Acme – Sunday 7th August 2011

WestX1 run riot amid Hurley burly

Winchmore Hill CC

WEST X1 255-2 beat Acme 239-8 by 16 runs

The West X1 batting renaissance continues. At a shower-swept Winchmore Hill they piled up their best score of the summer thanks to a record second-wicket partnership of 177 in 26 overs between Chris Boden (107) and Thomas Hurley (88*) – the fifth highest in club history and Chris’s second century – his personal best for the team and the 19th ton in the Westies’ 26 years. Acme won the toss and put their opponents in to bat, a decision they must have later regretted.

On a perfect wicket with good bounce that survived surprisingly well in the difficult conditions, Acme recovered from 100-5 to almost snatch victory in an exciting climax, though they were always just that little bit too far behind the run rate. Matches between these sides have always been high scoring affairs and with a quick outfield and a short boundary on one side that was always going to be the case again. For once the Beggars held their catches, though the couple that went to grass late on fortunately did not affect the result.

It is no fluke that the batting improvement has coincided with the introduction of Hurley into the top order. The Charterhouse schoolboy played another immaculate hand following the early loss of Richard Hopkin, when the new ball was still seaming around. He finished undefeated just 12 short of a deserved century and now has a batting average of 103! Chris Wright joined in the fun with a quickfire 34 in the last few overs as Acme wilted. Boden’s innings owed something to luck early on but once into his stride the acting skipper proved unstoppable, at one point having the curious scoring sequence of 6-4-5. Spare a thought for poor Richard, playing only his second game for the club, missing out on the runfest – caught and bowled Williamson for 6 – and later retiring with a suspected broken finger keeping wicket.

Chris Boden was not content with a century, as he quickly reduced Acme to 33-3 with the ball, sub keeper Steve Bignell taking Batra behind the wicket before Bonney-James and Suva miscued into the outfield, Matt Cattee and Mike Delanian safely reeling in the catches, as did Steve Rennie to dismiss Thompson at 96. There was a fine spell from the luckless Stewart Taylor, but it was Acme’s Taylor who carried the fight to West X1, hitting a brisk 92, including two sixes off Dave Laing in one over before being outfoxed by the wily wingco. Dave trebled his wicket haul for the season despite going for 11 an over. There were further catches for Rowan Allerton and John McGirr as Acme refused to give up the chase. John’s came from a slow Rennie wide carved to backward point, a dramatic tumbling effort to rival Phil Hill’s the week before.

Man-mountain Growler Prest (27*) struck some mighty blows late on as Acme briefly threatened an unlikely victory, but Westies held their nerve to win by just 16 runs on a day that saw nearly 500 runs scored in 70 overs for the loss of ten wickets.

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