HIGH Wycombe CC haven’t made the fast start they wanted in Division One of the Home Counties League, but the message from captain Matthew Eyles is: Don’t panic.
They have yet to win after two rounds of fixtures, but bad weather ruled out of the first game and the second was as good as lost as soon as they lost the toss at Burnham.
But they host Oxford on Saturday and Eyles believes this is the match which provide an accurate barometer of the team’s health.
He said: “Playing Oxford at home will be a true test of where we are as a team.
“The conditions are excellent there this year so I think it will be a high-scoring game, so it’s going to be a good test for us.
“It’s still early in the season. We’ve had a good pre-season but most of our batters have not had a lot of time at the crease yet so it’s very hard to get going.
“But I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before they find their form and start firing.”
Wycombe did actually get themselves into fantastic positions early in both innings last Saturday, despite losing a valuable toss.
George Harper and Gavin Baker both struck immediately to reduce Burnham to 4-2, but by the time Adam Dobb had taken the third scalp Burnham had added 110 runs with Awais Zia doing most of the damage with an innings of 94.
Eyles said: “He was the difference between the two sides. He played for Pakistan against England in a T20 match last summer and other than him they didn’t really get going either.”
A flurry down the order got Burnham to 224 all out in the penultimate over, and Wycombe appeared to be cruising as Eyles and Nick Robinson set a solid platform at the top of the order.
They made 38 and 34 respectively to put on 73 for the first wicket, but once they departed Wycombe offered little resistance.
James Benning did add 21, but around him scores of 2, 7, 6, 3, 5, 11 and 2 spelled disaster.
Eyles said: “The toss is always vital at Burnham, especially with the weather we’ve been having.
“The side batting second there doesn’t often win the game because the wicket deteriorates very quickly and starts to turn.
“I would have taken 200-odd to chase and if it was mid-season and we were confident and firing on all cylinders I’d have backed us to get there.
“We got off to a great start but it’s very difficult to get in on that wicket.”
Wycombe were eventually all out for 141 inside 40 overs, but chance for revenge will come soon enough.
After Oxford on Saturday they welcome Burnham to London Road in the National Knockout Cup.