02:00PM, Friday 03 September 2021
Slough captain Nadeem Syed believes the law of averages will be in his side's favour as they seek to clinch the Home Counties Division 2 title at the second time of asking.
Slough could have wrapped up the title, and with-it promotion back to Division 1 on Saturday, but visitors Wargrave tore up the script and beat them by seven wickets, with Rhodri Lewis producing a magnificent knock of 127 in what proved to be a comfortable run chase.
The team's indifferent form, and the weather, has seen the brakes applied to Slough's title charge in recent weeks and they go into the final weekend with three teams - Slough, Oxford Downs and Wokingham - battling for two promotion positions as well as the title. Slough retain an 11-point lead over their closest rivals Oxford but know that could be whittled away with another poor display at fourth placed Amersham on Saturday.
Slough's innings collapsed to 10-3 before Kamran Younas (54) and Shelvin Gumbs (65) steadied the ship and helped them to 216 all out. Wargrave, who remain in relegation danger going into the final match this weekend, defied expectations to reach their target in the 39th over.
“It's been a roller coaster,” said Syed.
“There have been some unexpected results and we've also had one game washed off, so it's all to play for in the final game.
“Wargrave played well and deserved to win, but equally, we didn't play well. We could have done better as a batting unit, and it was a wicket you could bat on as demonstrated by our lower order who did well to get us to 216.
“We didn't bowl well but I also don't want to take away from their batsman (Rhodri Lewis), who got a hundred for them. He took his chances and on the day, it came off.”
He added: “It’s still possible for all three teams (to win the title). Wokingham have a tough game against Horspath, not an easy game.
“Oxford Downs are playing at Chesham, who are fighting relegation and they’ll put all their efforts in, and we’re playing Amersham which is a strong team as well.
“But at the end of the day, our destiny is in our hands. If we beat Amersham, we should be alright.
“We deserve it because we’ve played good cricket this season, but we just need to play well in this final game, and everyone is up for it.
“They (Amersham) might come out all guns blazing and try things that they wouldn’t earlier in the season, but Chesham have everything to play for because they’re fighting relegation.
“It’s very difficult to say how the games will go, but we’re looking forward to it.
“The last two or three games we’ve been off in our batting, but the law of averages says we will come good now.”