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Marlborough CC - 2016 Season

Cricket: Purton v Marlborough - Marlborough battle to a 3-run victory away at Purton

Match Report

West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)

Purton v Marlborough   6th August 2016

Marlborough 155 all out;  Purton 152 all out

Marlborough won by 3 runs


Marlborough Cricket Club Saturday 1st XI 155 for 10 beat Purton CC 1st X1 152 for 10

Marlborough CC 1st XI travelled to Purton looking to bounce back from the previous week’s defeat to Westbury.  Stand-in captain Nick Crabbe won the toss and was happy to bat first on a typically good Purton wicket.

He wasn’t so happy an hour later when the top order had been blown away by the rampant Purton skipper Lee, who took four quick wickets to leave Marlborough in tatters at 22-5 after 11 overs.

Former MCC skipper Arran Dickinson and up-and-coming batsman Josh Bates set about repairing the damage with a useful partnership of 33 before Bates was caught for 14.  Dickinson continued to bat fluently until he bowled by the leg spinner for a well compiled 36.  Will Langton (28) and Paul Smith then put together a match changing partnership of 55 which swung the momentum the way of the visitors.

Purton heads went down as the pair batted positively, regularly finding the boundary.  Smith looked particularly fluent for his run-a-ball 37 and looked set for a maiden 1st team fifty until he was bowled by Woolford. Once he and Langton were dismissed, Joe Arkwright quickly followed and the Marlborough innings ended on 155.

After tea, the golden arm of Will Langton (3-13) struck as he dismissed Purton’s two most dangerous batsmen, Xander Pitchers and Tom Bowler.  He quickly followed that up with the wicket of last week’s centurion Whittaker, thanks to a smart catch by Homani.  Mohan Balusu then removed Ramani to leave Purton reeling at 32-4.

Hill and Woolford then began to repair the Purton innings and both looked set to win the game when Hill, having hit a six the previous ball, tried to repeat the feat and only managed to pick out the safe hands of James Richardson on the mid-wicket boundary who held a crucial low catch off the bowling off the ever reliable Smith.

Balusu (2-36) then returned to bowl his final two overs and picked up the crucial wicket of Woolford, who was bowled through the gate to reduce Purton to 115-7.

At drinks Joe Arkwright had taken over the keeping duties from Homani as more overs of spin were required.  Once Harrison Painter’s tidy spell had finished (1 for 44) Homani kept up the pressure by bowling an immaculate length which the Purton batsmen were unable to come to terms with. The squeeze applied by Homani (2-19) and Smith (2-29) told and Purton subsided to 152 all out giving Marlborough a hard fought victory by 3 runs.  The final wicket falling to Homani thanks to a sharp catch by Arkwight.

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Cricket: Calne v Marlborough - Marlborough deliver a comfortable away victory against local rivals

Match Report

West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)

Calne v Marlborough   16th July 2016

Marlborough 209-5;  Calne 109 all out

Marlborough won by 100 runs


Marlborough travelled to local rivals Calne on a day with humid conditions and heavy cloud cover in the morning.  During the team talk Marlborough’s captain George Fox discussed the need to start winning away from home.

Marlborough started well by winning the toss and electing to bat.  The opening pair of Nick Crabbe and Fraser Gordon came together and looked to continue where they left off against Purton.  They batted steadily and had a first wicket partnership of 68.

Gordon (who was unlucky to be strangled down the leg side) made a convincing 39 before Bob Homani joined Crabbe at the crease.  He batted with great effort to keep the run rate going despite Calne bowling a very straight line at the Marlborough star batsmen.  Homani was dismissed for a useful 21 which then brought Peter Day to the crease who had practiced well in the week to get into the top form we are used to seeing.  Crabbe made a steady 50 but just as he was starting to really express himself with his elegant drives, he was caught by Knight.  James Richardson came in and had a very useful partnership of 54 with Day running exceptionally well between the wickets.  Marlborough ended their innings on 209-5 with Calne having bowled well.

The Marlborough tea time discussion was to bowl tightly in the first 20 overs and make sure that they restrict the scoring rate, thus putting pressure on the Calne opening batsmen. Things did not go according to plan as Buttler dispatched the bowling of captain Fox with effective boundaries. The skipper made early changes and brought David West into the attack and suddenly everything went Marlborough’s way.

West bowled with great hostility and Mohan Balusu supported him well from the other end. Both bowlers took three wickets apiece and blew away the top order, leaving Calne in disarray, suddenly finding themselves at 61-5, having been 37 without loss.

