After lots of dry weather in April, May turned out to be a disappointment; very wet and cold weather for much of the month was not conducive to getting the long-awaited season under way.
The Sunday team played Ali Hill’s team The Turks on 2 May. Batting first, Taplow scored 195 for 7 in 40 overs, with Rizwan Dharani top scorer on 58. Turks reached their target with Jack Hill 86 not out.
The following week saw the start of the Thames Valley Cricket League season – but wet weather led to the cancellation of many games, including the first XI match at home to Boyne Hill. The second XI game at Kew did go ahead after a delay and the game reduced to 37 overs. Batting first Taplow made 223-8 (Arslan Butt 48, Yasir Ahmed 61 not out). Kew reached 213-9, giving Taplow a win by 10 runs.
The Sunday XI won against visitors Warfield. Warfield scored 170-6. Top wicket taker for Taplow was Charlie Badman with four wickets.
The following weekend, the first XI were again frustrated when their match as Finchampstead was called off without a ball being bowled. The second XI match at home to Beaconsfield got underway, with unexpectedly sunny weather for much of the afternoon. Taplow won the toss and put Beaconsfield in to bat. Two colts caught the eye – George Price, playing in his first league match, took two wickets, while James Western-Kaye took two catches behind the stumps as Beaconsfield reached 236-7.
After the break, heavy rain finally arrived, leaving Taplow on 18-3 and large puddles on the square. As a rainbow emerged, the umpires and captains tried to give things time to dry out, but a 6:30 the games was abandoned.
The next weekend, fortunes were reversed, with the Second XI game at Harpsden cancelled in the morning, whilst the first XI were finally able to get their season underway at home to White Waltham. White Waltham won the toss and elected to put Taplow in to bat. Taplow scored 159, with Muhammad Nasir scoring 61. White Waltham were on 110 for 9 from 32 overs when the rain came. Despite a long wait, no further play was possible, giving Taplow a narrow win.
On Sunday, Ham and Petersham were the visitors; in view of the weather forecast a 30 over match was played. Batting first, Taplow scored 173-3 with Sanjoy Bassi not out on 82. In reply, Ham and Petersham scored 174-3 from 27.4 overs.
There was optimism the following weekend with the promise of better weather but unexpected rain on Friday left some wickets damp when play started on Saturday afternoon. Both Taplow teams will feel disappointed by the outcome of their league matches.
At Royal Ascot, Taplow reached 100 for the loss of two wickets before finishing on 141. The home team reached their target from 41 overs.
At Taplow, the seconds batting first scored 113 against Hillingdon Manor. Although eight wickets tumbled, the visitors got the runs needed from 26 overs.
Sunday afternoon saw the return of “Taplow teas”, served outside and observing Covid regulations. As this trial was a success, we hope to be able to continue with teas on Sundays. For Saturday league games, for now we will continue to ask players to bring their own teas, in line with league guidelines.
A very enjoyable match against Farnham Royal ended with a win for ten-man Taplow. Sanjoy Bassi was again top scorer with 68 and took 3 wickets for 29, with Charlie Badman taking 4 for 35.
The club was very grateful to Ian Pulsford, who has long standing connections with both clubs, who sponsored the tea and and for letting us all raise a glass to congratulate Ben Pulsford who was married on Saturday.