Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Wycombe increase Home Counties lead despite frustration
4:28pm Monday 23rd July 2012 in Sport
A LENGTHY absence away from the middle can often unsettle batsmen.
So often striving for consistency, interruptions to the fixture schedule can play havoc on the minds of players.
However, High Wycombe’s top order showed no signs of such frailties following fixture cancellations against Henley and Potters Bar in recent weeks to build another huge total at home to bottom-of-the-table Oxford last Saturday.
After amassing 296-4, skipper Matt Eyles was disappointed that Wycombe’s dominance didn’t lead to another victory.
A determined century from Oxford’s Ryan Canning, who was dropped twice, held Oxford’s innings together under real pressure from Wycombe’s attack.
He said: “To score nearly 300 on a slow wicket was a superb effort, but from ball one of their 64 overs Oxford made no attempt to score the runs so it was always going to be hard to get the wickets. Canning was the glue that their innings was built around and dropping him a couple of times probably cost us the match.”
Looking for their eighth win on the bounce, Nick Robinson and Alex Morgan set about building a large total against a struggling Oxford side. The duo added 74 for the first wicket until Morgan became the first of Francois Vainker’s four wickets for 23.
Robinson, who is averaging 40 this season, eventually departed for an impressive 62 which brought together Eyles and James Benning. Scoring was difficult to come by on a slow track but neither player let this affect their performance.
After adding 105 for the third wicket, Eyles became Vainker’s third wicket for a steady 70, meaning it was down to keeper David Cranfield-Thompson and Benning to up the scoring as the innings drew to a close. They didn’t disappoint as Benning’s 89, which included 12 fours and two sixes, and Cranfield-Thompson’s 41 not out meant Eyles could declare with 296 on the board.
Oxford, in their reply, showed plenty of resilience, particularly through the courageous Canning. Christopher Sketchley was the pick of the Wycombe bowlers with 3-33 from his 14 overs, while Benning (2), Sohail Hussain, Rory Wilson and Luke Beaven each picked up a wicket.
After the game, skipper Eyles was already focussing on the task ahead.
He said: “The next three fixtures will decide the league. We have some massive away trips coming up – Banbury is always a huge game – and our spinners will be ready if the pitches become drier.
“Fortunately none of the teams chasing us won but we have to keep doing what we’re doing.
“We’re more than capable of going unbeaten but there might be games where we’re under real pressure chasing large totals.”
Next up is a trip to Banbury, the side who Wycombe narrowly beat by just one run in May.