Crows fall just short

PUBLISHED: 13:16 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 May 2010

Royston 106 all out lost to Hardwick & Caldecote 289-9 by 183 runs Royston slumped to defeat at the hands of second-placed Hardwick & Caldecote on Saturday as the Crows fell short by 183 runs but secured enough bonus points to secure their status in the l

Royston 106 all out lost to Hardwick & Caldecote 289-9 by 183 runs

Royston slumped to defeat at the hands of second-placed Hardwick & Caldecote on Saturday as the Crows fell short by 183 runs but secured enough bonus points to secure their status in the league.

Losing the toss and bowling first on a road-like batting track, Royston were up against it from the start, battling to protect the short boundaries as three of the Hardwick line-up scored half centuries.

Hardwick scored at an average of over six per over, opener Waduge racked up 76 before he was dismissed courtesy of some sharp glove work, Jamie Warren whipping off the bails as he tried to attack the bowling of Ashley Judge.

Judge provided the breakthrough after openers Chris Hootton and Toby Fynn managed to remove only one wicket in the opening overs.

Athukoralie lasted only nine deliveries before he was trapped lbw by Matt Gillham for 13, meanwhile left hander O'Reilly held the innings together, gradually accelerating the run rate.

The real damage was done however when Ainsle came to the crease and proceeded to clatter a succession of mighty shots, utilising the short boundaries to destroy the Royston change bowling.

Having taken the first wicket, Fynn was re-introduced alongside Hootton and, with a large platform, Hardwick begun to swing with vigour.

Hootton managed to pick up four wickets including the scalps of Ainsle who made 75 from 44 balls, and Reilly who made 68 before the excellent Warren snaffled a leg side catch as he tried to pull.

Fynn contributed a further wicket as Warren took anther excellent leg side catch, and Royston cleared out the lower order in a matter of overs to accrue some vital bowling bonus points.

Martin Leary took Royston's final wicket as Hardwick ended on 289-9.

In reply, Royston opened with Martin Leary and Matt Graham, however the home side's bowling was tight and wicket to wicket. Leary made 29 before he was bowled, leaving Graham who was struggling to find his way.

Excellent with the gloves, Warren fell on only nine when he was bowled by Athukorale and the Crows re-focused on attaining as many batting points as possible.

Paul Miller was the thorn in Hardwick's side, the only Royston batsman to demonstrate any grit to last the duration as the middle order came and went.

Graham was bowled around his legs by a yorker as he tried to clip through midwicket and Ainsle stepped up the ante to clear through the visiting lower order, claiming four wickets.

The defeat was complete when Miller was spectacularly removed by a flying diving catch at mid-wicket from Allen for 37 as Royston were bowled out for a meagre 106.

The final game of the season beckons at home next Saturday to league leaders Histon as Royston look to finish on a high having avoided relegation.

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