Stalemate gives Templars edge
TITLE rivals Optimists and Infidels cancelled each other out at So Kon Po yesterday, allowing Templars to increase their lead at the top of the Connaught Sunday League.
Optimists declared their innings at 278 for three after 50 overs but did not have the firepower to bowl out their opponents, who finished 13 runs short on 265 for eight.
Optimists collected 11 points from the winning draw, while Infidels picked up only five bonus points.
Although Templars were unable to achieve an outright victory over Scorpions at the Kowloon Cricket Club, their 12 points from a winning draw moved them on to 119 from seven games.
Second-placed Optimists now have 94 points from seven matches and Infidels, Templars' rivals from the KCC, have 63 from five games, as have Little Sai Wan.
At So Kon Po, Optimists openers Stewart Brew and Mike Speak were back in the old routine, putting on 161 for the first wicket before Speak was dismissed shortly after lunch for 70. He faced 90 balls and struck 11 fours.
Skipper Brew also shared a century stand for the third wicket with John Daly, who contributed 69 in a partnership of 112. Daly faced only 44 balls and hit 11 fours and a six.
Brew declared after 50 overs with his personal score on 124 not out. He faced 158 deliveries and hit two sixes and 15 fours for his third century in the Sunday League this season.
The Brisbane run machine also passed the 500-run mark for the season, with an aggregate of 516 from six innings. He has been dismissed only twice and averages 258.
Infidels built a solid base for a run chase with openers Ray Brewster and Mark Eames putting on 88 for the first wicket. Eames was first to go, caught behind for 37, and Brewster went on to make 67.
At Sek Kong, British Forces recorded only their second win of the season, beating Pakistan Association by three wickets.
Some lusty blows from the Pakistani tailenders lifted them to 169 all out in 43.3 overs and Forces reached their target for the loss of seven wickets in the 47th over, thanks to Ian Lane's half-century.
At the Diocesan Boys' School, the Indian Recreation Club recorded their first victory of the season, beating HKCC Wanderers by two wickets in the last over of the game.
Wanderers scored 247 for six in 48 overs but Krish Chandran's 94 put the IRC on course. Deepak Kamran reached his half-century by hitting a four off the first ball of the final over to secure the 20 points.
At the KCC, Sunday League champions Templars gained a winning draw against HKCC Scorpions.
Templars had former Ranji Trophy player Rahul Sharma to thank for their total of 261 all out in 46 overs. Sharma's 156 came off 130 balls and included 22 fours and two sixes.
There was a real run feast at Mission Road, where Little Sai Wan earned 10 points from a winning draw against nine-man Vagabonds.
Sai Wan declared on 294 for seven after 50 overs, with Mohanna Marzook top-scoring with an unbeaten 87 off only 41 deliveries.
Riaz Farcy (59), Lal Jayasingha (41) and Nick Waters (30) kept the scoreboard ticking over, despite a fine effort from Vagabonds' left-arm paceman David Cross, who took three for 65 off 19 overs.
Vagabonds closed on 284 for five, the turning point being a brilliant caught-and-bowled by Tarun Sawney to remove dangerman Jason Penrose for 80.