Thursday, 17 June 2021

Riazuddin’s pace proves too hot for Wycombe

HENLEY returned to winning ways on Saturday at HIGH WYCOMBE’S London Road ground with a decisive victory.

HENLEY returned to winning ways on Saturday at HIGH WYCOMBE’S London Road ground with a decisive victory.

With second placed Harpenden losing and third placed Tring drawing, Henley moved 34 points clear at the top of the Home Counties Premier League Division 1 table.

In recent years, London Road has not been a particularly happy hunting ground for Henley and when Wycombe won the toss and elected to bat, the prospect of fielding for 66 overs in sweltering heat under a cloudless sky was unappealing.

In the event, Henley need not have worried as Wycombe were shot out for just 106 in 23.3 overs with six of their wickets falling to a revitalised Hamza Riazuddin who charged in at pace and proved to be far too hot for the Wycombe batsmen to handle. In fairness to Wycombe, it did not start like that. Although Morgan was an early victim to Tom Nugent, who pegged back his off stump, Jewell and Cranfield-Thompson set about the Henley attack, the latter dealing mainly in boundaries and feasting off full deliveries, mainly dispatched to the short landward boundary.

By the same token Henley’s fielding choked off some otherwise certain boundaries and as the visiting bowlers adjusted their sights to bowl more back of a length, so Cranfield-Thompson’s runs dried up.

Henley skipper Bjorn Mordt, who had taken a bit of a pasting from Cranfield-Thompson, duly exacted revenge by clean bowling him to leave the hosts on 75-2.

Benning,Wycombe’s skipper and gun player, was Riazuddin’s first victim thanks to an outstanding caught behind by Todd Ferguson, the Aussie keeper diving far to his right in front of first slip to scoop up the ball just centimetres off the ground.

Jewell was next to go, fencing at a Mordt delivery which Stewart Davison took at gully. Riazuddin, bowling flat out, accounted for Jones, caught at gully by Jason Barber, Russell, caught behind immediately following an appeal for the same dismissal that had been turned down, Zaib, another catch at gully by Barber, Hussein, skying one taken at slip by Davison and Harper, caught behind.

In between whiles, Mordt accounted for Duncan whose nick to the slips was parried by Barnes at first slip and caught by Dave Allaway at second.

In reply Henley made short work of chasing down the required runs, losing just three wickets in the process. In the absence of Michael Roberts (injured) and an unavailable Fahim Qureshi, Davison opened with Barnes. Davison offered a straight bat and some crisp shots but the Wycombe bowlers had no answer to Barnes who worked them around the ground for 43 that included nine fours.

Just as he was looking set, Davison fell lbw to Harper but Riazuddin continued on with the bat where he had left off with the ball, decisive through the covers and long off before charging down the pitch to Collins and being caught at cover off an outside edge, but not before he had taken 14 off Harper in a single over.

By now, Cameron Boyce was at the crease having replaced Barnes, caught at slip. Boyce was clearly not minded to waste any time closing the game out. Dealing only in boundaries, he smashed Benning all over the shop for 12 in one over before closing out the game by drilling Hussein though mid-on and then thumping him over mid-wicket for six. Boyce’s 26 runs came in just 12 balls represented by five fours and a six. Barber also got in on the act with a cover driven boundary.

Henley recorded their seventh victory of the season and are now unbeaten in the league since June 2012.

This time last year, thanks to a stuttering start and the impact of adverse weather, Henley had just 119 points to show for their efforts. By contrast they now have 200 points.

More News:

POLL: Have your say