Record-breakers keep the champions in check

Banbury batsman Ollie Clarke deals with another delivery as Henley slips Euan Woods and Michael Roberts look on at White Post Road
Banbury batsman Ollie Clarke deals with another delivery as Henley slips Euan Woods and Michael Roberts look on at White Post Road

Ollie Clarke and Qaasim Adams produced a club record third-wicket partnership as Banbury drew with Home Counties Premier Cricket League champions Henley.

The pair completed centuries in Saturday’s division one fixture at White Post Road where Banbury were unable to end their four-match win-less sequence. For the second week running, Banbury had every chance of taking maximum points but Henley dug-in to see the game out.

Having elected to field, Henley captain Michael Roberts saw his side make the perfect start with openers Lloyd Sabin and Craig Haupt back in the clubhouse with only nine runs on the board. Sabin was bowled by Tom Nugent who then ran out Haupt.

That brought together Clarke and Adams who formed the record-breaking third-wicket stand of 216 runs. Adams made 104 runs off 189 balls, including 15 fours, when he was caught by Roberts off Nugent.

But Clarke remained at the crease to take Banbury on to 246-5 at the end of their 60 overs. Clarke hit an unbeaten 104 runs off 169 balls, including 15 fours.

In reply, Banbury found early success when opener Tom Oldershaw was caught by Adams off Brad Taylor who then caught and bowled Euan Woods to reduce Henley to 20-2. Roberts and Richard Morris steadied the ship with a third-wicket stand of 63 runs.

Henley lost two wickets in quick succession, Morris was bowled by Olly Wright for 41 runs and James Ashton was bowled by Adams without another run being scored as Henley stuttered on 84-4. But Roberts and Michael Williams put on 68 runs for the fifth wicket.

Roberts was finally caught and bowled by Clarke for 59 runs, which included four fours and a six, off 96 balls. When William Legg was caught by Haupt off Clarke a few balls later Banbury had every chance.

But Williams remained at the crease to see Henley reach 199-7 when he was trapped lbw by Adams for 49 runs off 79 balls, that included seven fours.

Banbury still smelt victory but Euan Brock had other ideas and he produced an unbeaten 29 runs off 64 balls, which included four fours, as Henley reached 203-8 at the close of their 56 overs. Three bowlers produced good figures, Taylor finished with 2-25, as did Adams and Clarke took 2-28.