LAST year’s Home Counties Premier League champions HENLEY began their warm-up programme with wins for both the first and second teams against their WOKINGHAM counterparts at Sadlers Lane ground.
Both Henley sides were not wholly representative of the elevens that will take the field when the league programmes start on May 10, but both matches ended in victory and proved useful practice.
Put into bat Henley 1sts posted a challenging 260-9. Newcomer Zia Ashraf, who has played in the Bradford and Staffordshire Leagues, and who has joined the club as the professional for the second team, scored 110 before retiring hurt having turned an ankle.
Elsewhere Richard Underwood, a recruit from South Wilts CC showed real promise with 34, Ryan Bezuidenhout scored an important 45 and there were fireworks in the last over as Matt Carter, who has joined from Datchet for his bowling, showed off his batting prowess, putting Wokingham’s Turner to the sword, striking 27 including a couple of sixes.
In reply, Wokingham struggled against an opening attack of Carter and Tom Nugent. Zak Jones, back from a successful winter in New Zealand bagged a couple of wickets while Bezuidenhout took 3-29 to round off a good all-round display. Gurveer Singh’s nine overs, four maidens 4-12 were the best bowling figures of the day.
The match was won in the 42nd over with Wokingham all out for 128.
Henley 2nds, captained by Graham Furber, restricted Wokingham to 168-8 on 45 overs. The wickets were shared around, Ed Birkett, Dan Hayden and Nathan Hopkins all picking up a couple apiece.
In reply, Henley made light work of the run chase, losing just one wicket as Rob Kenworthy (33) put on 56 for the first wicket with former Woodcote player Will MacDonald, who scored an unbeaten 63.
Charlie Homewood, Prakash Gurung and Titch Vickers all scored 30-odd apiece before stepping aside to give others time in the middle.