PINKNEYS GREEN skipper Nadeem Asif believes a shortage of players and lack of practice is to blame for their slow start to the new season.

Asif and his team sit bottom in Division One after four defeats in their first five matches, including a 152-run loss at home to Binfield on Saturday.

Asif has refused to criticise the performance last weekend and he insists Pinkneys Green will start to climb the table when regular players return to the side at the end of this month.

“We’ve not had much practice in the nets so far this year but hopefully players will get back into the game,” he explained to the Observer. “Our batting and bowling is coming together but at the moment we have players away.

“I hope in the next game, or the one after that, we will be as good as we used to be. Come the end of June some players will return and we will have a regular team out.

“We’re mentally a very strong side but in the last game a couple were playing in their first match of the season and were short on practice.”

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Action from the Chilterns League Division One match between Pinkneys Green and Binfield on Saturday.

Having won the toss, Binfield elected to bat and made 281 all out from 50.1 overs. Thomas Andrews top-scored with 75, while skipper Mike Staves added 56* and Matt Humphrey 38.

Ardeel Akhtar was the pick of the Pinkneys bowlers with his 3-58, backed up by Shakir Shazad (2-33) and Saleem Ahmed (2-43).

The hosts were skittled for 130 off 37.4 overs in response with Waleed Khursheed (37), Azhar Razaq (34) and Wasim Ahmed (28) the only batsman to reach double figures. Andrews claimed 4-46 for Binfield.

Asif commented: “Initially we thought we could chase the score but we didn’t make a great start. We decided to go for broke and a couple in the middle order did bat well but we didn’t get to the total.”

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