HENLEY pulled away from BANBURY at the top of the Home Counties Premier League in a match that saw bowler Tahir Afridi and batsman Jake Doran take the honours.
Doran, the captain of Australia U19s, hit 121 off 108 balls, including 11 fours and six sixes in a stunning batting display.
On a bright but chilly day at Banbury, Henley won the toss and opted to field. Afridi opened the bowling and within 10 minutes accounted for Australian international Tim Paine, who has 30 caps to his name, caught at cover by Rowe. Next in line was the other opener, Oxfordshire?s Hugo Darby, who was looking impressive before being trapped lbw by Afridi for 12.
Banbury?s Lloyd Sabin and John West set about stabilising the innings but this allowed Henley?s first change bowlers, Mordt and Singh, to dry up the run rate. They both bowled a straight 10 overs, going for a modest 25 runs apiece.
Exactly on half way, with the last ball of the 25th over, Singh had West caught by Euan Brock. The ploy worked again as Singh?s other victim Briggs was also caught by Brock at cover, with the score now on 90-4 in the 29th over. Brock put in a tidy four-over stint with the ball before having to leave the field with a hamstring injury sustained during fielding.
Sabin soldiered on, falling just short of a measured century when he became Afridi?s fifth victim, caught at deep mid-wicket by Singh in the penultimate over for 93 including 11 fours. Wright?s six in the final over took Banbury?s score to 210-8.
Barnes and Roberts took their time in building a foundation for Henley?s reply but, in the 11th over and with the score on 23, Barnes was adjudged lbw to the hostile bowling of Penhale.
Roberts fell in the 22nd over, bowled in West?s first over as he tried to add to his earlier three boundaries. At the other end Doran had settled in and was beginning to move through the gears. Banbury had no answer as he took the game away from them, hitting the ball either side of the wicket and back over the bowler?s head for good measure.
In the 40th over, he hit two consecutive sixes over long-on, spectators looking amazed as the balls landed amongst the cars almost 100 metres from the strike on the expansive ground. By the time he holed out to the square leg boundary in the 44th over, Henley were within touching distance, a mere dozen runs from victory.
During his innings, he had received important support from Ashraf, turning over the strike during his own valuable innings of 32 from 51 balls, but succumbing to a rush of blood with the scores tied, bowled attempting a sweep by Banbury?s captain Luke Ryan.
Allaway, now with Mordt, saw Henley home withfour overs to spare to maintain the visitors? 100 per cent start to their league campaign.
|T Paine, c Rowe, b Afridi ||13 |
|H Darby, lbw, b Afridi ||15 |
|L Sabin, c Singh, b Afridi8 ||93 |
|J West, c Brock, b Singh ||21 |
|W Briggs, c Brock, b Singh ||2 |
|I Tew, lbw,b Afridi ||18 |
|L Ryan, b Afridi ||4 |
|A Blanchard, c & b Nugent ||14 |
|K Penhale, not out ||5 |
|O Wright, not out ||1 |
|Extras ||15 |
|? TOTAL (8 wkts) ||210
|Best bowling: T Afridi 5-39, G Singh 2-25.
|D Barnes, lbw, b Penhale ||13 |
|M Roberts, b J West ||32 |
|J Doran, c Tew, b Wright ||121 |
|M Rowe, c Paine, b Wright ||0 |
|Z Ashraf, b Ryan ||32 |
|D Allaway, not out ||4 |
|B Mordt, not out ||0 |
|Extras ||9 |
|? TOTAL (5 wkts) ||211
|Best bowling: O Wright 2-39.