FINCHAMPSTEAD boosted their hopes of finishing runners-up to champions-elect Henley by defeating already-relegated Burnham by six wickets on Saturday.

Bouncing back from their shock defeat at the hands of Great & Little Tew, Finch moved back into second place in the table with three games left to play.

They trail Henley by 39 points, but are three points ahead of Oxford in third place and six better off than the fourth-club Banbury, whom they visit this Saturday.

Burnham, tailed off at the foot of Division One, won the toss and took first knock in good looking conditions at Memorial Park.

Openers Karan Kumar and Fahad Raja batted steadily against Jandre Coetzee and Anthony Parson.

But with 10 overs gone and 35 on the board, Kumar was well caught in the deep by Matt Carter off the bowling of Parson for 18.

At 63, fellow opener Raja was run out for 24 and when skipper Harveer Gandham offered a return catch to Matt Carter, the score stood at 74-3 after 19 overs.

The experienced Aftab Khan batted well, but he lost Raminder Singh (6) and Adnam Malik (31), both stumped by Ed Oliver off spinners Billy Rogers and Max Uttley, leaving Burnham 159-5 in the 40th over.

Soon afterwards, Khan was caught and bowled by spinner JJ Dewes for a good 53.

The end came 23 runs later as seamer Carter claimed three more wickets and JJ Dewes one to end Burnham’s innings on 186 from 48 overs.

Carter finished with 4–31 from seven overs and Dewes 2-40 from 10.

Finch made a good start with an opening partnership of 68 from Andrew House and Adam Dewes before the latter was caught at mid-wicket off Imran Aslam for 13.

House was caught and bowled by Malik for a fine 57 when the total was on 92 from 22 overs.

Then, at 142, skipper Dan Marles was caught on the leg side for 29 and six runs later Oliver was caught in the covers for one.

But Rogers, with 43, and Coetzee, 25, saw Finches home with seven overs to spare.

  • IN Division One of the Thames Valley League, Finchampstead 2nds were dismissed for 148 at Cookham Dean, Josh Lincoln top scoring with 49, and the hosts eased past that total without losing a wicket in the 27th over.

Finchampstead 3rds defeated Chiswick & Whitton by 53 runs to go third in Division 3a. They looked in trouble early on, but reached 190-7 thanks to Phil West (76no) and Simon Eldridge, who was unbeaten on 56. The home side were bowled out for 137, Sam Taylor taking 5-20 and Dave Higginson 3-12.

In Division 6b, second-placed Finchampstead 4ths had a fine 16-run win over leaders Sonning 2nds.

They totalled 156 with skipper Gareth Biggs contributing 50 and Ben Fisher 36 before bowling out the visitors for 140, both Steve West and Cameron Ellis returning 3-35.

The Division 8a game between Finchampstead 5ths and Hayes 4ths was rained off.