Cricket round-up: Including double delight for Hemel Town as table topping Welwyn are beaten again

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In what many spectators said was ‘one of the best local cricket games’ they had witnessed, Hemel Town I completed the double over Welwyn Garden City I to continue their push for fourth place in the Herts League Premier Division.

Welwyn, by losing, slipped back to second in the league for the first time this season, overtaken by Radlett.

Putting Welwyn in to bat, Hemel were quite glad to keep them down to only 203.

Skipper Jamie Hewitt scored 89 for Welwyn but Parth Mehta (4-32) and Jay O’Nien (3-29) were able to keep things under control.

Things didn’t look as good when Welwyn’s Australian opening bowler Scott Walter ripped through the top of Hemel’s batting to leave them at 29-4 after nine overs.

Skipper Hem Ilangaratne had seen it before, dug his heels in, and built a 53-run partnership with Matt Dale (30) to turn things around.

Wicket-keeper Ali Leighton then came in at number 8 and hit a rapid 45 to get Hemel back in the hunt.

Only a spectacular diving boundary catch from Andy Nolan got rid of Ali with 37 runs still needed.

Brad Finch (17 n/o) came in at number 9 and he and Ilangaratne (60 n/o) saw things through – the latter finishing the game with a four off the first ball of the last over.

There was a big loss for Hemel Town III as they continue to slide down Division Five after no win in five.

They were 83 all out to Harpenden III who are second in the division.

The top scorer for Hemel was Adam Moulster (18) batting at number 10, with the only other double figure scores coming from Chris Nuttall (14) at the top and John Clulow (13).

There was no such trouble for Harpenden as they reached the total in 24 overs.

A closely fought Division Eight game saw Hemel Town IV beaten by one wicket with seven balls remaining against Bushey II.

Put in to bat, Hemel struggled at first, slipping to 96-6 after 35 overs but runs from Jim Birnie (55) and Gus Scott-Morriss (50) saw them recover to 195-8.

Hemel kept chipping away at the Bushey batting to get them at 93-6, but only after 26 overs. A knock of 47 n/o from Parvinder Singh at number 8 proved to be the Bushey saviour as they crept in with two overs to go.

> Leverstock Green

Second XI skipper Dayle Littlejohn took 6-47 at Chipperfield Clarendon II but it was his top-order batsmen that starred to record another emphatic win and further strengthen Leverstock Green II’s grip on the Division Five title.

The hosts mustered 152 all out, no match for a Green side which just can’t stop scoring runs at the moment.

Tom Callingham struck 77 n/o and opener Jamie Wallis was unbeaten on 68 as Levy reached their hosts’ target with only one wicket down – a result which leaves them 32 points clear of Harpenden III at the Division Five summit.

It was a welcome return to winning ways for Leverstock Green I, who were always on top in beating Redbourn at Bedmond Road.

Asked to bat first, Levy declared on 201-9 from 43 overs. Kris Jadeja’s aggressive 59 was complemented by openers Lewis Koch (33) and Brad Klosterman (23) as well as 42 very useful runs from number seven by Mark Landau, some of which in partnership with Ash Ali (24).

In reply, Gary Sandford offered quality resistance for his 35, but with Klosterman bowling into a drying patch on the wicket the result was never in doubt.

He took 7-23, while overseas leg-spinning all-rounder Marc Simonds bowled with great control during his last match for the Green.

Karl Turner’s 32 was the best Leverstock Green III had to offer as they slumped to another below-par total.

Hopes were relatively high after they’d restricted Boxmoor II to 172-7 from their 53 overs, however Green fell 33 runs short with the only other meaningful batting contributions coming from Lake brothers Matthew (29) and Daniel (23).

Mark Pearson took up the rare luxury of being able to declare Leverstock Green IV’s innings four overs early on 223-4 against Abbots Langley IV, after Alan Ryan’s 67 had been completed with 50 from Dave Young and 43 from veteran Mike Downes.

However Levy’s bowing couldn’t restrict Abbots’ free-flowing batting.

