DELIGHTED Cookham Dean captain Ben Millar heaped praise on his side after their seven-wicket victory at Cove ensured they were crowned Thames Valley League Division One champions.

The Dean have been the outstanding side in the top flight with 12 wins from their 16 completed games, and will make a return to Home Counties Premier League cricket after two years out.

Millar told the Observer: “We thought at the start of the season we had a good team, and while a couple of us have underperformed, it hasn’t really mattered.

“We believe the mark of a good team is your record in the 50-over cricket where you need more than just one man, and we’ve won six out of seven (one abandoned) so far.”

Millar did pay special praise to Sri Lankan overseas star Sahan Nanayakkare, who has taken a staggering 69 wickets at 9.78.

He said: “Sahan has been outstanding. The wickets have been conducive to spin bowling, but his record has been phenomenal.

“It has been a team effort, though. Different people have made useful runs at different times and we’re delighted to have done it.”

Cookham Dean round off their season with a home game against rivals Boyne Hill, and Millar is hoping to gain revenge for their 67-run defeat in the first round of fixtures.

He commented: “It’s always nice to beat them and the first game was actually a lot closer than it looks, our last five wickets fell like a pack of cards.

“We’ll be up for it and it would be nice to make it seven wins from eight in the limited overs stuff and send Sahan and Chris (Marrow) off to the winter sun on a high.”