WOKINGHAM never recovered from a disastrous start and crashed to a six-wicket defeat at Harefield on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

Skipper Stuart Parsons was run out for a second-ball duck and his predecessor, Stuart Hayler, who had been promoted to opener, lasted only three balls, leaving the Oaks 0-2.

Danny Housego and Michael Bates worked hard to improve the position and lifted the total to 67 before the latter was out for 32, which came off 56 balls.

Housego was joined by Sukhi Kang and they took the score up to 99, when the player-coach was lbw to Stephen Croft for 49, having faced 79 balls after hitting a maximum and six fours.

Six runs later, Kang was bowled for nine, leaving the visitors struggling at 101-5, which soon became six when James Bird was dismissed for one.

Simon Myles hit 30 from 33 balls, but the lower order didn't offer much support and the Oaks were all back in the pavilion after 47.1 overs for a totally inadequate total of 142.

For Harefield, Croft took 3-46 off 16 overs, Michael Barry 2-11 from 6.1, Jordan McLeod 2-21 (7) and Matt Ogden 2-35 (10).

Myles had home opener Nakul Hirani caught by Parsons for four with the total on 12 and with a wicket apiece for Myles and Max Uttley, the hosts were wobbling a little at 45-3.

But Oaks managed to take just one more wicket, with Myles trapping Will Hatton for six with the total on 75.

It was left to Barry, with 51 not out, and Lee Tyrrell, 35 to guide Harefield home with 44 overs gone.

Myles finished with 2-24 from seven overs, Uttley 1-31 off 10 and Paul Dewick 1-38 from 13.

So a very disappointing result for the Oaks, whose early-season form has certainly been inconsistent, to say the least, and this fourth defeat in seven games leaves them second from bottom of the table.

However, their points total of 84 is only 15 less than Oxford Downs in fourth place.

This coming Saturday they host fifth-placed Amersham, both sides looking for their fourth win of the season.