The Wokingham Paper

CRICKET: Wokingham CC could clinch promotion this weekend after defeating Harefield

Paul Dewick bowls and catches to remove Russell Petley
Paul Dewick (right) took three wickets as Wokingham defeated Harefield

Wokingham are potentially one win away from sealing back-to-back promotions after a 75-run win at Harefield.

The Oaks, who have lost just twice all season, sit second in the Home Counties Premier League 2 table with just two games to play.

But the table remains tight with third-placed Datchet just four points behind while Chesham are still in contention a further 12 points back.

Wokingham host newly-crowned champions Buckingham Town on Saturday and a win at Sadlers End coupled with defeats for both the chasing pack would be enough to ensure a top two finish.

James Bird hit nine boundaries

The latest success came on the road as Stuart Parsons stepped in to take the captaincy from the absent Stuart Hayter at Harefield.

And he opened the batting, helping his side to a solid start to reach 35 before the first wicket fell as Parsons was bowled for a 45-ball 23.

Fellow opener Archie Carter soon followed for a watchful 19, before a huge partnership between James Bird and Dan Housego put the visitors in control.

The next wicket did not fall until the scoreboard read 199, when Bird was caught for 73, having scored nine boundaries.

Housego continued, pipping Bird with 10 boundaries in a knock of 86 off 84 balls.

Two late wickets fell with Jack Wood scoring 21 while Jacob Clark scored 28 not out as Wokingham closed on 277-6.

It took a while to make a breakthrough in reply, but Lewis Sharp and Iain Muirden each took one wicket apiece in quick succession to get the ball rolling.

Spinner Simon Myles was the next to try his arm and trapped opener Tom McLeod for 32 before fellow slower-ball specialist Paul Dewick made a breakthrough.

Harefield, still harbouring slim promotion hopes of their own, were batting conservatively to try and halt the momentum but a combination of Dewick, Sharp, Muirden and Myles gave them problems throughout.

From 114-6, the hosts did make it past the 200 mark with number eight Jordan McLeod top scoring on 54 before they were all out for 202 in the 47th over.

Muirden (3-42) was the pick of the bowlers, closely followed by Dewick (3-50), Myles (2-10) and Sharp (2-30).

Up in Premier 1, FINCHAMPSTEAD lost out against Slough.

Ed Oliver top scored for Finch

Having already sealed their top flight survival, Finches were given a mountain to climb after some impressive batting from their title-chasing visitors.

Conrad Louth (103) and Shahid Yousaf (106no) both scored centuries as Slough closed on 289-4 from their 50 overs with Darron Augustus, stand-in skipper Craig Hodges and Adam Dewes each taking one wicket.

Finch’s cause was not helped at Memorial Park after poor start in reply with both Dewes (0), Greg Smith (10), Mac Keast (0) and Josh Lincoln (3) all dismissed cheaply to leave the score 20-4.

However they did at least bat out their 50 overs as Simon Bell offered some resistance before being run out for 25, with Ed Oliver the stand-out performer, reaching 93 off 105 deliveries, a knock including 13 boundaries.

Hodges (28), Augustus (40) and Woodford (20no) also contributed well as the tail wagged, but Slough did enough for victory as the hosts ended on 249-9, 40 runs short of the target.

Finch, who sit seventh, go to Tring Park on Saturday.

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