Slough beat rivals Burnham but captain calls out players' complacency

Dan Lincoln scored 97 not out

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Slough skipper Nadeem Syed would love to see the club promoted back to Home Counties Division 1 this season and, while he’s pleased with the quality and make up of his squad, he doesn’t want to put the players under any pressure by claiming they can win the title.

With the addition of the Lincoln brothers, Dan and Josh, Slough look to have plenty of strength in depth, and they got their season underway in almost perfect fashion, beating local rivals Burnham by 36 runs, when many of their rivals saw their matches cancelled or abandoned due to the weather.

It’s taken them joint top of Division 2 with Amersham and Great Brickhill, but, while there were elements of the performance that pleased Syed, most notably their strong batting display in difficult conditions, he was disappointed by their lacklustre and complacent efforts in the final 15 overs. They won the game comfortably enough, but Burnham’s Sulaiman Javed made them sweat in the final overs, hitting a quickfire 71 from 55 balls.

“We were lucky we had a game,” said Syed. “I was surprised because I thought we wouldn’t, but it was a good performance by everyone considering it was the first game of the season.

“The batsmen did especially well, especially Dan (Lincoln, who made 97no). We had to play our way in on a wicket that had just come out from under the covers. But we could have been more professional in regard to closing the game out.

“The top order showed a lot of application. They played within their means and they respected the conditions and blocked out when they needed to. Everyone chipped in but we also know it’s only the first game of the season and we’ve got some tough games coming up.”

While there was plenty to please Syed, he also felt they let their guard down in the final stages of the match, handing Burnham a platform from which to claw their way back from being 113-7 to build some pressure. He’ll hope his players can apply themselves better in Saturday’s home game with Chesham.

“Fielding is definitely one department where we’ve just got to put in a little more work,” he said.

“To be honest, I didn’t think they were ever going to win the game, but because we were not ruthless and professional in those last 15 overs, we let our guard down and became a little bit complacent. We thought that victory had already been achieved.

“It allowed their lower order batsmen to build a little pressure, but to be honest they were always quite far behind. I never thought they’d win the game but it’s not good enough from us as a team to allow them to claw back that many runs. Every run counts.”

He added: “Every team in this division has a desire to get promoted and we’re no different. The team is mostly Slough boys, with a couple of new additions.

“We’ve got the Lincoln brothers joining us and Saif (Zaib) is also with us as well. But while he’s smashing centuries for his county Northamptonshire, he’s unlikely to be released to play for us that often. We might be light in that sense.

“But we have some youngsters who have started to perform as well as some older pros.

“Overall, I’m pleased. I’m not going to make a statement that we’re going to win the league or anything like that. We don’t want to put pressure on ourselves, but we do want to play good cricket and it will be interesting to see how things pan out.”

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