Thatcham spin it to win it as spinners take all 10 wickets in Taplow triumph
Thatcham kept the pressure on at the top of the Thames Valley Cricket League Division 4a table following a five wicket win over Taplow.
After losing a fifth successive toss, Thatcham were sent out to field and the hosts soon set about making the most of a flat pitch, with both openers looking in good nick and seeing off Thatcham’s opening bowlers.
Skipper Jack Young then turned to spin and the combination of Chris Bird and Paul Hemming first stopped the flow of runs and then Bird found the breakthrough.
The experienced Hemming took the next four wickets in succession before Young introduced Bobby Browne, the third spinner available to him, who took four of the final six wickets, including a spectacular catch on the boundary rope by Michael Klichowicz.
With all 10 wickets falling to spin, Thatcham reduced Taplow from 50/0 to 182 all-out.
Klichowicz (31) and George Wheeler (42) handed the visitors a fast start although the loss of a couple of quick wickets saw Thatcham threaten to stumble at 91/4.
Ben Denton-Powell joined Chris Rochfort (38) and the in-form batter set about reeling in the remaining runs, producing some beautiful strokes as he scored a match-winning unbeaten 52.
Rochfort was trapped lbw but Jamie Young combined with Denton-Powell to tick off the final 20 runs with ease as Thatcham won with five wickets in hand.
Thatcham 2nd were denied a win by a single wicket in their Thames Valley Cricket League Division 5b clash with Wargrave 3rd.
In the first round of matches in which draws are possible, Thatcham amassed an imposing total of 291/3 from their 50 overs and reduced Wargrave to 184/9 in the penultimate ball of the 40th over, leaving them 55 deliveries to take the final wicket and secure victory.
However the visitors final pair held on defiantly and the Trouts had to be content with a share of the spoils.
Skipper Tommy Mather won the toss and elected to bat and opener Simon Lewis motored to a majestic 100, hitting 13 fours in an innings of 124 balls.
When Lewis was bowled for 100, he'd put on 157 for the second wicket with Alistair Cooper, who himself produced a superb knock to score 76, and Thatcham were in a dominant position on 221/2.
Cooper joined Lewis back in the pavilion the following over but the pair's partnership allowed Stephen Bartholomew (30 not-out) and Edward Wylie (35 not-out) to let their hands go, with the two scoring another 68 runs in eight-and-a-half overs before Mather called time on the innings after 50 overs, with the score an imposing 291/3.
The hosts soon heaped the pressure on with the ball as Joshua Reeves struck in just the second over of Wargrave's reply, reducing the visitors to 8/1.
Wargrave rallied somewhat but Pradeep Yathiraja and then Stephen Bartholomew got in one the act within four overs of one another as the batting side slipped from 53/1 to 63/3.
Yathiraja then set about dismantling Wargrave's middle order, removing four of the next six batters as he celebrated a five-fer, finishing with figures of 5-53 from his 15 overs.
Rhys Williams claimed the prize scalp of the visitors' skipper and Olly Thorne picked up the ninth wicket of the innings, but the dismissal of the defiant Mark Richards continued to evade them.
He would finish unbeaten on 77 while the last man in, Praveen Jetti, survived 16 balls without scoring as a dominant Thatcham were denied.
Meanwhile, the third team slipped to second from bottom in Division 8a following a humbling 103-run defeat to Sonning 3rd.
After losing the toss and being sent out to field, Thatcham produced a good performance with the ball, bowling their hosts all-out for 225 inside 40 overs.
The first five wickets were shared between five different bowlers, with some proving more expensive than others and Ravi Mirchandani (1-27) posing perhaps the sternest test for batters looking to score quickly.
Sonning reached 198/4 and looked in a strong position but then lost three wickets without scoring as two from Matthew Cox (2-51) and another for Samuel Dillaway, who had earlier claimed the scalp of opener Arun Kumar Pera, saw the lower order scurrying around for their pads as the hosts collapsed to 198/7.
The tail offered light resistance but Dillaway had his shackles up, picking up three wickets in succession as he finished with figures of 5-32 from his eight overs and Sonning were all-out for 225.
In response, Thatcham looked to have made a decent enough start as openers Will Harwood (19) and Henry Britter (25) put on 41 for the first wicket.
However the opening pair would prove to be the two top scorers, with just two other batters reaching double figures in an innings that included two ducks and two scores of less than five as the visitors were all out for 122 in less than 36 overs, 103 runs short of Sonning's score.