READING CC's hopes of pulling off the great escape from Thames Valley League Division One relegation were given a major boost as they recorded a second straight win with a thrilling two-wicket Duckworth/Lewis success at home to Slough 2nds, writes Richard Ashton.

Despite Shahbaz Chowdhry claiming an early wicket, Slough motored from the off and reached 95-1 in rapid time as opener Ali Ahmed scored 51.

However, the introduction of Max Uttley (2-32) and Billy Rogers (2-37) stemmed the flow and triggered a collapse to 103-4, and when Firaz Amjad trapped Mohammed Avas lbw, the visitors were wobbling on 130-5.

A couple of useful contributions from the lower middle-order kept Slough in the game, but with Amjad claiming 4-14 in 7.1 overs as well as enacting a run out, the away side were all out for 190.

Reading lost Qasim Ali early in their reply, but Dani Katuri and Hamish Scott steadied the ship.

Their departures prompted a shocking collapse whereby Choudry, Rogers and Sukhi Kang all fell for ducks, but Amjad continued his fine personal afternoon by rebuilding with Sunny Jheeta.

Amjad eventually fell for an excellent 59, but needing 10 to win from the final over to reach their revised target, Jheeta and Phil Brennan held their nerve to reach 164-8 from the last ball of the game.

Reading are now just seven points from safety and have a key trip to North Maidenhead – the team one place above them in the table in eighth – this Saturday (12.30pm).

In Division 4a, Reading 2nds are not yet safe after they suffered a nine-wicket pounding at newly-crowned champions Binfield.

It was South African all-rounder Wynand Lamprecht who did the damage, taking 5-34 as Reading were bowled out for just 76, and then striking 39 not out to help his side race to victory in just 11.2 overs.

A magnificent 110 not out from Thomas Davis helped Reading 3rds (221-9) beat Aldershot 3rds (220) by one wicket in Division 6b.

In Division 9a, Reading 4ths collected 20 points after Windsor 3rds conceded.

  • BERKSHIRE CCC are seeking their fifth successive victory in the Unicorns Championship when they play Cheshire at Boughton Hall CC starting on Sunday.