Bad weather takes the edge off Wycombe's top order

Bucks Free Press: Matthew Eyles Matthew Eyles

HIGH Wycombe CC missed the chance to strike a blow in the heart of Banbury’s Home Counties title challenge last weekend when a waterlogged pitch left both teams in limbo again.

Their top-of-the-table fixture was called off on the Friday, meaning Wycombe have now lost two of their first four league matches in what is turning into another disrupted summer.

Captain Eyles said: “It’s frustrating. I have mixed feelings about it to be honest.

“It was called off on Friday but you’d like to see things for yourself, especially with the sun shining.

“The week before everyone assumed our match with Oxford would be called off, but we still managed to play. Sometimes you can if everyone is one the same page.

“But it was in Banbury’s best interests to play so the conditions must have been bad.”

From the outside, losing no ground on the leaders isn’t necessarily such a bad thing – especially when they still have to come to London Road.

But Wycombe’s game was the only one in Division One to be called off. They were second at the start of play and fourth by the end of it.

Eyles said: “This early in the season it’s not a two-horse race. Everyone is in the same boat, but the weather still isn’t settling down and there are a few grounds around the league that are really struggling.

“It’s a shame, because you want the best team to win the league without it being influenced by the conditions.”

For Eyles, the big concern is what these interruptions will do to Wycombe’s top order; a month into the season and most of their batsmen are still waiting for a decent innings.

He said: “We played brilliantly against Oxford and people were starting to find a bit of form.

“But now we’ve had another week off and it’s back to square one.

“If we score enough runs we’ll be competing for the league title this year. My one concern is the batters aren’t getting any time in the middle.

“We’re batting in the nets but it’s not the same as batting in the middle. You can’t replicate it mentally.”

Saturday’s opponents certainly seem to be feeling that acutely.

Gerrards Cross made more than 300 a few weeks ago but either side of that were bowled out for less than 100.

Eyles said: “They’ve only just been promoted and they’re a very young side, so they will be a bit up and down.

“But they’re a very talented side with a lot of match-winners.”

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