Home Counties round-up: Datchet remain in title contention after five wicket win over Banbury

Steven Naylor

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Datchet remain in title contention at the top of Home Counties Division 1 after beating second placed Banbury by five wickets on Saturday.

Victory moved them to within five points of Banbury but they’re 36 points adrift of leaders High Wycombe with six matches left to play.

Captain Joe Barrett was at the forefront of this impressive away victory, hitting an unbeaten 74 runs as the visitors chased down Banbury’s total of 188 for the loss of five wickets.

Banbury’s openers Joe White (5) and Edward Phillips (4) were dismissed early on before Lloyd Sabin (47) and Oliver Clarke (72) steadied a shaking ship and drove the hosts on to a defendable score. It took them 62.4 overs to reach 188, with Steven Naylor (4-53) doing his best to restrict them.

In their reply, Barrett dropped anchor from the opening balls, steadily and conservatively building his unbeaten 74 from 143 deliveries. Wickets fell fairly cheaply around him, as Datchet slipped to 37-3 but Jonty Jenner (23) and then Joseph Thomas (50no) helped the skipper guide the side home in the 50th over.

In Division 2 league leaders Slough have opened up a 25-point gap over second placed Oxford Downs after beating Horspath by seven wickets.

Nadeem Syed’s side look an increasingly good bet for the title and promotion back to Division 1 and, for good measure on Sunday, they also won the Home Counties T20 competition after defeating Banbury and Datchet on finals day.

Electing to field first, Slough restricted Horspath to 211-8 from 56 overs and chased it down for the loss of only three wickets in less than 31 overs, with Kamran Younas again showing fine form, hitting an unbeaten 121 from 89 balls. He was ably supported by Dan Lincoln (32no), while Ali Akbar Raja took figures of 5-72, including the crucial wicket of opener Tom Coleman (133 from 172 balls), who held Horspath’s innings together almost single-handedly.

Slough will look to further build on their advantage at the top when they go to Wokingham on Saturday.

In the same division, fifth placed Wargrave were beaten at home, going down by 96 runs against Chesham.

The visitors elected to bat and made 223 before being dismissed in the 55th over, a target Wargrave couldn’t get near as they were bowled out for 127 in the 59th over.

Further down the table, Burnham’s hopes of getting out of relegation trouble look increasingly forlorn, despite holding Amersham to a draw on Saturday.

Rizwan Nadeem’s side managed to play out their 57 overs for 244-8, chasing Amersham’s 269-9 declared after 53 overs.

Amersham were rocked by the loss of early wickets but recovered from being 22-3 to post a very healthy score with Maduka Liyanapathiranage top scoring with 66. Daniel Colquhoun (42) also looked in decent nick as Amersham piled on the runs further down the order. Burnham were indebted to Shaan Khan (106no) in their response as they held out for a share of the points. Support was also offered by Raminder Singh, who made 48 and Muhammad Haroon played a defiant knock at the end to finish unbeaten with Khan at the end on 17no. Despite this Burnham remain bottom, 26 points from safety with six matches to play.

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