Home Counties round-up: Datchet beat Aston Rowant to keep pace with leaders

Datchet’s Joe Thomas

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Datchet kept pace with High Wycombe and Henley at the top of Home Counties Division 1 after beating Aston Rowant by 55 runs on Saturday.

Batting first at the Wally Gage Memorial Ground, Joe Barrett’s men set a challenging target of 305-8 from their 50 overs, and the captain always felt his side had a measure of control in the game.

They wobbled to begin with, losing Billy Mead (0) and Calvin Dickinson (9) with the score on 32, and although Barrett managed a useful 31, they didn’t look like reaching the 300-run mark when he fell with the score on 69-3.

However, Joseph Thomas (81) and Steven Naylor (95) shared a magnificent stand of 142 before both fell to Haydon Rossouw (3-61), while Rahul Wijeratne (20) and Bobby Sher (43) threw caution to the wind further down the order to see the hosts to 305.

Aston Rowant made a decent fist of a daunting chase, finishing on 250 all out, with Rossouw making 61. But with Sher (3-55) and Oliver Smithson (3-45) both taking three-wickets apiece, the target always looked to be slightly beyond them.

Datchet remain third in the table, 27 points behind early leaders Henley ahead of the move to the longer, timed, format from this weekend. They visit bottom club Thame Town on Saturday.

In Division 2 there were victories for Slough and Wargrave, with the latter’s 56-run success over Wokingham taking them top of the table.

Neal Robinson’s side hold a slender, one point, lead over Harefield after five matches, and will be looking to maintain their fine form at home to Oxford Downs on Saturday.

Having been put into bat, Wargrave managed 195-9 from their 50 overs, scoring slowly and uncertainly until Rhodri Lewis (73no) piled on the runs further down the order. His impressive knock anchored the innings as wickets fell around him. Chris Peploe did well for Wokingham, taking 4-30, however, the home side found it equally difficult to bat on their own patch, and weren’t rescued by a knock like Lewis’s.

This time it was Rhys Lewis who finished with his side’s best bowling figures, taking 3-17 off six overs, including the wickets of Sukhmeet Kang (27) and top scorer Salman Khalid (29).

Despite sitting sixth in Division 2, Slough remain well in contention after Saturday’s four-wicket win over Oxford Downs. But for weather abandonments and cancellations Nadeem Syed’s men may well have been higher, but they impressed on Saturday, particularly with the ball.

Having elected to field they bowled Oxford out for just 179 runs in the 49th over, with Kamran Younas taking 4-27. The visitors chipped away with wickets until Younas wrapped up Oxford’s tail. Their reply owed a lot to the batting of Dan Lincoln, who held the innings together, making 68 not out.

It proved a match-defining knock and it carried Slough to their target, finishing on 183-6 in the 41st over.

Burnham remain the only side without a win in Division 2 after Saturday’s three-wicket defeat to Chesham.

The bottom placed club won the toss and elected to bat, making 218-9 from their 50 overs, with Farhaan Khan finishing unbeaten at the end on 59.

However, despite losing plenty of wickets themselves, Chesham were able to get to their target in the final over. Mark Eteen top scored for them with 48, before falling lbw to Muddassar Nawaz (2-17 from 10). Shakil Ahmed took three wickets but went for 60 runs off 10 overs. Burnham host Horspath this Saturday.

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