Banbury’s task just got harder at leaders

Banbury batsman Craig Haupt facing a delivery from Harefield's Daniel Evans at White Post Road
Banbury batsman Craig Haupt facing a delivery from Harefield's Daniel Evans at White Post Road

Banbury go into arguably their toughest match of the season without two key players.

Lloyd Sabin’s side head to Home Counties Premier Cricket League leaders Finchampstead without Kurtis Patterson and Hugo Darby.

If we can cope with Jandre Coetzee then I’m sure we can get the victory

Captain Lloyd Sabin

And Banbury will be facing the league’s most prolific bowler in Jandre Coetzee, who has taken 31 wickets from only seven games since his arrival at Finchampstead Park.

Left-hander and leading run maker Patterson has returned home to Australia while Darby is unavailable.

Both batsmen produced good scores in last weekend’s victory over basement boys Harefield. Patterson moved on to 535 runs for the year and will be badly missed at the surprise division one leaders.

Second-placed Banbury trail Finchampstead by ten points and beat them earlier this year.

Sabin said: “Finchampstead have surprised a lot of people by coming up and going top. Even though we beat Finchampstead here, I was impressed with their batting, they had a good blend of steady batters and big hitters.

“Now they’ve got Jandre Coetzee who has made the difference but they are not a one-man side.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Coetzee in action, he’s taken a lot of first class wickets in South Africa and the damp conditions here are suiting him well. But if we can cope with him I’m sure we can get the victory.”

Looking back on last weekend’s victory over Harefield, Sabin added: “I didn’t think we played that well against Harefield and they probably deserved to win it.

“We were cruising at one stage but let them back into it and I think there was a bit of complacency.”