Wheeler dealer as George inspires Thatcham to Finchampstead triumph
Thatcham Town's solid start to their Thames Valley Cricket League Division 4a campaign continued with a six-wicket win over Finchampstead 3rd.
Finchampstead won the toss and opted to bat but good bowling from George Wheeler (2-22), Bobby Brown (2-25) and Ollie Thorne (2-39) restricted them to 202/8 from their 45 overs, with three batters passing 30 but none reaching 50.
The visitors reply started slowly as opener Michael Klichowicz was out for 13 but Finchampstead couldn't keep Wheeler and Brown out of the game and the two teamed up to put on 65 for the second-wicket before Wheeler was bowled for 39.
Brown kept on but was denied a half century when he was run out for an excellent 48, however having added 47 more runs with skipper Jack Young (28), Thatcham had broken the back of the chase with the score 135/3.
Ben Denton-Powell then came to the crease and made light work of reeling in the remaining runs, hitting three fours and two sixes as he finished on 42 not-out with Steven Bartholomew unbeaten at the other end on 11 as Thatcham won with six wickets and 14 balls to spare.
Meanwhile, Chris Rochfort made 91 but Thatcham 2nd fell to a 27-run defeat against Eversley 2nd in Division 5b.
Skipper Tommy Mather probably regretted his decision to have a bowl as Eversley posted 270/7 from their 45 overs, including an unbeaten 103 from Pete De Lange.
The visitors had looked on the back foot at one stage on 38/2 after losing both openers cheaply but the unbeaten league leaders rallied well to post an imposing total.
It was an expensive afternoon for Thatcham's bowlers although Harley Sheridan-Hawkins (2-24) and Oscar Reeves (2-63) picked up a couple of wickets each while Tim Mahoney produced a remarkable nine overs, claiming a wicket and conceding just 15 runs at an economy rate of 1.67 - one of two bowlers to go at better than 6.5 an over.
After losing opener Alistair Cooper for a duck, Thatcham made a real go of the chase but it was almost all thanks to the heroic efforts of Rochfort, who made 91 from 100 balls while the rest of the top five added just 26 between them.
Rochfort needed a partner and found one in Arunganesh Madhasaravana who bludgeoned his way to 30 from 31 balls before he was bowled with the score 149/5.
Mather was the next man in and showed resolve and skill in equal measure but, after Rochfort was out nine short of his hundred, Thatcham were running out of overs and the skipper was left stranded having hit seven boundaries in an unbeaten 51 as Thatcham fell well short, finishing on 243/8 from their 45 overs.
Elsewhere, Shlok Chopra finished with three wickets and captain Satheesh Krishnan made 42 but Thatcham 3rd fell to a 28 run defeat at Reading 3rd.