05:31PM, Wednesday 18 May 2022
Tom Mellor scored 50 for Boyne Hill
Boyne Hill’s performance in Saturday’s two-run defeat to Gerrards Cross was much, much better, but still far from perfect according to Hill’s skipper Ziya Mohamed.
Hill's new captain has high hopes for the campaign and believes the side can match their rivals and push them all the way for promotion, however, they've opened their Thames Valley League Division 1 campaign with consecutive defeats.
They were deservedly beaten by Ickenham on the opening day, losing by seven wickets, but Saturday's clash at Cross was a much closer and more absorbing affair.
Set a target of 270-6 from 50 overs, having watched the likes of Chris Marrow 89, Ed Snushall 41 and Ben Lane 61 play their way into form, Hill made a gutsy and determined chase with Tom Mellor scoring an impressive 50 further down the order to keep the visitors in touch. They needed 12 runs heading into the final over but, with most of their more talented and experienced batsmen back in the clubhouse, they just couldn't get over the line, finishing on 268-8.
Reflecting on the side's improving displays, Mohamed said: “Our first game didn't go to plan, possibly because of the number of new players we've recruited. But Saturday was a really tight game, and the guys are settling in, little by little. We scored some runs but were incredibly unlucky.
“We nicked Chris Marrow off a few times, but he just managed to edge the ball through the slips unfortunately.
“I thought we chased the game well. Tom Mellor batted well towards the end, even with a back injury and Prashant Kumar, 42no, also did very well. If I could have stayed in a little longer, maybe we could have won it, but unfortunately, I got out.
“We needed 12 runs on the last over. It was doable but we just didn't have the batting to get it done unfortunately.
“The top order is struggling just a little bit at the moment, but they will hopefully come good in the next game.”
Despite healthy knocks from the likes of Humza Ishaq 44, Nabeel Janed 34, and Usman Ilyas, 27, Hill's top order is yet to fully click into gear. However, reinforcements are on their way in the form of Sajid Ali and James Hammerton and Mohamed is confident they can provide some solidity at the top of the order and galvanise their teammates. On Saturday they host free-scoring Henley 2nds who have beaten Cookham Dean and Burnham by 66 runs and 81 runs respectively.
“Our top order is three new players and we've missed Sajid Ali who scored some 50s for us in our warmup games.
“He will be playing on Saturday as will James Hammerton so with those two we should be a little more solid at the top of the order.
“Bowling wise I thought we played well against Gerrards Cross. They only scored 27 runs off our first 10 overs but the wicket was flat, and they managed to score the runs they needed.
“Towards the end I thought we pulled it back well. They could have easily scored over 300 but our death bowling was good.
“We did well to limit them to 270, it could have been worse. I believe we have the batting line up to chase any score but it’s just early days. We’re going in the right direction, but we were just unlucky on Saturday.”
He added: “Henley is always a tough game. We’re looking forward to it at home, used to the conditions and hopefully we’ll do well.”
All lines are currently blocked between Reading and London Paddington stations due to a person being hit by a train.