Saturday, 19 June 2021

Brakspear Ground showdown

HENLEY host Banbury on Saturday in a key top-of-the-table Home Counties Premier League clash, starting at

HENLEY host Banbury on Saturday in a key top-of-the-table Home Counties Premier League clash, starting at 11am.

The three main title contenders in the league all won last week, meaning Henley just held on to their lead at the top with 226 points compared to Banbury on 225 and High Wycombe on 221. There are six matches to go with both Banbury and Wycombe having to visit the Brakspear Ground.

Henley should have James Bazley available again for selection and are only missing Brock, who has yet fully to recover from his injury, from the full squad.

Last season Banbury finished fourth with 246 points to champion Henley‘s 297 and are desperate to clinch the title this year after not having won the title since 2000 and finishing as runners-up on five occasions since.

The only games Banbury have not won this year were their loss at home to Henley, an abandoned match with Oxford, and a draw at High Wycombe when they fell 12 runs short of their 276-3 target with nine wickets down after a dramatic chase.



In recent matches Ed Phillips has opened the batting with Australian keeper-batsman Tim Paine, allowing Oxfordshire‘s Hugo Darby to drop down the order. Paine is averaging 70 with the bat and has scored a third of Banbury‘s runs.

Lloyd Sabin at number three is their other main batsman, averaging 36 in the league this year. Sabin has scored six half-centuries this season, the best being his 93 against Henley when, like Paine, he became one of Tahir Afridi‘s five victims.

In the bowling, Oxfordshire‘s Karl Penhale leads the attack. He has 19 wickets so far in the campaign including 6-10 against Reading. Skipper Luke Ryan, who also captains Oxfordshire, has 20 wickets this season for Banbury from his tidy left arm spin, with his best being 4-40 last week against Harefield.



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