Despite Charlie Cooke’s five-wicket haul, the hosts reached their total via a thrilling finish – seven wickets down but with just two balls to spare.

Abbots got off to a great start with Ben Cornes (54) in fine form.

Pete Bailey (25) and Mat Gentry (25) then chipped in with vital scores, but with 69 needed off nine overs, victory looked beyond them.

However, Muruli Vylur with a 15 ball 30 n/o and Kirit Patni thought otherwise as they powered Abbots home for a fine win.

> Kings Langley

Kings Langley I are still not safe from relegation from Division One as they could only draw with bottom club Hitchin, who batted first and scored 216-9 in their 53 overs.

Their main contribution came from R Nichol who scored 102, while Matt Wells was Kings’ most successful bowler, taking 3-24.

Kings were 137-4 and were well placed to challenge their visitors’ total, but were pegged back by some well taken catches and had to settle for a draw as they finished their overs on 208-8.

Tom Sambrook (54), Simon Walker (40) and Duncan Fleming (31) were Kings’ main run scorers.

Kings Langley II look destined for a mid-table position this season as their in and out form continued with a six-wicket defeat at Old Finchleians II in Division Six.

Kings batted first and were restricted to 157-9, with Tim Piper scoring 33 and Duane Smith adding 30.

Old Finchleians steadily chased down the runs and their target was reached in the 32nd over for the loss of four wickets. Rob Clark claimed three wickets and Smith took one.

Kings Langley III have slipped to fifth place in Division Nine after a 26-run defeat at the hands of Pirton.

Kings elected to field first and bowled well to dismiss Pirton for 216 as Mark Walker took 3-53, David Burnell 3-46 and Joe Tasker 2-24.

Despite some good batting from Tom Templeton (41), Martin Hendy (38) and David Burnell (34), Kings were bowled out for 190 in the 48th over.

Kings Langley IV suffered a six-wicket defeat to West Herts IV as their season ended on a disappointing note and a mid-table position in Division 12 West.

Kings elected to bat and found the pitch had plenty of bounce as they cautiously accrued their runs.

Openers Dave Barton (15) and Tom Atkins (28) gave them a foundation and Liberty Maher (33), Simon Lloyd (18) and Billy Stevenson (15 n/o) added to the total of 132.

But West Herts never really looked in any trouble and they secured their win in the 35th over.

> Abbots Langley

Abbots Langley I couldn’t make three wins on the spin, as they were held to a draw against bottom side Baldock.

Put into bat, Abbots lost early wickets but Tom Carson and Blesson Ghoghe steadied the innings and took Abbots to 70-4.

It was then skipper Mat Dunstone who stole the show with a fine innings of 93.

But apart from Ghoghe (34), no-one stayed with him for long as Abbots stumbled to 183 all out.

In reply, Baldock took the game to Abbots and, at 123-2, looked handily placed.

But Dom Smith (3-32) and Dunstone (5-48) turned on the pressure as wickets fell and Baldock shut up shop.

Abbots needed three wickets in the last over, and Dunstone took two as Baldock clung on for the draw.

Abbots Langley II had a game to forget as they were rolled over by a strong Shenley Village II side.

Batting first, only Dave Carlisle (44) hung around as Abbots capitulated for 127.

Shenley then strolled to victory in 20 overs to win by eight wickets.

Abbots Langley III enjoyed a fine win over Frogmore. Batting first, Harry Khan (75) and Clive Winder (46), played aggressively to take Abbots to 150-2.

Richard Merrit (37) and Reza Khan (24) pushed Abbots over 200-5 on a good batting track, but Frogmore were up for the fight as wickets fell and runs flowed.

Chris Theaker (5-51), and Lee Rossiter (4-40) ensured that Abbots finished the stronger as Frogmore fell nine runs short.

Abbots Langley IV ended their league campaign on a high as they successfully chased down Leverstock Green IV’s 224-4 for the loss of seven wickets. See above.

> Berkhamsted

Berkhamsted I are now unbeaten in seven, and comfortably won there fifth game in a row at Hitchin II on Saturday.

