Berkshire Cricket League Premier Division: Crowthorne & Crown Wood 1st XI (152-6) beat Berkshire County Sports 1st XI (149 all out)
Berkshire County were knocked off the top of the table for the first time this season as they suffered a four-wicket defeat to Crowthorne & Crown Wood who moved up to third.
Crowthorne elected to field first having won the toss. They made a fantastic start to their innings as they got the breakthrough of two early wickets.
With just nine runs on the board the two opening batsmen were both removed to give Berkshire a tricky start to their innings. Rehan Akram (8) was caught lbw by James Sussex and just two balls later Crowthorne had their second wicket as Hasnein Akram was bowled out by Sinith Chandran with the score at 9-2.
Berkshire steadied the ship after an early fall in wickets with Jibran Naeem and Atif Asif at the crease. The pair totalled more than 60 runs together as they recovered their sides disappointing start.
But the third wicket finally came as Asif fell for 21 runs as he was caught out by Sinith Chandran from the bowling of Jeff Cluett.
Berkshire struggled to find any momentum in their innings to keep the score ticking over thanks to some brilliant bowling and fielding from the visitors Crowthorne.
Having surpassed the century mark, Berkshire suffered a collapse in wickets as Jibran Naeem’s impressive innings was ended on 41. Crowthorne then gained three more quick wickets to put their opponents in danger as Anthony Cluett enjoyed a clinical spell of bowling to dismiss the tail end of the Berkshire batting order.
With Berkshire on 149, Cluett took the final two wickets without conceding any more runs to complete a five wicket haul as the hosts finished on a modest total.
Similarly to Berkshire, Crowthorne started their innings disastrously as Ganes Pun fell for a duck, bowled out by Adrees Shaheen. His opening partner followed soon after as Anthony Cluett was gone for nine, with Crowthorne on 13-2.
Crowthorne’s batting struggles continued as Berkshire strove determinedly to defend their 149 total and the wickets kept tumbling.
Nick Outram batted strongly to provide some runs and resilience for Crowthorne but was unable to find a consistent partner as the brilliant bowling of Ali Naeem removed the next three batsmen with Crowthorne on 55-5.
With the match hanging in the balance, Jeff Cluett joined Outram at the middle and provided some much needed consistency. They formed a strong alliance as Crowthorne moved onto 139 before Cluett was caught out by Hasnein Akram from the bowling of Saqib Ahmed.
Crowthorne then sealed the victory after 35.2 overs with four wickets left to spare as they climbed up to third in the table.
Berkshire County Sports batting: R Akram 8, H Akram 1, J Naeem 41, Asif 21, A Naeem 14, Asif 5, F Tariq 15, H Naeem 3, Ahmed 14, Shaheen 0, H Tariq 0.
Crowthorne & Crown Wood bowling: Chandran 1-36, Sussex 1-16, J Cluett 1-24, Godbole 0-25, Golding 2-27, A Cluett 5-7
Crowthorne & Crown Wood batting: A Cluett 9, Pun 0, Outram 62no, Cartledge 6, Vogel 0, Brundish 12, J Cluett 36, R Godbole 4no, Golding dnb, Chandran dnb, Sussex dnb.
Berkshire County Sports bowling: Akram 0-32, Shaheen 2-18, A Naeem 3-22, F Tariq 0-19, H Tariq 0-11, S Ahmed 1-17.