Thursday, 17 June 2021

Skipper piles on pressure

HENLEY progressed to the third round of the Home Counties Premier League Twenty20 competition on Monday in a close match

HENLEY progressed to the third round of the Home Counties Premier League Twenty20 competition on Monday in a close match against GERRARDS CROSS at the Brakspear Ground, writes Robert MacLeish.

Batting first having lost the toss on a breezy morning, Henley lost skipper Bjorn Mordt to a second ball duck, one of several soft dismissals during the course of an innings which owed much to Fahim Qureshi’s unbeaten 61, a mix of deftness and hard running.

Dave Allaway (17) looked in good touch until he holed out to backward point, Stewart Davison (2) picked out the fielder at deep mid-wicket off Rimmer’s first delivery while both Tahir Afridi and Glenford Boyce were bowled trying to hit the ball out of the ground.

Dave Barnes chipped out to mid-wicket off the toe end of his bat to leave the hosts on 135-7 owed much to a couple of sixes by Tom Nugent (16).

In the end the total proved to be sufficient though the outcome was in the balance until the last over.

The visitors’ opening bat, 16-year-old Mohammed Anwar, belied his years with an impressive knock of 65. He was run out in the last over making it 125-9 and with his departure went Gerrards Cross’ real chance of winning the game.

From Henley’s perspective, a critical point in the Gerrards Cross innings were overs six, seven and eight during which, thanks to Afridi, Singh and Nugent, the score moved from 35 to just 36.

Thereafter, Anwar and Tom Hampton picked up the pace with some fours and sixes before Barnes turned over his arm and removed Hampton (33), caught Mordt.

Henley were uncharacteristically indifferent in the field. Both Davison and Barnes dropped a couple of steeplers in the strong swirling breeze, but there were a couple of sharp run outs, courtesy of assists by Barnes and Graham Ferber.

Whilst Anwar was at the crease, all bets were on but Mordt had other ideas. The Henley skipper’s canny bowling brought a couple of late wickets and increased the pressure on Anwar to close out the game with Cross needing 12 runs from the last over. Anwar perished going for a run that was not really on in a desperate effort to retain the strike as the visitors ended on 130-9.

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