With the skipper winning the toss and choosing to bat, recalled Ed Parkes resumed responsibilities with Gareth to open the innings.

The new partnership started well with some loose opening bowling latched onto with no remorse.

In complete contrast from what you would expect from their demeanour, Gareth played the aggressor with Ed much more submissive.

It was excellent to watch, especially the Dorothy Gareth hit straight down the ground as the pair put on 152 for the first wicket and completely demoralised the opposition.

It was great fantastic Ed (56) to pick up his first proper score for the first XI but it was fantastic to see Gareth (83) cash in.

The hours of training Gareth puts in and the dedication he shows to the club, his team-mates were all delighted for him when he finally announced his arrival into the 1s.

It was a shame he didn’t go on to score what would have been a well-deserved ton but that will have to wait for another day.

The rest of the team chipped in post the loss of Gareth and Ed, building on the foundations they had laid, with Luke O’Dair scoring 29 and the skipper was delighted to declare – setting the opposition 240 to win in 49 overs.

Chad Fortune and Rob Prunty opened for Berkhamsted with the ball and kept it very tight.

Rob snagged an early wicket but the flat pitch was making it hard for the seamers to make further inroads.

It was time to turn to the spin twins. Now, if Steve Dight (2-3) has been compared to Scrooge before for his miserly bowling, he was Scrooge on a particularly mean day with his pockets sown up.

Ed at slip was kindly counting the dot balls for the batsman and, after 20 or so, the pressure finally caused cracks to appear and Berko had another wicket.

Riaz Richards (6-39) at the other end was using the strong headwind and the string attached to the ball to his advantage.

It was a fine spell of bowling that tempted the batsman into playing shots when the ball wasn’t quite there.

With the opposition 85-8 and the clouds in the distance ominously grey and gloomy, the skipper decided to phone in the cleaner to finish the tail off before rain could ruin Berko’s chance of victory.

But Chad Fortune couldn’t quite get his length right and bowled numerous low full tosses instead of yorkers.

The young South African was getting ever more irate as the crowd were baying him and cheering every run as if it was the winning run.

Clearly they had forgotten they were still 100 runs behind and,in the end, the skipper had to turn back to Ebenezer who duly ended the match three balls later. Game over. 30 points

After lasts week’s disappointing washout, Berkhamsted II won their sixth match from seven and are now firmly in the hunt for a second successive promotion.

However, they did not make life easy for themselves against Sawbridgeworth III.

After electing to bat, Berko started with a solid 23 from Jamie Lewis, but a mid-order collapse saw them in trouble at 67-6.

Fortunately, youngsters Nick Williams (38) and Jo Atkins (36) put on 80 for the eighth wicket, before a last-wicket stand of 20 brought Berko to 168 all out and a total that was defendable.

In the field, Berko made excellent use of the new ball and Toby Gribbin (4-21) and man of the match Jo Atkins (6-54) quickly sent the Sawbo top four back to the hutch with only 25 on the board.

A defiant fifth wicket stand took Sawbo past 100 before Jo removed both, then chipped away at the tail to win by 18 runs.

Next Saturday, Berko travel to table toppers Broxbourne it what promises to be a key match.

There was a good win for Berkhamsted III on Saturday against Old Albanian III with up and coming colt Tomas Pierleoni coming to the fore with his man of the match performance.

Opting to Bat, OAs started well, with the Berko seamers getting little joy, until spin took charge with Jamie Slater taking the opening wicket.

Then came the Pierleoni show, bamboozling the middle order and tail with Tomas taking 5-26 with excellent support from Matt Dight (2-10) skittling out OAs for a paltry 100 all out

In reply, Berko lost three quick wickets to send nerves jangling in the away camp, but again, Pierleoni (43 n/o) and John English (27) steadied the ship and saw Berko home for a comfortable six-wicket win

Berko IV lost a friendly on Saturday to Swan CC – the stand-out performance was Jacob Lewarne’s first 50 for the club, and four wickets from the veteran Derek Pratt.