and with the ongoing hot, dry weather it was dusty from the start. Shaun McMurray won the toss and chose to bat – an important early advantage as the wicket deteriorated steadily through the afternoon.
Rob Whitfield and Shawon provided a determined opening stand of 41 (Shawon even left a few) at a steady rate. With the variable bounce, scoring was not easy but they made sure to keep the scoreboard moving. A few wickets fell to leave KHCC on 63/3 and Shaun joined Majid Sialvi at the crease. The pair worked hard in the heat and calmly set about building a partnership. Majid played a fantastic, measured innings to reach his second 50 for Kings Hill (getting out soon after) while Shaun looked comfortable throughout.
Shaun and Neil Taylor pushed on into the last ten overs as they looked to take advantage of a good platform. The skipper fell for 32, while Neil continued to play aggressively, hitting the ball over the ring and running hard – relishing his role as the ‘finisher’!
His late burst (finishing with 38 not out) took the score past the 200 mark, which was already a good score on that pitch. KHCC ended on 221 for 5. It was an encouraging all-round team effort with everyone making something of a contribution, if not with the bat then with their attitude and application.
The bowlers knew they’d need to put the ball in the right place and allow the natural variation to come into play. Kings Hill were spinner-heavy and Jack Cook opened up with Rich Clarke. Rich bowled well but it soon became clear that pace with the new ball was not the best plan. Shaun had spin on from both ends within the first 10 overs, with Josh Louw getting plenty of turn.
Majid took an excellent rising catch at short mid-wicket to give Jack the breakthrough. He then produced a perfect delivery to bowl the dangerous Josh Earle, pitching on middle and hitting the top of off stump. 44/2 and a similar pattern to the KHCC innings.
The home team fought back with a solid 45 run partnership. Shaun alternated his bowlers well, and some committed fielding in bumpy conditions meant that the runs started to dry up. Neil Taylor, in particular, covered a lot of ground in the outfield, although he found one particular patch rather uneven…
Shawon and Shaun got into a great rhythm, bowling in tandem and putting a stranglehold on the run scoring – a sustained period at less than 2 per over. It was Shawon’s best spell of the season, showing good control and varying his pace with the older ball. A beautiful delivery bowled the number three and with the required rate now around 6 per over Kings Hill were able to apply a lot of pressure from both ends. It was tricky to come in and push the rate along, as the home team discovered.
Neil Miller had his work cut out behind the stumps all day, but showed his class as the batsmen tried to cut loose. He picked up four very sharp stumpings to complement the spinners’ good work as Kings Hill picked up 7 wickets for 66.
The last man out launched Josh deep into the outfield where Kev Ambanpola calmy trotted in to take an excellent high catch and bring the match to a close.
Full points away against a good side was just the result that Kings Hill needed at this stage of the season. Majid’s 50 capped a very good team batting performance and Neil’s flurry meant the bowlers had a solid total to defend. This they did, with good support and focus in the field. A parsimonious ten over spell from Shaun and Shawon drove home the advantage before Neil Miller
stepped stood up to start a procession from the lower order. Kings Hill conceded half as many extras as the opposition, a further example of the commitment on the day.
The 1st team know where they would like to finish the season and a few more performances like this will get them to that goal.