Datchet CC gathering momentum ahead of new season

Ben Brookes

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Datchet cruised through to the finals of the Home Counties T20 competition, to be played later in the summer, after overcoming Amersham and Harefield with relatively little trouble on Saturday.

The qualifying games have warmed the squad up nicely for the start of the new Division 1 season, which gets underway at home to Oxford at the Wally Gage Memorial Ground this weekend.

“We've had a pretty good four or five games so far,” he said. “We're five from five going into the season and have also played a couple of longer 50 over games against Richmond and Amersham.

“They were good tests which took us into the T20 qualifiers and we managed to win those matches as well.

“We start at home to Oxford and in the first four games we've got Oxford, Henley, Banbury, High Wycombe.

“Three or four of the strongest teams up top so it's probably better to go into the season with a bit of momentum.”

He doesn't think too much can be read into last season's form, when the league season was replaced by a shorter cup competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the aim this summer is to finish in the 'top two'.

Chris Peploe and Oliver Birts, Datchet's 'go to men' with the ball a couple of years ago, have now left the club but four of five new faces have been brought in to replace them, including a duo from the Birmingham league in Ben Brookes and Oli Haley.

“Both of them are seam bowling all-rounders who have made a good impact already,” added Barrett.

“We've also brought in Calvin Dickinson, who was contracted at Hampshire for a couple of years, and played a T20 finals day for Hampshire.

“He's a wicket keeper/batter but we'll probably just use him as a batter with Joe Thomas taking the gloves still. Sulaiman Akhtar from Slough, who played for us last year, he's a leg spinner. There's been a lot of change and we have a couple of lads who've come through the colts section who are showing a lot of promise as well.

“Our batting has been our strong suit, we bat quite deep.

“Our seam bowling and our batting are really strong but if I had to choose I'd say that our batting is our firepower.”

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