The Wokingham Paper

Coetzee and Dewes the star performers as Finchampstead CC batter Burnham to preserve top spot, while Wokingham CC make light work of Marlow

WP Cricket Finchampstead v Harefield

FINCHAMPSTEAD continue to reign supreme in Division 1 of the Home Counties Premier Cricket League after comfortably disposing of Burnham in a 95-run success.

The club’s remarkable return to the top flight shows no signs of letting up, either, with Saturday’s victory a sixth on the spin.

Finchampstead’s rise to the top of the standings, where they now hold a 10-point lead over closest rivals Banbury – incidentally their next opponents this weekend – has been helped greatly by some outstanding contributions from overseas player Jandre Coetzee.

And the South African would play a pivotal part once again, top scoring with a half-century 51 before going on to take five Burnham wickets.

The other five were taken by JJ Dewes, who tore through the hosts’ middle order and would finish with an impressive 5-25 during a devastating spell from the pair.

A stuttering start, however, was witnessed after Finch were stuck into bat at the coin toss, with Matt Jones removed for a duck with the score on just one.

His replacement, and captain, Dan Marles (20) and Andrew House (21) soon followed him back to the pavilion.

Billy Rogers was also removed for 21 on 77-4, and his departure was to trigger a mini-collapse, with Andy Rishton, Greg Smith and Simon Bell all falling to Aftab Khan, the Burnham bowler and captain who interrupted the innings with 5-50.

Finchampstead were now looking vulnerable on 92-7, but would be indebted to some counter-attacking stands from Matt Carter and Coetzee.

Rotating the strike to good affect saw the two help the hosts out of a hole, with their eight-wicket partnership of 59 pushing the side to a more healthier-looking target.

Carter was eventually removed for 41, which arrived from just 44 balls.

Team-mate Coetzee was just as rapid with his scoring, with his leading knock arriving from 55 deliveries.

The Memorial Ground side were eventually bowled out in the 51st over for 185, yet while looking perhaps a little lightweight at the time, the target had become a touch more daunting after Coetzee struck twice early on to pin the opposition back to 11-2.

It was to set the tone for the session, too, as he and Dewes built up a brutal combination.

Despite skipper Khan offering some resistance with 27, the Cotzee and Dewes show would put paid to Burnham in just 25 overs, who were skittled out for just 90 to leave the in-form home side toasting yet another victory.

Wokingham celebrate a wicket during their triumph over Marlow on Saturday (Picture: Jon Mikol)
Wokingham celebrate a wicket during their triumph over Marlow on Saturday (Picture: Jon Mikol)

Wokingham Cricket Club

STANDOUT performances from Jack Wood and Dan Housego ensured Wokingham remain on the victory path following an impressive seven-wicket triumph against Marlow.

The Oaks now also sit among the leading pack in Division 1 of the Thames Valley League as consecutive wins has seen the side rise from sixth to third, where they now sit just 11 points behind second-placed Chesham.

Fancying their chances of putting up a good score, Marlow elected to bat at Sadler’s End – only to see such hopes ruined by Wood, who would take the lion’s share of wickets and leave the field clutching fine figures of 6-45.

Spurred on by this, the rest of the attack would go on to clean up the remaining batsmen, with the innings ended in the 38th over and Marlow looking in a precarious position on 135.

And Wokingham, revitalised by ended a winless streak of five games the weekend before when defeating Yateley, wasted little time to knock off their target.

Housego would was the lynch pin of that particular success, scoring 75, and he was at it again on Saturday, with the player-coach striking up an unbeaten 62.

With wicket-keeper Michael Bates totting up 41 at the opposite end, the win and 25 points was wrapped up inside 32 overs.

Wokingham are away at Windsor this weekend.

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