Miller’s knock can’t stop Cambourne claiming victory

Paul Miller blocks a delivery

Paul Miller blocks a delivery - Credit: Archant

Paul Miller’s 86 was not enough to help Royston past promotion-chasing Cambourne on Saturday.

Mindful of Royston’s past struggles against the probing Paul Darrington in particular, Paul Leary and Miller batted with caution and looked to build a base from which to push on in the second half of the innings. The pair displayed sound technique while picking off any loose balls to push the Crows past 50 without further loss.

Having done the hard work in ensuring that Darrington’s 10 over spell went wicket-less - the first time this had happened for the Cambourne man in over three years - it was therefore with much frustration that Leary (22) then fell to a full stretch diving one-handed catch at cover off the bowling of Ali in his last over.

With drinks taken, Miller quickly began to punish the new and less accurate change bowlers as the Crows accelerated to the 100 mark. Unfortunately the middle order were unable to follow suit. First, Martin Leary picked out deep midwicket on 10, before Paul Harris was bowled playing a loose shot. Miller was unperturbed, pushing the score up to 139 and punishing anything remotely loose with his trademark big hitting. However, when he eventually departed for splendid 86, the Royston tail fell away, subsiding to 152 all out.

Cambourne made a quick start in reply, Temoor Khan (23) attacking the bowling of Holmes (7-1-45-1) in particular, before the latter had his revenge, having the Cambourne opener smartly caught by Rohan Shetge at mid-off.

Humberto de Souza was quick to douse Royston hopes however, showing the kind of ability that had seen him rack up 200* against Haslingfield earlier this season. Cambourne’s total raced past the 100 mark as Royston were unable to find a breakthrough.

De Souza eventually fell LBW to Matt Gillham (8-0-41-2) for a rapid 69 with the score on 117-3, Gillham having also bowled Senado for two. However, incoming batsman Darrington (14*) looked assured and together with opener Graham Saint (33*), saw the visitors over the line with 12 overs to spare.

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Royston skipper Paul Harris said: “It was the batting that ultimately let us down again. With not enough runs on the board, the opposition are never going to be under enough pressure to score, and so taking wickets is that little bit harder. Until we start posting consistently competitive totals, we’re going to struggle, especially against strong opposition such as Cambourne.”

This Saturday, Royston host Camden and, with four games left in the season, will be desperately looking for a win in order to keep well away from the relegation zone.