Sabin guides Banbury to a draw at the leaders

Ashley Blanchard shared in a good partnership with Lloyd Sabin at Finchampstead
Ashley Blanchard shared in a good partnership with Lloyd Sabin at Finchampstead

Lloyd Sabin produced a captain’s innings as Banbury drew at Home Counties Premier Cricket League leaders Finchampstead on Saturday.

But Banbury had to withstand a late charge from Finchampstead to gain a share of the spoils, as the leaders finished two runs short of victory in the final over.

Having been inserted in Saturday’s division one fixture, Banbury made a dreadful start and were reduced to 31-3 with Sabin the only batsman to deal with the Finchampstead attack.

Sabin and Ashley Blanchard 37 got the innings back on track as they took Banbury on to 121-6. It wasn’t the prolific Jandre Coetzee who did the damage but Matt Carter 4-56 and Matt Utley 2-45.

After Sabin departed, having made 86 runs from 150 balls including eight fours, a late flurry from Karl Penhale 14 and Luke Ryan 18 took the visitors on to 195-9 at the close.

In reply, openers Andrew Rishton 26 and Andrew House 30 gave Finchampstead a solid start before Banbury began to make inroads into the innings.

Having reduced Finchampstead to 114-7, in which Gregory Smith 24 and Sukhmeet Kang 25 led the way, Banbury looked to bowl the hosts out. But Finchampstead also sensed victory and Coetzee 43no made sure the leaders held on for a draw while Richard West took 5-82 as the leaders closed on 194-8.

But Banbury still slipped down to third following Henley’s victory over Burnham.