Home Counties Cricket: Datchet and Wargrave’s disappointing start to the season continues – Photo 1 of 1

War Grave Captain Euan Woods

Datchet and Wargrave’s disappointing start to the Home Counties Division 1 season continued with both sides losing again.

Datchet were hoping to be in the title mix before the season started, but they have started very slowly with defeats to Great Brickhill and now Banbury.

They also didn’t put up much of a fight in Saturday’s eight-wicket loss at the Wally Gage Memorial Ground.

After being put in to bat, Billy Mead’s side were bowled out for 119 in just 32 overs. Wickets fell early, with the home side reduced to 59-6 as Joe Barrett (3), Hd Ward (1) and Calvin Dickinson (1) all struggled.

Mead (15) and Steven Naylor (32) were able to defy Banbury’s bowlers for a while and Dewald Botha (33) top-scored a little further on. But their total of 119 always seemed a little underwhelming.

Banbury made it look that way as they raced to their target in 26 overs.

Lloyd Sabin (5) and Waqas Hussain (0) fell for a couple of precious runs relatively early, but Kieran Coyne (63no) and Joe White (37no) guided the visitors home with little further scare.

Datchet will be keen to get their first win on the board when they host High Wycombe on Saturday.

Wargrave are another team that would do well but struggled in their first two games.

After losing to High Wycombe on the opening day, Euan Woods’ side were now beaten by 58 runs by Finchampstead.

Finchampstead opted to bat winning the toss and made 189 before being bowled out in the last of their 50 overs. Gregory Smith top-scored them with 57, but on paper it was a chaseable total thanks to the bowling of Woods (3-29) and John Child (3-25).

Surprisingly for Wargrave, however, they failed to hit their oars with the bat. Josh Lincoln (16), Woods (23), Faaez Shamsi (20) and Tommy Sturgess (15 no) all made starts, but none could contribute the kind of innings needed to chase Finchampstead’s total. They finished at 131 all out in the 39th over, 58 runs short.

Wargrave is back at home against Wokingham this weekend.

In Division 2, Slough won their second match of the season when they defeated newly promoted Stoke Green by three wickets.

In a thrilling match, Stoke Green produced a competitive total of 228-8 from their 50 overs after being set in motion by Slough captain Nadeem Syed.

Rizwan Nadeem (47) and Karanpreet Singh (82) kept the Slough fielders on their toes as Najib Khan hit 34, no further down their order. Yaqoot Rafiq finished with Slough’s best bowling figures of 3-32 to keep the match in the balance.

In reply, Slough achieved their target with plenty of overs – and a few wickets – in hand. This is mainly thanks to the batting performances of Siddharth Krishnamurthy Venkatesh (88 off 68 deliveries) and Shafqat Ullah (63 off 55) that propelled the visitors from 34-2 to 174-3. Bobby Sher won 4-40 for the home side, briefly keeping Stoke Green’s hopes of victory alive.

With two wins already to their name, Slough will be confident heading into Saturday’s match at Buckingham Town. Stoke Green will host Thame Town as they look to record their first win since claiming promotion.