Henley Second XI v High Wycombe Second XI Saturday 11th May 2013
Henley 2s season opener at High Wycombe 2s was greeted with typical weather for the early stage of the cricket season; overcast and cold with a high probability of rain showers. At least it wasn’t so cold that we needed soup at drinks but it was pretty bleak nonetheless.
The team has a new look this season with stalwarts Horne and Yandell ploughing pastures new and 2013 Captain Jason Barber playing in the 1st XI along with Simon Wheeler giving Ranger, Birkett and new recruits from Beaconsfield Waqas Khan and Hamza Iqbal a chance to stake a further claim in the 2s.
Having lost the toss (and having avoided making a decision) captain Paul Smith led his side onto the field to bowl wearing black armbands in memory of Mary Nelson, a great club member and friend who tragically died earlier in the week after a brave battle against cancer.
Jewell and Robinson started relatively steadily for High Wycombe but on a good track and with a fast scoring outfield they started to increase the tempo and after 22 overs they had scored at 5 an over. The only chance in the early stages of the innings being given by Robinson when on 37, the ball just failing to carry to Nick Johnson at first slip. Iqbal and Khan bowled well, especially against the left handed Jewell (86) but it was the leg spin of Sam Ranger that eventually broke the opening stand with the score on 116, Johnson taking a good catch at extra cover to dismiss Robinson (66). Deule was next in and looked far from fluent eventually falling LBW to Bezeidenhout, who bowled excellently on a batter friendly wicket, for 12 with the score on 144 and at this point Henley were fighting back well, High Wycombe being pegged back to 4 an over and a score of 240-250 looked likely. However wickets in hand are always a factor and so it proved as the rate accelerated to enable High Wycombe to declare on 272-5 from 50 overs following cameos from Russell (36) and skipper Keith Newell (33). Iqbal, in particular, bowled well at the end of the innings and finished with a creditable 3-74 from 14. The team can be proud of their hard work in the field, that score was only just par and it would have been easy to give up and let High Wycombe really get away.
After tea and some rain, early on, Alex Price and Paul Smith opened up for the visitors, Smith scored freely finding the ball coming onto the bat nicely and the new opening pair were running well between the wickets. They moved the score onto 33 before Price was trapped on his crease by Wilson, LBW 4. Johnson was in at 3, but never settled, he too was dismissed LBW. Boyce joined Smith and with a combination of stout defence and hard hitting attacking strokes they moved the score onto 55 from 14 but then the weather turned. First rain and then hail put an end to proceedings with Smith on 37 no and Boyce 12 no. Henley 7 points High Wycombe 11.
Some good performances so early in the season and with the expected return of Barber and Wheeler this Saturday when Henley 2s entertain Amersham at the Brakspear Ground (1pm) Henley can certainly take many positives from the game.