Manning century inspires Ascot
Ascot Cricket Club 1st Grade: Ascot 263 (Manning 100, Catania 82) and 7-100 (Thiele 38) d Mt Lawley 112 (Dalton 3-34, Mezger 3-41, Long 2-17)
Dan Manning was the master craftsman, posting a near faultless stylish century. It is only the second ton for Manning, his maiden century coming in 2005/06 and his 12 boundaries represent a career best for him in an innings. His partner was Dave Catania who was patience personified, scoring a solitary single from the first 38 balls he received. Eventually dismissed for 82, Catania has now scored 44no, 30no, 61 and 82 in his Ascot career for a staggering average of 108.50. 3rd Grade: Carlisle 141 (Asghar 4-40, Hamling 3-60) and 74 (McMurray 5-20, Paulraj 222) d Ascot 118 (Cunningham 53, Setty 21)
Opening pair Jason Hamling and Ali Asghar opened the wounds early for Carlisle at 2-9 with a wicket apiece. With a stand approaching 50, Arun 'Muscles' Paulraj /Kumar was the catalyst for a procession of Carlisle wickets. Ali returned to action and the Asghar/Hamling combination was irresistible, snaring three of the next four wickets for just 14 runs. Asghar then ended the knock of a big-hitting tailender and Dave Atchison closed the innings. 4th Grade: Ascot 7-212d (Wills 55, Symcox 53, Meikle 51, Delaney 20) d Stirling 96 (Montgomery 3-22, Ring 2-0, Symcox 2-10, Kumar 2-22) and 83 (Montgomery 4-12, Evans 2-6, Symcox 2-18, Sharma 2-23)
It was experience plus (982 games) in the opening combination of Rob ‘Pud’ Meikle and Symcox and they put Stirling to the sword with ease. The stand realised 84 before Pud had his stumps rearranged, but not before posting his 77th career half-century. First innings points were gained just before stumps and quick runs must be foremost in Ascot’s thinking next week if an outright is to be achieved. 5th Grade: Leederville 199 (Hallows 3-39, Easwaran 2-44) d Ascot 96 (Duncan 20no) and 3-95 (Hayes 40, Hart 24no)
From chocolates (6-263) to boiled lollies (96) was the fourths tail of woe this week. Apart from the stubborn Terry Duncan, no batsman was able to remain at the crease long enough to make an impact. Kelvyn Bastin’s 12 was the only double figure contribution in a 5-37 scoreline, with three wickets going down for one run. Peter Gaspar provided some support for Duncan, as did Ram Easwaran before he ran himself out. Duncan stood tall for 89 balls but his teammates failed to follow his lead, facing a combined 208 balls for 10 batsmen.
Much more dedication to the task was shown by the Ascot batsmen in their second knock. Faron Hart’s unconquered 24 from 76 balls was the highlight, though Adam Hayes (40) showed he was a batsman of some calibre. 7th Grade: Mt Lawley 138 (Di Marco 3-24, Cresswell 3-26, Western 2-20 ) and 1/26 v Ascot 95 (Duvedi 25, Ramakrishna 15)
A superb bowling performance was cancelled out by a dismal reply with the bat and left the fifths in a dire situation.
The stand was broken by Peter Di Marco in his third over, starting a period of dominance by the Ascot attack which lasted the rest of the innings.
The ninth wicket went to Ranjith Ramakrishna who bowled some good ‘uns in his six overs. Peter Di Marco’s analysis of 18-1024-3 was exceptional in the extreme. From over five to over 15, nine of the 10 overs were maidens, including seven in a row and including two wickets. In his last 14 overs (84 balls) there were only five scoring shots and he took 2-9 in that stanza.
Needing just to survive in the half hour to stumps, Ascot wickets tumbled like ninepins.
Arvind Duvedi and Ranjith Ramakrishna batted through the first session adding 39 runs to the meagre total. Duvedi made a sensible and well compiled 25 in his first match this season. Ramakrishna displayed a ton of patience in his 88 balls faced and will benefit from his time in the middle.
A gallant last wicket defiance was made by Rick Western, who showed all his fighting qualities, and Peter Di Marco, adding another red ink innings - the 123rd of his career - to his resume. The only virtue for the Ascot innings was that it lasted for 63 overs.