Burnham CC ease relegation fears with Bishop's Stortford win
By Rob Stevens • Published 13 Aug 2012 12:42 0 Comments
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Royals rule: Farnham Royal celebrate the wicket of Tom Heath (20), during their narrow one-wicket win against Falkland on Saturday. Pictures by Paul Johns 124836.
BURNHAM CC's battle against relegation from Division One of the Home Counties Cricket League was given a huge boost on Saturday after a 23-run win at Bishop's Stortford.
Captain Shaid Nadeem described the clash at Cricketfield Lane as a '50 pointer' with the losers likely to be made new favourites for the drop along with basement boys Oxford.
But Burnham's narrow win - thanks largely to a six-wicket haul from Aftab Khan - edges them 10 points ahead of their fellow strugglers with just four weeks of the season remaining.
Nadeem's team set a modest target of 120 with Adnan Shabbir making 38 in the middle order before he was caught by Paul Reed off the bowling of David Williams (1-14).
Reed himself led Bishops' bowling attack with figures of 4-46 including Burnham's top order - Rezwan Nadeem (0), Nehman Nadeem (15) and Adnan Malik (6).
Overseas star Khan - not for the first time this summer - guided the Memorial Ground-based club to victory, ripping his way through the host's batting line-up with figures of 6-39, including the prized wicket of Daniel Blackopp for 32.
Sajid Aziz backed up the attack from the other end returning 3-24 and secured the points when clean bowling the dangerous Ruan Premadasa for 32. Bishop's Stortford were eventually dismissed for just 97 after four balls of the 40th over.
Khan's figures, however, were matched by seamer Zulfiqar Butt during Slough's comfortable six-wicket win at Cove - a victory that moves Bobby Sher's team into third place in Division Two West, just 12 points behind new leaders Aston Rowant.
Butt took 6-66 to restrict Cove to 178 including a smart caught and bowled dismissal of captain Chris Benham for 66.
Slough's reply got off to a shaky start when opener Omar Jamshad was caught off the bowling of Andy McNeill (2-37) for just nine.
But ex-Pakistan test match player Muhammad Talha (26) and Shan Khan (24) got the run chase back on track before an unbeaten 77 from Kuran Kumar saw Sher's men across the line at Grasmere Road.
Farnham Royal moved off the foot of the table for the first time this season after a narrow one-wicket win against Falkland at Church Road.
The victory moves Royals level on points with third-bottom Thame Town with both sides still locked in a relegation dog-fight with basement boys Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Naveed Zaigham and Christopher Esh took 3-38 and 3-51 respectively as Falkland were bowled out for 202 - Zaigham dismissed Hamza Riazuddin for 52 and sent Bruce Martin back to the pavilion one run short of his half-century.
Farnham's reply got off to a slow start after the loss of openers Daniel Simpson and Duncan Bradshaw - both for a duck - left them 3-2.
But a third-wicket stand of 110 between George Thurstance (89) and Javed Khan (52) got them back into contention before Esh (6*) and Zaigham (8*) hit the winning runs.
Elsewhere, Thames Valley Division 2a leaders Datchet romped to a fifth straight victory after a seven-wicket win at Finchampstead 2nds.
The hosts set a target of 157 that Tim Alldis' unbeaten team chased with relative ease thanks to Callum Gallagher's 88.
North Maidenhead slipped to fourth after a heavy 10-wicket defeat at Basingstoke & North Hants 2nd XI.
Basingstoke declared after 45 overs on 317-0 with Dan McCormack (171*) and Richard Vinn (123*) unbeaten at the crease.
Maidenhead, however, were not so dominant after they were dismissed for 131 - Wassim Ahmed top scored with 67* while Basingstoke's Chris Chandler took 6-38.
Windsor moved clear of the division's relegation places after am eight-wicket win at struggling Cookham Dean.
Spinner Chris Kellard returned 5-56 as Cookham were bowled out for 187 a target Windsor chased with seven overs to spare with Mark Huggins and captain Adam Weston unbeaten on 87 and 64 respectively.
Finally, Slough 2nds must win at least two of their remaining four fixtures or be relegated into the Thames Valley's third tier after a heavy eight wicket defeat against Fleet.
Ian Muriden took 6-54 as Slough were all out for just 115 at Upton Court Park - a total Fleet knocked-off with inside 27 overs.
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