Saturday, 15 May 2021

Twenty20 cup exit for Henley

HENLEY’S involvement in this season’s Home Counties Premier League Twenty20 competition came to a premature end on Sunday at SLOUGH, writes Jonathan Higgins.

An understrength Henley team was well beaten by the home side which knocked off the required 161 runs with 32 balls to spare, winning by eight wickets.

Both sides were without their Berkshire players, engaged in an inter-team training game. For Henley, this meant that they fielded a side with just two first team regulars in skipper Mike Roberts and Euan Brock.

Winning the toss, Slough elected to field on a glorious afternoon which showcased a much improved main ground.

On a good wicket Henley made steady progress. Despite losing their openers, Johnny Connell to a tight lbw call and Ben Purchese to a diving caught and bowled by Kamran Younis. Roberts and Brock put on 69 for the next wicket.

Roberts continued to shepherd the innings, almost to its conclusion, Nathan Hopkins adding an enterprising 23 off 16 balls.

Roberts’ departure allowed Adam Lubbock to claim what would prove the highest strike rate of the day (266.67) with 16 off six balls (two sixes and a four), rounding off with a strike over long-on that tied for Henley “shot of the day” with Brock’s nonchalant flicked six over mid-wicket.

A score of 160 on a big ground looked eminently defendable but wilted in the afternoon warmth as Henley’s bowling attack, lacking in guile and experience, had no real answer to an aggressive, hard-hitting Slough response with 112 runs (16 fours and eight sixes) coming off boundaries.

Pick of the Slough batters was Yaqoot Rafiq, whose unbeaten 87 off 40 balls included eight fours and five sixes.

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