West produced a fast bowling display that we have not seen from him before, clearly the influence of coach Mark Alleyne is having a positive influence on him at Marlborough College.  Once West had bowled his overs the cool red-head Gordon came in to the attack and found himself right in the game, with Homani taking one of the most remarkable stumpings we have seen this season.  Fox returned after Balusu’s ninth over and took the final two wickets, Marlborough having not even used the bowling of recent star performer Paul Smith.

Marlborough host Malmesbury next weekend and have to really concentrate to win these games otherwise momentum could suddenly shift in their rivals’ favour.

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Cricket: Marlborough v Trowbridge - Comfortable victory for Marlborough in difficult conditions

Match Report

West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)

Marlborough v Trowbridge   2nd July 2016

Trowbridge 79 all out;  Marlborough 80-6

Marlborough won by 4 wickets


Marlborough hosted table toppers Trowbridge on a day that was lucky to see cricket played.  The grounds team have had to work hard this week just to see the game played.

Marlborough won the toss and elected to bowl first.  The bowling department needed to build on from the difficulties that they had faced the week before and they quickly put any challenges they had faced to bed when Balusu struck in the fourth over of the day, bowling Pieterson who opted to play off the back foot.  Oakley followed shortly, looking unsure of where his stumps were.

This brought Julyan and Louw to the crease, both looking to dominate the bowling.  However, neither were able to do so and the two opening bowlers respectfully took their second wickets.

Fox took himself off and brought Smith into the attack where he instantly looked to trouble the Trowbridge batsmen.  In a bizarre turn of events Smith took over from last weekend where he took another five wicket haul where he blew the Trowbridge middle order apart.  Mike Reynolds received a ball that Shane Warne would have been happy to bowl which bowled the dangerous number five.  The Trowbridge innings came to an end and they were all out for 79.

At the interval there was clear knowledge that the low total would be hard to get.  The two experienced openers looked set fair in the first two overs, however Crabbe received a Warne like ball form Louw which turned prestigiously.  Every run was going to be a struggle as Trowbridge applied significant pressure.  Day was unlucky to be caught behind for 14 and with only Painter managing to get to double figures, Marlborough were unable to build the partnership that would seal off the game.  Homani and Langton both top scored with 19 each, Langton continues to play some clinical and effective shots.  Marlborough eventually won by four wickets; suitably with man-of-the-match Smith hitting the winning runs.

Marlborough host the new table toppers Marshfield this week as we have reached the mid-point of the season winning five and losing three.

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Cricket: Swindon v Marlborough - Marlborough lose by a single wicket in trying conditions

Match Report

West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)

Swindon v Marlborough   25th June 2016

Marlborough 149-5 (39.0 overs);  Swindon 150-9

Swindon won by 1 wicket


Marlborough travelled to Swindon this weekend on a day that was going to be hindered by mixed weather.  Swindon won the toss and elected bowl.

The Marlborough batmen had to fight hard with a Swindon bowling attack that seemed to making good use of the overnight precipitation and the remaining cloud cover.  The first four all struggled to dig in and Marlborough found themselves in real trouble on 30-4.  Homani and Langton slowly started to build a steady partnership.  The ball was not coming on to the bat easlily and with rain on its way the two batsmen had to build momentum quickly.  

A mark of Marlborough’s success is the running between the wickets which has really been an asset of making better scores and gaining vital batting points.  Langton played some extremely brave and effective shots, hitting cleanly through the ball and piecing the field on a number of occasions. Homani and Langton put on 110 for the fifth wicket and even with a rain interrupted innings the innings finished on 149-5 off 39.

Marlborough thought that they would be in with a good chance when they came to the field.  Fox and Balusu hoped the pitch conditions would favour them however Balusu was not able to hit his usual immaculate length.  Fox dismissed the talented Sore but the change in bowling did not curtail the Swindon innings which was building momentum.

In a strange turn of events Marlborough took Swindon from 57-1 to 78-8 with Marlborough taking some exceptional catches which is really becoming a strong part of their game.  Special mention to Ben Head who took the most bizarre dismissal where Weaver hit the ball back to Head on the full which saw Head parry the ball on to the non-striking batsmen only to react in time to take a ricochet catch!

Marlborough struggled to take the final two wickets with the captain Staff and Codling making a brilliant tenth wicket partnership. Sadly, Marlborough could not take the final wickets as they were unable to build pressure on the batsmen and bowl in good channels.  Paul Smith took the wicket of Codling to claim his first 5 wicket haul in the 1stXI, he bowled well with precision and made good use of the swinging ball.  However, it was all too late as there were overs still in hand and Swindon were able to knock these off in the 37 th over.

