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.
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.