Barley just do enough to beat Walden

BARLEY just about edged past Saffron Walden III on Saturday with two wickets and two overs to spare.

BARLEY just about edged past Saffron Walden III on Saturday with two wickets and two overs to spare.

Saffon Walden skipper Toby Montague won the toss and decided to bat on a hard but green Barley wicket. Openers Mordini and White made little headway in the early overs against Ben Howland (1-27 in six overs) and Mickey Ross (1-10 in 10 overs).

The wiley Ross bowled seven flawless maidens as Walden managed only 20 in their first 10 overs. Once Chris Markham and Nick Butler had caught Mordini out for 23 off Ross and White for 26 off Symes, Chris Wisbey then took on the Barley attack. Switching ends had no effect as Wisbey slogged away, passing his fifty and leaving the unusually luckless Symes having taken just one wicket in his 10 overs for 68 runs.

Martin Beedell then brought on Butler who could have dismissed him first ball if Markham hadn’t tried to celebrate before he’d actually caught the ball.

Wisbey seemed to have a ton in the bag until, while on 80, he hoisted one more slog towards the boundary only to be caught by Ben Howland.

No other Walden batter offered much resistance as Beedell took 5-51 off his 10 overs including three caught and bowled. Despite the slow start the Walden top-order had done its job to post a highly competitive 210-7 to defend.

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With several first teamers missing it was left to stand-in openers Chris Allan and Stuart Whitmore to get Barley off to a good start. Whitmore was nervous, however, and quickly dollied back a caught and bowled to Raj Ghelani (3-52 off 10 overs).

Howland was run out while trying to steal a third run for 10 before Dave Riggs, who had scored 80 in the reverse fixture, was bowled by Marjoribanks for 10.

The Felsted School paceman then found that the faster he bowled it the harder Allan hit it to the boundary. After some more harsh treatment from Allan, a cleverly disguised slow ball saw him play through too early and sky the ball back for a smartly taken catch at mid-on for 51.

Rick Wilson steadied the ship for a while as Symes then thundered shots around the ground as Wisbey generously gave back many of the runs he had earlier scored with some wayward bowling, going for 39 chanceless runs off just five overs.

Wilson was then caught out for 7 off Ghelani which brought Ali Wallace to the crease. Four off his first ball was followed up with three more boundaries as he punished Wisbey with 17 off one over.

Jamie Ring was equally wasteful going for 51 off his nine overs although he was lucky enough to have Symes caught for 54. Wallace was caught off Ghelani and Beedell chipped in with 15 until it was left to Nick Butler (0*) and Chris Markham (7*), in his lucky Barley cap, to guide Barley past their target with two overs remaining.