Marlborough host table toppers Trowbridge, where Marlborough know there are elements of their game which are working well and there are opportunities to develop others.

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Cricket: Marlborough v Bedwyn - Marlborough romp home by eight wickets against nearest rivals

Match Report

West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)

Marlborough v Great Bedwyn   18th June 2016

Great Bedwyn 58 all out;  Marlborough 60-2

Marlborough won by 8 wickets


Marlborough hosted local rival side Great Bedwyn on a cloudy matchday sponsored by DIY Rainbows.  Despite recent weather, the Marlborough pitch was well prepared and the team we able to start on time without any delay.

Marlborough lost the toss and Bedwyn elected to bat first.  It didn’t take long for wickets to start falling.  Fox struck in the first over of the match, removing John Palmer for 0.  From the other end, Mahan Balusa bowled a devastating spell of bowling.  

The Bedwyn top order were blown away by the Marlborough opening pair.  Bedwyn simply could not recover from 26-4 and were quickly bowled out for just 58 with Balusa finishing with figures of 5-25 from just 7 overs.  He bowled with great accuracy on a fantastic line and length, using the overhead conditions well.  His ability to get late movement reminded the team of the Indian great Javagal Srinath!

Tea was delayed as Marlborough wanted to get the job done.  Aaron Dickinson and Nick Crabbe went out positively to chase the runs down.  There was a slight stutter with the score on 41 when Dickinson played one shot too many and was bowled by Bedwyn newcomer Davies.  Bob Homani was caught shortly after by the same bowler but Harrison Painter and Crabbe saw the team home and Marlborough won by eight wickets.

Next weekend Marlborough travel to Swindon where it will be a hard fought contest, with some players looking to fully establish themselves in a side increasing with confidence every week.

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Cricket: Marlborough v Purton - Partnerships help Marlborough beat Purton

Fraser Gordon bowlingFraser Gordon bowlingMatch Report

West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)

Marlborough v Purton   4th June 2016

Marlborough 223-5;   Purton 152 all out

Marlborough won by 71 runs


Marlborough were playing rivals Purton this weekend in a competitive fixture which saw Purton leading the Wiltshire league.  Marlborough had a slightly changed side from the Westbury fixture as key players Arran Dickinson and Ben Head were not available for selection, however the youth of Fraser Gordon and David West proved to be a very helpful asset to the team in a match kindly sponsored by club stalwart Mark Cooper.

Marlborough won the toss and although it was not a certain decision with the overcast conditions, went with their home knowledge and batted. Nick Crabbe and Fraser Gordon opened the batting and although the Purton bowlers used the heavy cloud cover well, both batsmen ground out the first ten overs starting to put together a positive partnership.

The Purton bowling attack seemed to become beleaguered and frustrated at an early stage and the captain had to make several bowling changes to try and make something happen. Marlborough held fast and knew they were in the ascendency and could really go on to punish the poor bowling with this excellent partnership really taking shape. Marlborough were 97-1 at drinks, Crabbe and Gordon both passed their fifties and the partnership ended on an outstanding 153.

This was a spectacle of how to bat at Marlborough and demonstrated the potential of patient batting early in the innings.  As Homani came to the wicket in the 38th over it was all set-up for the batting team as they were able to keep the over rate ticking along well. Homani, Day and Painter all chipped in with useful runs at the later stage of the innings and Marlborough closed their innings on 223-5

At tea there was a positive attitude amongst the players knowing that they have the potential to do something great but knew they had to work hard. Balusa and Fox continued in a positive way with the ball and Balusa is becoming an extremely reliable foil for Fox as an opening bowling partnership.  Although wickets did not come easily in the first 12 overs the two bowlers stuck to their task and fought hard to keep the game under control.

The Purton overseas player, Pitchers was looking to get on the front foot and dominate the bowling and run positively. However in a moment of madness took on the arm of Painter who ran him out for 26 with a direct hit at the bowlers end.  This brought Bowler to the crease and again he looked to get on with the task until he was caught out in the deep off the bowling of Smith by the safe hands of Langton.  With Balusa having bowled his overs, this brought Gordon and Smith to bowl in tandem, both taking pace off the ball and bowling with good accuracy, the Purton batsmen seemed to get more and more frustrated and were unable to put together a partnership of any substance.  Both Smith and Gordon ended with 3 wickets apiece and the Purton innings was in disarray. Marlborough bowled out Purton for 152, one run shy of Marlborough’s opening stand.

Credit must go to the batsmen who took on board the changes needed to make a good score.  The team is clearly coming together with progress being made in each game.  Marlborough travel to Devizes looking to maintain the progress.

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