Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Henley progress to Twenty20 semi finals

Henley progress to Twenty20 semi finals

IN Arctic conditions at Aston Rowant Cricket Club last Saturday that included hail, freezing rain and a bitter wind, HENLEY emerged as winners of a four-sided competition to decide who qualified for the Home Counties Premier League Twenty20 semi finals and finals day.

The home side got the day going in a tense encounter with Harefield who posted a competitive 154 that owed much to opener Matthew Ogden’s gutsy 67. In reply, it took a strident 70 from Rowant skipper Josh Smith which added some needed vigour to the Rowant reply and take his side across the line with a ball to spare.

Next up, Henley faced DATCHET, newly promoted to Division 1 and led by Berkshire skipper James Morris. Batting first, Henley struggled and were 13-3 in no time at all with skipper Michael Roberts, fellow opener Matt Rowe and Jack Davies all back in the hutch.

Richard Morris and Euan Woods made some progress but were unable to kick on and it took a punchy 57 from Euan Brock in an 82-run partnership with Mikey Williams to take Henley to a modest 130-8 and something to bowl at.

Another tense run chase saw Datchet fall just two short of victory as Henley held their nerve, took key wickets when it mattered and fielded like demons.

In the final against ASTON ROWANT, Henley made a better fist of things with the bat as Matt Rowe led the way with 67. Racing to 79-1 off 10 overs, it looked as though Henley might set a target in the region of 170 – 180, but the Rowant bowlers slowed the charge and Henley had to be content with 153-8.

A bitingly cold rain shower intervened early in the Rowant innings which reduced the target under Duckworth Lewis to 138 off 17 overs. Once again, Henley showed nerve and discipline in the field and Rowant spent much of their innings behind the par score with an ever steeper task.

Skipper Smith threatened to repeat his first innings performance, but once again, his charge was snuffed out when it mattered and needing 22 off the last over for victory, Rowant had to be content with 121-5 and came second.

Henley will now take part on finals day on July 14 at Amersham’s Shardeloes ground when they meet Tring Park in the semis and, if successful, will face the winners of Banbury v Finchampstead in the final.

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