Budd century proves in vain as Jamie Maynard leads Wellesbourne home

Leek Wootton's Stuart Budd hits out on his way to an unbeaten century.
Leek Wootton's Stuart Budd hits out on his way to an unbeaten century.

Wellesbourne kept up their recent good form with a fine four-wicket win at Leek Wootton in an enthralling Cotswold Hills Premier contest which featured plenty of twists and turns.

Given the hot conditions, Leek Wootton had no hesitation in taking first strike on winning the toss.

However, they were made to work hard for their runs as Bourne’s opening bowlers Gary Maynard and Arron Snipe beat the bat on several occasions before Maynard eventually had Mike Allison caught behind by Dave Barnett.

Soon after, he trapped fellow opener Ian Sommerville lbw to reduce the hosts to 34 for two.

Ben Bramley and Sandeep Murthy began to recover the situation with a careful stand of 28 before Bramley was caught at cover point by Sean Hopwood, giving Maynard his third wicket.

Snipe then picked up two quick wickets, bowling Murthy (16) and trapping Graeme Couchman in front and when Matt Burge fell to a sharp slip catch by Jamie Maynard off Darren Mole, Wootton were in trouble on 72 for six.

However, the in-form Stuart Budd, in partnership with Pradeep Najular, took the score to 121 before the latter was caught by Jonny Spence off Hopwood for 21.

Budd, now with Anuj Murtha as his partner, continued to play a masterful innings with some fine strokes as the hosts moved towards a decent total.

Murtha went bowled by Hopwood for 12 but Budd carried on and reached an excellent century in the final over before Zain Ansari was run out off the final ball.

Budd finished unbeaten on 101 having taken his side to 209 for nine from their 45 overs.

Maynard (3-49), Snipe (2-35), Hopwood (2-43) and Mole (1-50) picked up the wickets.

Wellesbourne set off in style with both openers finding the boundary in the first couple of overs.

However, Murtha struck two blows, having Myles Isted caught behind by Budd and then Gary Maynard (14) went the same way to leave Bourne on 32 for two.

Wootton were well on top and in good spirits when, with the score on 47, Spence was caught and bowled by Murtha.

John Edden and Dave Barnett then combined with a good stand and both players were looking untroubled as they took Bourne passed the 100-mark.

However, on 116 Barnett was adjudged lbw to Couchman for 32 and 19 runs later Edden, on 45, was caught at deep backward square leg to give Murtha his fourth wicket.

This brought Darren Mole in to join Jamie Maynard and the duo’s low-risk strategy saw them slowly accumulate singles interspersed with the odd boundary to push the visitors closer to their target.

Wootton toiled as the sixth-wicket pair took the score to 188 before Mole (13) gave a return catch to Couchman.

Snipe (11 not out) then joined Jamie Maynard and these two finished the job in fine style with Maynard straight-driving a six to win the game, bringing up his half-century in the process as he finished on 55 not out.

Murtha (4-51) and Couchman (2-46) were the pick of the home bowlers.