STAND-IN Slough CC skipper Nadeem Syed believes his side can still avoid relegation from Division One of the Home Counties Premier League, despite their heart-breaking one-wicket defeat to fellow strugglers Tring Park on Saturday, writes Richard Ashton.

The second-bottom side were left to rue conceding six penalty runs for a slow over rate as Tring – now 29 points clear of the Upton Court Road club – snatched a dramtic victory off the last ball having scored eight from the final over.

But Syed, who has taken over the reins from Goutham Shrikrishna until the end of the season, believes all is not lost.

He told the Observer: "We believe as a team we can stay up if we put a performance in for the next three games.

"We improved a lot from the week before and while it was disappointing to lose, I thought we were a bit unlucky.

"It has been a difficult season, but we have given a lot of youngsters a chance. Most of the team are now homegrown lads aged between 18-24.

"If we go down it's not the end of the world because relegation is part of cricket, but we believe we can stay up."

Reflecting on the penalty runs which ultimately proved costly, Syed added: "It was a bit disappointing as we were told we needed to bowl 13 overs in the final hour and the spinners were on. Then there was an outside edge which went for four in the last over and that was key."

Next up for Slough is a trip to high-flying Banbury, who leapfrogged Datchet into second spot following their 32-run success.

But Syed has a game plan he hopes will work.

"We know their batting is quite dependent on Shahid (Yousuf, Slough's former overseas star), and they have a lot of spin bowling.

"We need to be positive against the spinners, put a score on the board and then bowl restrictive lines. Hopefully we will come away with a win."