Boyce impresses as visitors enjoy walkover at The Walk
HENLEY’S Division 1 title challenge was very much back on track following a convincing victory over relegation threatened POTTERS BAR
HENLEY’S Division 1 title challenge was very much back on track following a convincing victory over relegation threatened POTTERS BAR away at The Walk last Saturday in the Home Counties Premier League.
The home side were skittled out for just 98 in 30 overs, courtesy of some devastating bowling by Henley skipper Bjorn Mordt (4-25) and Queensland spinner Cameron Boyce (5-22).
In reply Henley chased down the required total in just 18.5 overs with Jason Barber’s power hitting seeing the visitors home.
With rain forecast for later in the day, skipper Mordt won the toss and decided to bowl on an overcast and blustery morning.
Sikandar, Potters Bar’s gun player and leading scorer this year, was late on parade owing to congestion on the M25, so George Scott, an U16 with Middlesex academy, opened with Sogbodjor.
Whilst the latter endured a torrid time, scoring just two off 23 balls before holing out to Gurveer Singh at mid-off off a Tom Nugent delivery, Scott took advantage of the fielding restrictions and clattered Nugent and Tahir Afridi to the boundary on a number of occasions. For the most part though Nugent and Afridi kept things tight with just 38 runs coming off the first 12 overs.
Scott greeted Mordt, replacing Afridi, by clouting him back over his head for six and could have been out with the very next ball, but Dave Barnes could not hold onto the ball in the slips.
In just three overs — the 16th, 17th and 18th — the game was turned on its head. First, Boyce bowled Scott (54-2), next Mordt bowled Sikandar, who played on, for just one and followed it up next ball by trapping Pascoe lbw (55-4) only for Boyce to return to remove Palmer, tempting the batsman out of his crease for Todd Ferguson to do the rest (55-5). After that, it was just a matter of time. Patrick Scott and Taylor mounted some resistance, but Scott and Pett had no answer to a well disguised quicker delivery from Boyce that clean bowled Scott and which Pett edged to Ferguson.
Sri Lankan Walallawita demonstrated his intent with a trio of fours before being bowled by Mordt who also had Taylor stumped.
Boyce finished it off by trapping Hodge lbw to leave Henley just 98 runs to chase down. This they achieved with relative ease in short time.
Barnes was joined by a returning Fahim Qureshi, playing his first game for Henley since July 6. Qureshi soon dispelled any notions of rustiness by finding the boundary off G Scott and Sikandar.
Although slightly slower off the mark, Barnes, rapped twice on the helmet by Sikandar, was soon doing likewise though living dangerously in the process by swiping at and missing some off-stump deliveries. With rain imminent, Mordt sent out the message to his batsmen to get a move on. Both batters climbed into spinner Pascoe before Barnes was caught at long off and Qureshi trapped lbw. Mordt’s plan to deploy Afridi as a pinch hitter failed, but this was the cue for Jason Barber who bludgeoned 23 off 12 balls including two sixes, aided and abetted by Dave Allaway’s four through mid-wicket, which did the trick and it was job done in less than 50 overs by 2.43pm. Elsewhere Banbury lost at Slough, who moved in to second place. Henley are now 47 points ahead of Slough and 57 ahead of Banbury. With three games to go, and a maximum of 75 points on the table, only Slough or Banbury can now overhaul Henley.