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High Wycombe reach half way point in leaders' slipstream
THE Home Counties League table looks a whole lot better for High Wycombe this week after they at last finished a game of cricket again.
They dodged rain showers throughout the afternoon on Saturday to beat Slough by 15 runs and jump four places up the ladder to third at the half way stage of the season.
A steadying 44 from opener Alex Morgan plus five wickets from Jamie Benning underpinned the victory, which came at a good time with draws elsewhere in the league helping Matt Eyles’ team climb the table.
He said: “There were a lot of draws and that was helpful to us. But I still think Banbury and Burnham are going to be the teams to beat.
“They’re the favourites. Their bowling attacks are very suited to the conditions so they’re more likely to bowl teams out and win games of cricket than we are at Wycombe.
“Teams can score a lot of runs on our wicket so if we can just stay in it until it gets to the timed stage again then I’ll definitely take that.”
After admitting his team were one rained off match away from virtually conceding the league title, High Wycombe are now just 14 points off leaders Banbury and six behind Burnham.
They won the toss and opted to bat at Slough, but the going was tough on a pitch that has taken an awful lot of rain.
Eyles said: “We knew it would be a low scoring game with the weather and their pitch. It’s lacked a bit of preparation time and was very slow with no life in it.
“But we went out there with the mindset of just getting something on the board and everyone chipped in.”
Opener Alex Morgan provided the glue with 44 off 109 balls, before the middle order contributed with 25, 20 and 19 from David Cranfield-Thompson, Gavin Baker and Adam Dobb.
That got them up to 169 from 54.4 overs.
Eyles said: “We’d set our sights on 200 but we went off for rain and lost a bit of momentum. But it was difficult for everyone to score runs on that pitch. We had to scrape for runs, which we’re not used to doing at High Wycombe so that was testament to the team.
“And even with 170 I was confident we’d have the bowlers to bowl them out.”
Benning’s five-for repaid that faith, with Dobb and Baker following up their stint with the bat with two wickets each as Wycombe wrapped up a crucial victory.
Wycombe go to Aston Rowant on Saturday.