Sunday, 9 June 2019

Horspath thwarted by World Cup veteran Hall

Darryl Brown, seen playing a reverse sweep, top-scored with 52
HORSPATH found former South Africa Test and ODI all-rounder Andrew Hall a thorn in their side as they slipped to a 20-run defeat at Buckingham Town in Home Counties Premier League Division 1.

The start was delayed following rain, with the match reduced to 37 overs-a-side, and Horspath skipper Will Eason elected to put Buckingham in on a soft pitch after winning the toss. The visitors made the breakthrough with nine on the board when Leigh Tomlinson fended off a rising delivery from Asad Rafiq and Tom Cosford took the catch at second slip.

The young paceman struck again as fellow opener Mark Hulbert presented Kyle Hopper with a looping catch at point to leave Buckingham 31-2. Hall, a veteran of two World Cups, survived a big lbw appeal from off-spinner Cosford, who enjoyed better fortune with a similar shout against Callum Price with the score on 64.

Left-arm spinner Lloyd Belcher then claimed the important wicket of Oxfordshire skipper Jonny Cater for 12 to make it 89-4, with Eason pouching the catch at first slip. Horspath couldn't find a way to prise out Hall, though, and the ex-Northants captain completed his half-century, before Belcher claimed his second victim when he held on to a firm caught and bowled chance from Rob Large with the score on 122.

Two runs later, Eason enjoyed success in his first over when Ranitha Liyanarachchi was caught by Stephen Green at mid-wicket without scoring to make it 124-6. But then Hall found a willing partner in captain Jack Parish with the pair adding a crucial 51 for the seventh wicket.

Buckingham's South African star was finally caught behind by Will Hawtin off Eason for 74 from the second ball of the final over. His runs came from 98 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. Parish finished unbeaten on 23 as Buckingham closed on 183-7. Rafiq's opening spell saw him return figures of 2-21, while spinners Belcher (2-28) and Cosford (1-27) kept it tight, and Eason's 2-10 came off just two overs. 

Horspath's run chase got off to a disastrous start as they slumped to 2-2. Dominic O'Connor fell without scoring, chipping a catch to Liyanarachchi at mid-wicket off Russell White, who then bowled Will Hawtin for one with the opener shouldering arms.

Cosford and Darryl Brown repaired the damage, though, putting on 95 for the third wicket as the visitors looked to gain the upper hand. But they were stopped in their tracks when Cosford was caught by Liyanarachchi at long on off Parish.

Brown brought up his second half-century of the season as Horspath moved on to 111, but without addition to the score Stephen Green was bowled by Parish's quicker ball. Just two runs later, Brown went to fellow South African Hall for 52 with Large taking the catch at deep square leg. The Horspath all-rounder's runs had come off 70 deliveries and included five fours and a six.

Hopper and Jay Parmar took the score on to 136 when the former was lbw for 16 to Hall, who bowled Mark Skelton two runs later to make it 138-7. The run rate had escalated and it proved too much for Horspath as they fell short on 163-8 with Eason caught by White at mid-off off Liyanarachchi from the last ball of the innings for 11. Parmar finished unbeaten on 16. Hall returned figures of 3-41, while White (2-13) and Parish (2-35) also played their part for Buckingham.

It was another case of what might have been for Horspath, who drop two places to seventh in the table.

Scorecard

Posted by: Russ