Jun 6 2012 By Yann Tear
Thames Valley League Division 2B
Chesham CC 186-7 (52 overs)
Thatcham Town CC 156-9 (48 overs)
MATT RANCE claimed a hat-trick as Chesham dominated their encounter with high-flying Thatcham - but once again a lack of killer instinct left them settling for a draw.
Chesham were invited to bat first by their hosts, and despite a good start from Aftab Habib (69), Andy Goddard (24) and Matt Rance (16), Thatcham's left arm spin attack, led by Chris Bird, slowed the run rate to a trickle as wickets fell.
Aftab Habib played the anchor role and he finally fell inside the last five overs, but his watchfulness allowed skipper Ollie Turner (37) to accelerate at the other end and get Chesham up to a more than competitive total.
The old ball was taken and produced immediate pressure. Matt Rance (4-67) made the initial breakthrough and four overs later Jack Maciver (1-35) got in on the act as well.
After a period of consolidation, Rance removed Duncan Johnson, Andy Rishton and Matt Denness one after the other, completing the first hat-trick taken for Chesham's first XI for many years.
At 58-5 Thatcham were reeling, but recovered courtesy of Ross Schrieber's painstaking 62 and 47 from Paul Jenkins.
Chris Royals removed both in quick succession and Jonathan Burden took two from the other end to leave Thatcham nine wickets down with four overs to go.
Try as they might, however, Chesham's inability to finish off games once again hindered them as they couldn't wrap up the victory and Thatcham held on for a draw.
The second XI beat Amersham in a local derby. Graham Rance hit 45 as Chesham reached 205, despite being pegged back by six Chris Owen wickets.
Mo Asuaf answered for Chesham, however, with six wickets of his own as Amersham were bowled out for 179.
The third XI lost to Chiswick & Latymer, while the fourth XI also won a local derby, this time v Beaconsfield, running out victors by eight wickets.