TUCKER GARDNER PREMIER DIV. 1
Khalsa 207 (46.4 overs) Foxton 211-4 (39.1 overs)
Bottom club Khalsa visited Foxton on Saturday and were fairly comfortably beaten by six wickets. Batting after winning the toss they soon lost Mahmood caught behind by a superb diving catch on the leg side by 'keeper Will Wright from the last ball of Andrew Kealy's first over. With the temperature hovering around the 30c mark the pace bowlers would obviously have to be used in short spells. After 14 overs with the total on 28-1 Foxton made a double bowling change and opted for the spin of Tom Stone and Adam Webster. This had immediate results as Webster had Ahmed (12) caught at first slip by Mark Ferrari from his very first ball. Stone then trapped K. Singh l.b.w. in his second over and Khalsa were starting to struggle at 38-3 after 16 overs. Opener Javed and number five Butt then took advantage of some loose bowling, notching several boundaries in a fourth wicket stand of 72, but with the total on 105 Butt (31) became another l.b.w. victim, this time to Ferrari. Javed (55) then departed bowled by Max Bowen and half of the batsmen were back in the pavilion for 115. Akhtar, batting at number seven, then took on the role of anchorman and was well supported by M. Singh (20), G. Singh (11) and visiting skipper J. Singh (15), after 46.1 overs, as the final wicket fell Khalsa had advanced to 207, with Akhtar unbeaten on 40. Kealy picked up three wickets in his later spells to again be Foxton's top bowler with 12.4-3-27-4. The visitors were well satisfied to post a very competitive total.
Following tea the Foxton reply was in immediate trouble as opening bowler Mahmood trapped home captain Gareth Roots and Lawrence Farnum, both l.b.w. cheaply. Webster then joined opener Bowen and they began to repair the damage with a watchful third wicket stand of 48. The introduction of spinner Akhtar then achieved instant successs as he bowled Bowen (24) with his fourth ball. Stone, then became the seventh player in the match adjudged l.b.w. again to Mahmood with the first ball of his second spell and the match was in the balance after 18 overs with the hosts total on 95-4. Foxton jitters would now be dispelled as 15-year-old Chris Pepper joined Webster, looking untroubled on 28. For the next 21 overs the spectators were treated to a superb display of sensible correct batting, along with numerous attractive scoring shots. In the 40th over Webster struck the winning boundary and remained unbeaten after 93 balls on a splendid 95 (12 fours, one six), Pepper, showing the maturity of a veteran, after 78 balls was 54 n.o. (eight fours) in an unbeaten chanceless fifth wicket stand of 129, to steer Foxton home by six wickets. Khalsa's top bowler was Mahmood with 3-74.
Next week Foxton visit March.