Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Henley make heavy weather of visitors

HENLEY took advantage of their good fortune against TRING PARK on Saturday, picking up 25 points

HENLEY took advantage of their good fortune against TRING PARK on Saturday, picking up 25 points for a win whilst their main competitors at the top of the Home Counties Premier League had their matches washed out.

Henley won the toss and inserted Tring and, with the start delayed by two hours, the overs for the match were reduced to 50 for the visitors and 44 for themselves.

In damp conditions, Afridi and Nugent opened the attack with venom and in the sixth over the latter produced a brute which had Pritchard lobbing an easy catch to Allaway at midwicket with the score on 10.

Tring’s other opener Hawkes made a bit of headway with his Australian captain Duncan Maddinson until Mordt, with the keeper standing up, also got one to rise and had him caught by Nugent at square leg.

This prefaced an eventful half-dozen overs with Tring hitting virtually a boundary an over, several in the air plus shots which just evaded fielders. In the process they lost their number four and five batsmen in quick succession, both to Nugent, with Gumbs slicing to Rowe at point and Payne clean bowled.

At the half-way stage Tring were on 81-4 including a dozen fours.

Singh’s introduction, with the first of his four maidens, asked searching questions of the batsmen and his effective variations of flight and velocity soon had him among the wickets, having Haw caught behind and Shearman stumped. Singh induced a false stroke from Maddinson, Doran taking a high catch to dismiss Tring’s skipper for 58.

Tring’s rearguard offered little resistance and they were all out for 147 in the 48th over, thereby gifting Henley an extra over for their response. Henley were set 148 to win in 45 overs meaning a run rate of 3.3. The comfort of a low target can often draw the adventure from the side batting second. Even allowing for the nagging accuracy of Tring’s opening bowlers, the evergreen Stanway and his younger partner Helm, Barnes and Roberts showed them perhaps a little too much respect.

Henley had reached the 26th over before losing a wicket, Barnes caught behind playing a defensive stroke to the steady off-spin of Payne on the second ball after drinks, with the score exactly half-way at 74. This meant the target had crept up to nearer four an over.

Doran came in and, with more urgency, hit a quick six runs but skied a high catch to mid-off after only a dozen deliveries, from the bowling of Gumbs whose steady off-breaks had been introduced from the pavilion end. Rowe hit a couple of fours before hitting out again to be caught at point off the same bowler.

When Roberts left one from Payne, only to witness the ball rearrange his stumps, an uncertainty crept in as they needed 38 runs from nine overs with four wickets down. Mordt came and went, showing a degree of frustration as he became Payne’s third victim, caught at backward square, Ashraf misjudged a pre-determined slow ball to be caught and bowled by Helm, and Allaway was adjudged run out from a direct hit having scored 11 from eight deliveries. Henley found themselves seven down but by now requiring just seven to win, which they managed with an over to spare, courtesy of a leg glance by Afridi.

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