Monday, 21 June 2021

Afridi on fire at Burnham

HENLEY made light work of their Home Counties Premier League encounter at BURNHAM on Saturday

HENLEY made light work of their Home Counties Premier League encounter at BURNHAM on Saturday.

The visitors tore through the home team?s batting line-up in an hour-and-three-quarters surpassing their score of 96 with ease, just one wicket down.

Under overcast skies, the threatened rain never materialised sufficiently to halt play and this enabled Henley to pull further away from their main rivals at the top of the table. It was a good toss for Henley to win, allowing them to get straight at the opposition. Tahir Afridi gave a near perfect display of brisk left-arm swing bowling, accounting for the first five Burnham wickets in little over an hour.

His second delivery created a decent shout for lbw and his third clean bowled opener Ahmed.

Home team captain Gandam brought himself in at number three but was pinned lbw to the first ball of Afridi?s third over, to be replaced by overseas player Aftab Khan whose tenure was dramatic but short-lived. He hit an impressive four to cover point then lost his off stump to the bowler?s controlled aggression.

Kumar at number five, who had hit a century at Reading, played a few dot balls before tamely lobbing a catch to Allaway at short midwicket in Afridi?s next over. Burnham were now 21-4 and the shell-shocked remnants of their batting line-up simply tried to steady the ship.

Remaining opener Raja, who was to carry his bat to an unbeaten 44, was joined by all-rounder Malik and they put on Burnham?s best partnership of 46 over the next 40 minutes. Most of their scoring shots were fours as balls which escaped the close fielders raced away to give good value, but inevitably it was Afridi who brought a halt with another searing lbw, to give his second five-for of the season.

The remaining five wickets added less than 30 runs and were shared by Mordt?s swing and Doran?s pace, each with an lbw and a bowled, plus a notable third for Doran as Javid fell to a catch by keeper Davison, low to his left.

For the first time this season, Henley had no need for their spinners. As the weather held, Burnham?s tally of 96 was never going to be enough.

Still shy of lunch, Barnes started vigorously with a brace of fours, only to leave his third ball which nipped back to burst the stumps. Thereafter, it was all plain sailing for Michael Roberts and Jake Doran, though the latter was dropped when he was in his 30s.

The two of them were scoring at a run a ball, to all parts of the ground. Roberts hit seven fours in his untroubled 45 not out, to put him further ahead in the league?s batting stats, having now scored 399 runs at an average of 80.

Doran finished 43 not out including two fours and four sixes, one of which sailed over the bowler?s head to land amongst the fielders playing on Burnham?s second pitch.

The one-sided contest, on a lively pitch, left Henley on a maximum 150 points after seven matches, with the chasing pack of Wycombe, Banbury and Slough all falling a little further behind.

M Ahmed, b Afridi 0
F Raja, not out 44
H Gandam, lbw, b Afridi 11
A Khan, b Afridi 4
K Kumar, c Allaway, b Afridi 0
A Malik, lbw, b Afridi 24
A Rehman, lbw, b Mordt 10
R Nadeem, lbw, b Doran 0
S Javid, c Davison, b Doran 0
A Ali, b Mordt 0
M Haroon, b Doran 0
Extras 3
Best bowling: T Afridi 5-28, J Doran 3-13, B Mordt 2-16
M Roberts, not out 45 D Barnes, b Malik 8 J Doran, not out 43 Extras 1 TOTAL (1 wkt) 97

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