Friday, 18 June 2021

Roberts shines with bat as Henley enjoy stroll in park

THERE was no change at the top of the Home Counties Premier League as all three

THERE was no change at the top of the Home Counties Premier League as all three of the top teams won and HENLEY held on to their slender lead by virtue of a comfortable 73-run victory at TRING PARK.

Carter and Brock were back in Henley’s starting 11 and both were to make significant contributions. Carter was asked to open the batting and proved an effective partner for Michael Roberts, making good use of the return to the 50:50 format’s fielding restrictions and motoring to 37 off 34 balls, including three fours and two sixes.

Despite some accurately nagging bowling from Stanway and Helm, Henley had reached 65 runs by the time Carter was out, caught behind in the 13th over. Tring introduced spin and Rowe stood unbelieving as he hit a full toss straight to cover before getting set.

Henley continued to progress steadily and, although Ashraf dragged on a long-hop after a quick fire 21, they reached 100 by the half-way stage. Barnes came in at number five and batted well for 29 before becoming the first of Payne’s three victims, flashing to point off an average ball.

At the other end Roberts continued serenely untroubled and, for the next 30 minutes, enjoyed good running between the wickets with Davison, who put in another useful contribution of 26 off 24 balls, before gifting one to leg gully.

In the 44th over, with the score on 214, Stanway off his last allotted ball found a length that managed to bowl Roberts as he went for a drive, his 84 including nine fours representing yet another impressive innings for Henley’s premier batsman. The remaining six overs featured a decent knock of 26 from 18 balls from skipper Mordt and the inevitable end-of-innings flourish as Henley extended their score to 253-7 at the end of the 50th over.

Opening the bowling, Nugent again looked sharp and soon had Tring on the back foot, Dixon being caught behind off a brisk rising delivery.

Afridi was soon in on the act and, having initially conceded too many wides, went round the wicket and immediately accounted for Adam Partner, also caught by Davison.

Tring’s number three and four, Alistair Partner and Michael Payne, settled things down for the next hour with a near 50 run partnership until Mordt brought on Euan Brock who induced Payne into a false shot to Ashraf at mid-off. Mordt was bowling his away swing at the other end and in the next over had his opposite number Maddinson out without scoring, ballooning a ball to Nugent at slip. At the half-way stage Tring were 79-4 and facing an up-hill task and, before they had reached 100, two quick wickets, remarkable in their own way, had them six down.

Mordt served up an average ball to Pritchard which he smashed straight to Brock at point. Afridi, back for his second spell, then surprised Alistair Partner who could only dab the ball half-way back for the bowler to dive and take a caught and bowled, Partner being Tring’s top scorer on 43.

Wastling joined Haw and determined to take Henley on, hitting four fours in his run-a-ball 19, but Brock accounted for them both, bowling Wastling going for a big heave and having Haw caught by Afridi, running in from mid-wicket.

By this stage Tring had only three wickets and seven overs to get 130 runs and it was never going to happen. They closed all out on the penultimate ball on 180.

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