READING’s Thames Valley League Division One campaign began in disappointing fashion as they lost by seven wickets at Cookham Dean, writes Richard Ashton.

A much-changed side featuring the returning Sukhi Kang and fellow former Finchampstead men Billy Rogers and Max Uttley, alongside another returnee in Ian Slatcher, were knocked over for 153 by the hosts.

Curran Gaur and Firaz Amjad gave their side a reasonable start until the former was caught by Wasim Maharoof off the bowling of Wasim Ahmed.

The same bowler accounted for Rogers for a duck – caught behind by Chris Marrow – before Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Sahan Nanayakkare removed Amjad and Pav Chima.

Kang fell for just nine – trapped lbw by Yasir Qureshi – but Tariq Khan (49) and Slatcher (33) shared a useful sixth-wicket stand to bring Reading back into the game.

However, Tariq was caught by Cookham captain Ben Millar off the bowling of Nanayakkare, and after Slatcher was run out, the lower order was blown away to leave Reading in trouble.

Millar (29) and Patrick Castleden (41) gave the hosts a solid base until Rogers claimed his maiden Reading wicket by catching the former off his own bowling. Castleden was run out but South African Marrow (32) kept his side on track until he was bowled by Qasim Ali.

However, ex-Reading man Tom Fray (20no) and Qureshi (18no) ensured the Dean would have no further worries, guiding their side home with 14 overs to spare.

Reading host Boyne Hill this coming Saturday (11.30am).

In Division 4a, Reading 2nds were soundly beaten by seven wickets at home to Sulhamstead.

Matt Gill (4-34) was the pick of the attack – including one outstanding caught and bowled – while Steve Collins provided good support with 3-14 as Reading were shot out for just 71.

Vikramjit Sidhu (26) was the only Reading batsman to make double figures.

Jason Doole (17) and Marc Thompson (20) put on 45 for the first wicket, and while Sully lost a trio of wickets, they cruised home in just 15 overs.

Reading 3rds were in a generous mood as they lost by nine wickets to Hurst 2nds in Division 6b.

Captain Graham Cassie (63) and Chris Reynard (52no) were in good form as they led the home side to a seemingly competitive 205-8 in their 45 overs, but Reading then gifted their opponents an astonishing 50 wides as Hurst reached their target with more than 10 overs to spare.

Skipper Ollie Lovegrove top scored with an unbeaten 85, while Jake White chipped in with 54 not out.

Reading 4ths ensured the day was not a complete failure for the club as they beat Newbury 3rds by 34 runs in Division 9a.

Jack Wright made a brilliant 83 not out and Josh Sidhu made 48 as Reading totalled 200-6 in their 40 overs, and the visitors then dismissed Newbury for 166.