01:00PM, Friday 20 May 2022
Cookham Dean produced a solid team display to get their first win of the summer in glorious conditions against Beaconsfield on Saturday.
As the sun beat down on the Beaconsfield ground, visitors Dean produced with both the ball and the bat to claim a well-deserved 101 run win, a much needed pick me up after their opening day defeat to Henley 2nds.
Young Alfie Agar, 14, made his first start of the season for the first team after scoring a sensational 74 in the side's National Village Cup win over Binfield the previous Sunday, but this Dean team was also blessed with experience with Shahzad Asghar 37, Patrick Castleden 73, Curran Bains 35 and captain Greg Davis 32 helping them reach 262-7 from their 50 overs.
Captain Davis had expected Beaconsfield to produce a stronger run chase than they did but, shorn of a couple of their better batsmen - including their overseas player who was with the 2nd team on Saturday - they were bowled out for 161 in 44.2 overs.
“It felt really good to get that first win after defeat in our first game,” said Davis,
“I thought Beaconsfield would be a strong team again this year, but they seem to be missing a couple of players. Their overseas also wasn't fully fit and was with their second team on Saturday. It was a strong performance from the whole team.
“We batted when we could and tried not to lose early wickets, consolidated on a good base, and then scored fairly quickly after that. It was just a great team performance, there was no one that didn't do anything.
“We couldn't have asked for a better day for it either, it made it feel like the cricket season had truly arrived and we were able to celebrate that with a win.
“It's useful having someone of Patrick's (Castleden) experience around for as much of the season as possible, having played a good level of cricket for several years.
“He has that little bit extra quality and can also facilitate the younger players and guide them in the right direction.
“They’re aspiring young cricketers playing at a very good level for their age group. It’s been a very much more enjoyable year already; the team is very bonded and there are some very good vibes this year. It may be somewhat COVID related, but this year feels like we’ve got a very good bunch.”
Usman Ijaz, 32, and William Midwinter, 51, did well to resist for Beaconsfield, but Dean's bowlers shared the wickets around with Asghar (2-16), Deswin Currency (2-33) and Simret Mangat (2-47) each taking a brace. There were a couple of handy run outs too which tilted the balance firmly in Dean's favour.
“It was an absolute team performance, and we had two run outs as well,” added Davis.
“That changes the game massively and when you can open another avenue of dismissal it makes the game so much better.
“We’re not reliant on one or two players as we maybe we have been in previous years, it’s very much whoever is up for it on the day, they will get wickets, or score runs.
“Hopefully we’ll shock a few people who maybe just wrote us off after our opening day defeat to Henley 2nds. They seem to be batting and scoring loads of runs.
“We’ve got a very good squad this year but it’s not going to be one person scoring a thousand runs or taking 30 wickets, it will be everyone sharing it around and hopefully having a really good season.”
Dean host last season's champions Stoke Green at Whyteladyes Lane on Saturday with the visitors having begun the defence of their crown with imperious victories over Beaconsfield and Eversley. However, Dean did manage to edge them by one wicket in their first T20 Julian Cup group match which took place on Tuesday.
“They’ve stopped becoming just a two-spinner club, they’ve opened up all avenues as well so fair play to them,” said Davis. “Having just beaten them in the Julian Cup last week I’m sure they’re out for some revenge on that.
“We're in the group of death in the Julian Cup having been pooled with Burnham, Slough and Stoke Green, but we've given ourselves the best possible start. Slough and Henley being back in the cup will add to the competition as well.”
Visitors to Burnham Park Hall on Monday May 16 can undergo a ‘living with dementia experience’ as part of National Dementia Action Week.