Gerrards Cross CC 197-9 (60 overs) Farnham Royal CC 143-6 (50 overs) Match Drawn
AUSTRALIAN Michael Ready was the stand out player for the Cross in their opening league game of 2012, hitting an unbeaten 81 which saved the innings from disaster and enabled the hosts to set a far more challenging target.
Batting first after losing the toss, the Cross crawled to 13-2 in the 10th over, in conditions which offered every assistance to the bowlers and made batting extremely difficult.
Javed Khan (3-45) and Duncan Bradshaw (4-18) kept up the pressure and wickets continued to tumble. At 97-7, the Cross were struggling to set a defendable total. But Ready and Richard Knudsen (30) mixed solid defence and controlled attacking in an eighth wicket stand of 97. Ready pressed the accelerator in the final few overs.
Royal also found batting difficult, with a painfully slow scoring rate early on. However, the arrival of skipper Ollie Clayson (43) at the crease swung the game in Royal’s favour as he took control and increased the scoring rate.
At 85-2, the Cross were in desperate need of a wicket and came when Matt Watson (3-42) had Clayson stumped by Sam Westaway. He then dismissed Bradshaw two overs later and Royal began to fall behind the required rate.
Royal’s cause was not helped by the loss of two further wickets and they decided the game was up. Khan and Ian Pulsford battened down the hatches as the Cross pressed for more wickets, but the game petered out into a draw.