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Seventh defeat leaves Wycombe looking over their shoulder
WITH three games of the season remaining, High Wycombe CC are still in a relegation fight.
It wasn’t meant to be this way.
The London Road outfit were champions in each of the last two seasons and have shared a Home Counties Division One duopoly with Henley for nearly 15 years.
This season it’s gone wrong though, and despite a handful of highs there have been too many lows in a season of extremes.
Saturday was another disappointment as they lost at home to Welwyn Garden City by 53 runs.
The defeat, their seventh of the season, leaves them 38 points clear of bottom with three games left.
It reads like a healthy buffer, but in this win or bust format the table can change quickly.
Fast bowler Sohail Hussain said: “I don’t think we’re safe. This format is win or lose, it’s 25 points or four or five.
“There’s a big difference and if we lose the next two matches we could be right at the bottom.
“We need at least one more win, but I think we’ll need two more to be safe.”
Saturday is the key. They go to North Mymms, who are two places below them, before finishing with games against Tring Park and Banbury.
Hussain said: “This game is important. They’re near the bottom as well and if we win we’ll give ourselves a little bit of breathing space.
“But we’ve not made it easy for ourselves, this isn’t the season anyone expected.”
Wycombe must have thought they’d finally turned the corner against Potters Bar, but the last fortnight has been their campaign in microcosm.
Two weeks ago they set all sorts of batting records as Alex Jewell and Alex Morgan both scored tons in a club record stand of 261 at the top of the order.
But just a week later Wycombe’s top four made 26 runs between them with the two Alex’s scoring a grand total of five.
Hussain said: “We had a record partnership one week and then the next we slumped in the top order again.
“It sums up our season.
“Part of it is inexperience – six of us are under 21 and although there is talent there you have to be patient – but we haven’t batted well.
“The batters in the top order are naturally aggressive and look to go after the bowlers, but they need to apply themselves more and play the situation.”
Saturday was a case in point.
Chasing 271, Wycombe were as good as beaten after the early dismissals of James Benning (10), Morgan (0), Jewell (5) and David Cranfield-Thompson (11).
George Russell gave his team hope with 80, and after Ali Birky fell for 35 Hussain threw his bat around for an unbeaten 52, but Wycombe were always struggling.
He said: “We didn’t have much chance but if we’d had one good over then you never know.
“When George was out we needed 55 off five overs and I thought that was makeable if he was still there at the end.
“But it was all a bit late and then the rain came anyway.”
Earlier, Adam Dobb and Saif Zaib took three wickets each in Welwyn’s score of 271-7.
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