Reed secured an important win against Flitwick on Saturday which all but secures Championship Cricket at the Green for next season and allows them to focus on the possibility of a top 4 finish with a good end to the season.
Flitwick won the toss and elected to bat on what looked a good wicket despite the rain on Friday and before the game. Although there was a little bit of encouragement for opening bowlers Ed Wharton (1-47) and Toby Fynn (1-54) this largely proved the case and Reed were pleased to see the back of Bedfordshire cricketer George Thurstance for just 15 thanks to Fynn. The middle overs proved to be fairly even with the run rate not getting out of control but the visitors looking to build a decent total at 116-1 off 25 overs with Russell (57) and Harry Thurstance (38) batting well. However, the introduction of Sean Tidey (4-44) seemed to swing the game in Reed’s favour a little as he bowled a good spell including two quick wickets which combined with Mutucumarana (1-41) removing overseas player Nawela at 137-4 Reed were looking on top particularly given the sometimes fragile Flitwick batting. However, the visitors then got on top of the Reed bowlers despite Tidey and Wharton returning to good effect in the last 10 overs. Perrin and Malkani largely did the damage taking them to 247-7 off their 50 overs.
Reed knew they would need to bat well to win the game but on a decent batting wicket the opportunity was there. Although losing the important wicket of William Heslam for 8, James Heslam and the nerveless Rob Lankester (31) got Reed off to a good start taking the score to 80-1 off 17 overs. Then once Lankester departed Rich Wharton (55) and Heslam (90) forged a significant partnership taking Reed to 184-2. Although Wharton and Tidey then fell, Ed Wharton joined Heslam and they scored quickly to put Reed in the driving seat needing 24 off 18 balls to win with 6 wickets in hand. However, when Heslam then went the game opened up again but Ed Wharton held his nerve and he and Mutucumarana made light work of the last few runs including a big 6 and 4 in consecutive balls by Wharton (26*) to seal an excellent well-timed run chase by Reed in front of a big crowd following the cancellation of the 2nd XI game due to rain.
Report submitted by James Heslam.