TUCKER GARDNER PREMIER DIV.1
Foxton 230-5 (48 overs) Nassington 186 (39.5 overs)
Foxton were crowned Tucker Gardner Premier League Division 1 champions for the first time following their 44 run victory in their home match against Nassington on arguably the best weather day of the season. Opting to bat first after winning the toss on a good flat surface they lost opener Will Wright with the score on 30 after seven overs, Max Bowen followed in the next over, caught behind for a useful 23. Lawrence Farnum and Adam Webster then produced a solid third wicket stand of 40, but with the total on 72 Farnum miscued and was caught in the deep for 16 to become paceman Tanwir Afzal's second scalp. The consistent Chris Pepper then continued in his rich vein of form and with Webster then put on 49 for the fourth wicket which included by both several attractive shots for boundaries. The visitors spinner Kasim Ikhlaq now in his fifth over then claimed Webster for a patient 48 (seven fours) caught at first slip, and after 32 overs Foxton were in a good position to accelerate the scoring rate at 131-4. Home skipper Gareth Roots, now batting down the order, after a watchful start then began to find his touch and with Pepper notched a best of the match partnership of 86 at a run a ball. Pepper was then bowled by Afzal in his second spell in the penultimate over before tea for a well crafted 57 (nine fours) and maintained his league average of over 50 for this season. At the break Roots was unbeaten on 45 from 44 balls and Foxton were fairly satisfied to post 230-5 after their allotted 48 overs. Afzal was top Nassington bowler with 3-66 with one each for Ikhlaq and Tom Norman.
At the resumption the hosts opening bowlers Andrew Kealy and Tyler Deas toiled hard but the lone success in their opening spells was for the latter having Gary Scotcher caught behind by Wright. A second wicket stand of 41 between Imran Khan and visitors 'keeper Daniel Robinson then had the visitors looking well set on 61 after 18 overs. The introduction of off spinner Tom Stone at once changed Foxton's position as he claimed three wickets in his first six overs including the dangerous looking Khan for 46, two of Stone's victims were very sharp caught and bowled chances. Fellow spinner Webster then struck with his very first ball from a long hop and after 25 overs Foxton's were now sensing the vital win as Nassington had subsided to 97-5. With the total on 117 after 32 overs Kealy took a spectacular diving overhead catch in the deep, another victim for Stone to dismiss a threatening looking Ikhlaq. Bowen then effected the run out of Adam Scotcher, and the fall of this wicket ensured that Foxton's were the champions having gained the required 13 batting and bowling bonus points to wrap up the title. Afzal, batting at number eight, had in this time opened a powerful assault on the hosts bowlers, but with the tail now exposed the final result was now in sight, his brave effort from 22 balls of 53 (five fours, four sixes) proved in vain, and he was last out caught on the edge of the boundary by Roots from Deas in his second spell, and with another maximum of 25 points gained the celebrations could now begin. Stone was the home sides leading bowler with 12-3-62-5 backed up by Deas 2-42 with one each for Webster and Kealy, whose seasons tally, with seven of Foxton's matches curtailed by the weather or abandoned, now stands at 64 league strikes, an outstanding achievement.
Next week Foxton are at home to Camden in the final match of this rain affected season.