The last match of the first half of the league programme for Finchampstead hosting Slough in the HCPL on Saturday.
On winning the toss visitors Slough elected to bat first in very good looking conditions. They lost their first wicket at 25 as Connor Corlett caught and bowled Ali Ahmed. By the 17th over 88 were on the board then Darren Augustus had Omar Aktar caught for 30. By this time Said Zaib was well established with many fine strokes well played. At the interval and just 29 overs bowled Slough were 170 – 2 and in a very strong position. There was some curbing of the run flow with the wicket of Hal Kakani falling at 219 and 39 overs bowled. He was caught in the deep off spinner Greg Smith for 48.
Zaib pressed on with virtually little support as Finches worked their way through the order. Connor Corlett took three more wickets as nine fell for 300. But more strikes from Zaid saw him reach 181 before being caught in the deep. His magnificent innings did however contain four missed chances by Finches. So Slough ended on 335 in 58 overs. Connor Corlett took 4 – 69 in his 15 overs.
Given 62 overs to bat Finches could not have had a worse start. By the eighth over three wickets were down for 28. Josh Lincoln played on to Kakani who dismissed Toby Albert after skipper Dan Lincoln fell caught off I Nawaz. Simon Bell joined opener Greg Smith and gradually improved the score. But at 67 he was caught off Sharath. At 81 Mac Keast was also caught off the same bowler. Bowler Sharath then bowled Mike O’Donahue to leave Finches staring down the defeat barrell at 120 – 6.
Greg Smith then continued his very competent innings and with useful help from Zak Jones saw the score to 191. Then Zaib took his first of three wickets bowling him for 29. Darren Augustus joined the proceedings hitting runs as the overs available to bat reduced. The fine rearguard innings of Greg Smith ended on 220 when he was also bowled by Zaid for his outstanding 104.
At 220 – 8 it was tense and when Darren was bowled by Zaid for 24 it then became 230 – 9. Finches batsmen Connor Corlett and James Woodford then held out for the draw at 230 – 9. This was an undistinguished performance by Finches who rued missed chances against a very good Slough batsman in Zaid. Then were indebted to Greg Smith for holding the innings together so well in the drawn match.
Slough CC - 1st XI won the toss and elected to bat