HARPSDEN comfortably ran out 109-run winners at the Brakspear Ground on Sunday against hosts HENLEY.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat on a slightly damp wicket. Ben Watson and Adam Birkett negotiated a tricky first few overs but before long Watson was into his stride, bringing up his 50 after just 39 deliveries.
After Watson was out stumped off the bowling of Chris Johnson and Ian Whittaker fell without scoring to the same bowler, a partnership of 118 between Birkett and Christian Whittaker propelled Harpsden towards a large total.
Some late hitting from skipper Andy Bryan — 43 off just 22 balls — and a six on to the pavilion roof from number 10 Ed Birkett took Harpsden to 278-9 off their 40 overs. Johnson was the pick of the Henley bowlers with 2-15 off four overs.
Henley lost an early wicket with Gurung being caught off the bowling of E Birkett for a duck. Birkett made scoring difficult but a good partnership between Hussain and McDermott kept Henley in the game.
Some poor fielding from Harpsden allowed Hussain to reach 29 before a run out from keeper Bryan dismissed him for 29. Two wickets in an over for J Wright pinned Henley back, but the introduction of spin in the shape of A Birkett was the catalyst for McDermott as he raced to his 50 with a number of large blows over the straight boundary.
Birkett prevailed as a swipe across the line resulted in the batsman being bowled for 79. After the loss of their star player, Henley never looked in the chase as Alex Bradley helped limit the runs.
Tom Chappell took his time in making 15 but a spell of 3-38 by Tom Ham shut Henley out of the match and when Johnson retired hurt with cramp, Harpsden ran out winners by 109 runs.