Horspath Cricket Club News story

Custom Script (e.g Ads Script)

Ruff and Eason turn on style in Horspath victory

01 Aug 2022

ELLIOT Ruff and Robbie Eason (pictured) hit sparkling half-centuries as Horspath posted back-to-back wins in Home Counties Premier League Division 2 with a seven-wicket victory over bottom club Tring Park at the Recreation Ground.
The commanding win saw Patrick Foster's side shoot up the table to third - their highest position this season - albeit 39 points behind second-placed Wargrave.
It was also Horspath's second double of the campaign following last week's incredible win at Thame Town.
If that success was dramatic in its nature with the side fighting back from a desperate position, this triumph was far more routine being built on a disciplined display with the ball before the batsmen knocked off the runs with few alarms.
Bowling their overs at an impressive rate, Horspath restricted Tring, who gave a debut to former England one-day international wicketkeeper/batsman Phil Mustard, to what appeared a below-par 195-4 after putting the visitors in to bat under grey skies.
With their top-order finally firing, that's how it turned out as Ruff (58) and Eason (50no) led the hosts to 200-3 and maximum points.
Horspath's hopes of an early breakthrough were thwarted by openers Mohamad Choudhry and Ben Jacobs, who put on 54 for the first wicket.
But then Foster got one to move away and find the outside of Choudhry's bat when he had made 24 with Will Hawtin gratefully accepting the chance behind the stumps.
That brought Mustard to the crease and the 39-year-old former Durham captain, who played 10 ODIs and two T20s for England between 2007-8, kept the scoreboard ticking over with Jacobs.
However, their progress was steady rather than spectacular as Horspath rattled through the overs at such a pace that they had already bowled 40 in the two-hour session before lunch, which arrived with the visitors 122-1.
Jacobs completed a patient half-century after the resumption, going to his 50 with a single down to extra cover by the nets.
Mustard, whose highest ODI score was 83 against New Zealand in Napier, followed suit shortly afterwards with a reverse sweep for four towards the cycle speedway track.
But the two left-handers' partnership was broken by Imraan Manack when Jacobs, who hit five fours in his 126-ball stay, was caught at mid-wicket by Lloyd Belcher for 51 after the pair had put on 80 for the second wicket, leaving Tring 134-2.
Mustard had also been held largely in check by the tight lines bowled by Manack and Foster, and the South African off-spinner accounted for the ex-England man for 56 when he skied an attempted sweep and sent a top edge to Max Smith at fine leg. His runs came off 97 balls and included five fours and a six.
Suddenly the overs were fast running out for Tring. Scott Rolfe gave the innings some late impetus with an unbeaten 39 off 33 balls in partnership with Matt Smalley-Harris, who was the final wicket to fall when he was run out by Manack's throw to Hawtin after being sent back having set off for a second.
Horspath's bowlers, led by Manack, who took 2-48 from 18 overs, and Foster, with 1-47 from 18 overs, had done an excellent job to keep the visitors below the 200-mark.
The batsmen then stepped up to the plate. Openers Tom Coleman (23) and Jimmy Phillips (29) both made solid starts before falling as the hosts reached 60-2.
That laid the platform for Ruff and Eason to share a third-wicket stand of 83 as they steered Horspath towards victory.
Ruff rode his luck early on before imposing himself on the game with three glorious sixes - one over mid-wicket and two straight towards the village end - while Eason was content to play a supporting role as Horspath reached tea at 118-2.
Ruff went to his half-century by pushing a single into the onside off Mustard, who bowled four overs of leg-spin without success rather than take up his customary position behind the stumps.
However, his 79-ball knock, which also featured seven fours, came to an end with Horspath on 143 when he holed out to Choudhry at long on off Weymes.
Eason continued to be untroubled, though, and with Manack relishing coming to the crease with the innings on solid foundations, Horspath secured victory without further loss.
Eason stepped up the pace, hitting a straight six into the sightscreen at the bottom of the ground to go with some cracking offside boundaries.
With three needed to win, he reached his fifty in bizarre fashion courtesy of an overthrow after the ball ricocheted off the stumps with Manack twice surviving run out attempts as he scrambled to make his ground after being sent back, before the pair cantered through for a single.
It was Eason's first Home Counties half-century since he made 67 against Datchet in 2019, with his runs coming off 92 balls, and including seven fours and a six.
Manack, who had a fine all-round game, then sealed the victory in style by smashing the next delivery for a huge six over the hedge at mid-wicket to finish 29 not out.
Horspath will seek to make it three wins on the spin when they visit Amersham next Saturday in the last timed game, before the 50/50-over contests return.


Latest table

Match Highlights