Painter puts gloss on win with half-century
Teen scores 69 runs to help Hayes’ six-wicket victory
JOSH Painter helped Hayes into contention for promotion with a peerless maiden half century against Gerrards Cross seconds as they claimed a six-wicket win.
The teenager brought his team up to 100, displaying a sense of maturity with straight cover drives, while also gaining 69 runs to leave them second in the league table.
The opposition batted first with Billy Moone continuing his great form, removing two batsmen with identical deliveries for Painter to catch behind the stumps.
Moone then castled another before removing batsman Haroon Mohammad with a sharp caught and bowled, leaving Gerrards Cross at 42-4.
Ramneek Madial provided a key supporting role to keep play tight, finding some good pace but had no luck. Kulvinder Singh, the division’s leading wicket taker, was brought into attack, removing the opposition captain Steve Rimmer with his first delivery leaving Hayes on 75-5 from 25 overs.
Youngsters Charlie Arrons and Toby Lane started strong, clearing the ropes with ease, leaving the home side on a commendable 131-5 from 34 overs, but captain Shahbaz Haider instructed his side the next 10 overs had to be theirs. Singh responded to Haider’s demands by removing Lane, with Pyare Sidhu mastering a neat catch at long on before Painter took a quick stumping chance to remove Arrons.
Ross Fyfe hit some huge sixes for his side with Harman Momi chipping in with a couple of wickets for Jasraj Ghrial and Sidhu to take further neat catches to end the innings on 180.
As the restart got under way, Hayes lost form batsman Ghrial as Peter Dorman and Ted Bracey found some good ground with the new ball.
Painter showed his experience and control, with straight and cover drives paired with hooks and pulls, impressing the fans on the terraces.
Supported by Muhammed Arshad, Hayes moved to 66-1 before Arshad and Sidhu departed to leave them on 74-3 with no problems with the overs.
The return of teenager Gagan Sharma, who has just completed his A level exams, paid dividends as he showed crucial determination in the middle overs, with the young players bringing up the 100 before Painter was bowled through the gate by Steve Rimmer.
With 70 runs still needed for victory, Gerrards Cross were sensing a chance of a collapse, but Haider got his eye in and counter attacked with fluent cover and straight drives.
Faster running between the wickets saw the opportunity for both Sharma and Haider to gather further momentum and see the game through.
Gerrards Cross changed their bowlers to try new tactics, but Haider had other plans as he hit the winning runs to also bring up his half century.
n CONTROLLED PERFORMANCE: From left, Kulvinder Singh, Josh Painter and Billy Moone of Hayes CC