Hursley Park III (A) - 4 August 2007
Won by 77 Runs

Idlers 225-5 beat Hursley Park III 148 by 77 runs

Captain Andy Harmsí feats with both bat and ball inspired his side to a fine victory away at Hursley Park on Saturday where the Idlers were keen to avoid a repeat of a disastrous performance there in 2005 when they were dealt a heavy 7-wicket defeat.

After winning the toss on a hot August afternoon and electing to bat on a well-maintained track, the Idlers got off to their best start of the season with openers Jack Betenson and Alex Richards putting on 84 runs for the first wicket.

While Richards (45) played the riskier, more aggressive cricket, Betenson
(42) saw off the opening bowlers and steadily increased the rate of his scoring. They frustrated the Hursley team out in the heat of the day and laid the foundations for a potentially good score. Both batsmen were unfortunate not to reach their first half centuries of the campaign.

A rapid 30 smashed by George Shepherd in a partnership of 49 with Harms accelerated the scoring and once Shepherd was dismissed after mis-timing a late cut Harms took over the mantle and did some big hitting of his own.

Harms played a classic captainís knock anchoring the innings and his 74* showed why he remains the leading run scorer for the club by blending power with placement and astute running. He, too, rode his luck several times but by remaining unbeaten he ensured that maximum batting points were accrued and a difficult target was posted for the home side.

Hursley Park got off to a slow start and were curtailed by the Idlers opening bowling duo of Nick Lawrence and Martin Clements who was back in the side after a long absence. Two early wickets for 1st change left-armer Alec Bartlett (2-29) left the home side on 71-3 at the mid-innings drinks break with a metaphorical mountain to climb.

With an ever-escalating run-rate Harms brought himself on and took the pace off the ball inviting Hursley to attack. By mixing up the flight and pace of the ball he added to his dayís haul by bagging figures of 4-15 leading his side to one of their best wins of the current season.
TEAM : Jack Bettensen, Alex Richards, Andy Harms, George Shepherd, Ben Impey, Max Biles, Alex Ince, Grant Whitcombe, Martin Clements, Nick Lawrence, Alec Bartlett

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