CHAMPIONS HENLEY were soundly beaten by BURNHAM in the last game of the season to end their campaign 27 points
CHAMPIONS HENLEY were soundly beaten by BURNHAM in the last game of the season to end their campaign 27 points ahead of runners-up Slough.
Having been Home Counties Premier League Division 1 champions elect for the last two weeks, this game was something of dead rubber apart from trying to emulate High Wycombe’s record points haul in 2012, which, in the event, the home side failed to do.
Henley went into the game in a degree of uncharacteristic disarray. Bjorn Mordt had been ill since Thursday with a stomach upset and was in no condition to play, but bravely turned up, whilst Hamza Riazuddin, who had been expected to play, was unavailable.
With just 10 men at the start of the game with late call-up Tahir Kazmi arriving later, Henley were fortunate that Burnham won the toss and invited Henley to bat.
From Burnham’s perspective, this proved to be a good call as Malik bowled Henley skipper for the day, Stewart Davison, first ball.
Dave Barnes then holed out rather loosely to mid-on while Dave Allaway appeared intent on giving Burnham’s Kazmi fielding practice at point.
Jason Barber rounded off what has been a good season for him with a fine display of firepower, dispatching fours and sixes to all parts, damaging the roof tiles of one of the houses in Remenham Lane and giving the Henley total a degree of respectability.
By the time he was caught at deep mid-wicket, he had six fours and three sixes to his credit but around him durability was lacking.
Todd Ferguson, playing his last game for Henley before retiring from playing and taking up a coaching position, carved out a workmanlike 13 before being bowled off an inside edge. Tom Nugent failed to ground his bat and was run out while Afridi needlessly swept and top-edged to Nadeem.
Mordt ended a gritty and determined innings by being bowled as the tail simply failed to wag and it was all over with 10 overs left and Burnham needing 129 for victory.
With Mordt unable to continue, Henley took to the field with a substitute fielder. In response, Burnham made light work of the run chase, getting the job done in just under 25 overs for the loss of only three wickets. Rehman and Nadeem wasted no time in adopting the Barber approach to batting and set off at a rapid pace, giving Afridi and Gurveer Singh no quarter at all.
Rehman was well caught by Nugent off Afridi at long-off and Singh had Khan caught at slip by Barnes and also picked up Sarwar lbw. Burnham kept up the momentum and the boundary count and there was nothing Singh, Nugent, Jacobsen and Henley’s Kazmi could do to stem the flow as Burnham ended worthy winners on 132 that included 20 fours and a six.