Henley started their 2013 campaign in Division 3a travelling to a blustery Purley-on-Thames with high expectations, and after winning the toss and electing to bat it was the perfect start.
Third team debutants Will Ward & Duncan Very got off to a crisp start with some fine shots and smart running. Ward (21) was the first to go top edging a catch to fine leg, bringing Prakash Gurung to the crease. With the score one shy of 50, he was run out for 7 going for a tight second run.
Henley’s highest partnership of the game then followed as Very (52) and Tom Oldershaw put on 66 together as they milked the bowling to all parts. Very’s fine debut knock was ended when he was bowled by Thava and struck again immediately afterwards having Henry Oldershaw lbw for 0. Tom Chappell then joined Oldershaw Snr in a workmanlike 50 partnership before the later was caught for a classy 60.
At 163 – 4 with 7 overs remaining Henley looked set to score over 200, but Chappell (23*) and Jeremy Palmer (13*) struggled to accelerate the scoring against some accurate, short pitched bowling from Jeffery. Henley somewhat limped to 193 – 5 despite vain attempts to get bat on ball.
In reply, Purley got off to a brisk start with none of the Henley bowlers able to maintain a consistent line or length in the windy bowling conditions. It was another debutant, Wahab Mohammed, who took the first wicket having Purley captain Patrick Allen (51) loop a catch to Tom Oldershaw at point, but this did not affect the run rate as Maycock and Rawal continued in the same vain.
Fourth Henley newcomer, Aysin, had immediate effect in his first over when he had Rawal (54) caught spectacularly by Hopkins at mid-off, and this was soon followed by Ward stumping Maycock off Gurung for 13. Henley then attempted to use the conditions by having the spinners bowling out of the low sun, and this tactic worked when Tom Chappell induced Sewiappan to drive a firm catch to Gurung at mid-off for 0.
At 4 down with still 50 needed, could a wobble still be on the cards for Purley? Alas not, as Reber and Jeffery took advantage of the loose Henley bowling and took the hosts home with 12 overs remaining.
Henley collected 10 points for their effort and look forward to hosting Hillingdon next week at Turvillle.