Dacorum cricket round-up: Including a crushing defeat for Hemel Town

Michael Buttleman scored 90 n/o for Bovingdon against Baldock II on Saturday
Michael Buttleman scored 90 n/o for Bovingdon against Baldock II on Saturday

Hemel Town I suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Welwyn Garden City I as they were bowled out for just 40 runs in the only game to avoid the rain in the Premier Division on Saturday.

The plaudits must go to Scott Walter – Welwyn’s front line cricketer from Queensland, Australia – as he returned the best bowling figures in the Herts League since its launch last year, taking 10-17 to run through Hemel.

While games around the county were being rained off at around 4pm, Welwyn had nothing to worry about as their victory was sealed by 3pm.

There were seven ducks in the Hemel total, three of them golden, and skipper Hem Ilangaratne scored 25 of the 40 runs. Sam Jenkinson (10) and Brad Finch (1) were the only other run scorers.

Abbots Langley I versus Hemel Town II was one of the many rained off games on Saturday.

Hemel were progressing smoothly against table topping Abbots thanks to 61 from Suren Perera, 35 from Will Langley and 27 n/o from Ed Langley, but then the heavens opened.

Hemel Town III also saw their game with Watford II abandoned – Watford were 207-4 before the downpour.

Another Saturday afternoon deluge victim was the clash between Hemel Town IV and Old Elizabethans II. Hemel had made it to 163-9 before the rain came, with Dawood Iqbal scoring 54 and Jim Langley hitting 36.

There was better news the following day as Hemel Town Sunday I beat Chorleywood at home in the last leg of the Readers Herts 20/20 Cup.

Hemel were playing for pride, having lost first two games of the competition, and they made sure Chorleywood’s cup dream also came to an end. The result means that North Mymms and Letchworth go through to quarter-finals.

Chorleywood made 111-9 in their 20 overs as Brett Penny took 4-13 in 17 balls and Richard Morton snared 2-9 in 13 balls.

Penny then continued his good day, scoring 53 n/o in 55 balls as Hemel reached 116-3 to win by seven wickets in the 19th over. Ali Leighton scored 23 n/o in 18 balls.

Meanwhile, Hemel Town Sunday II beat Harrow St Marys II at Headstone Lane in their second Chess Valley League Division Six game.

Harrow were bowled out for 136, with Rahul Wickramsinghe taking 5-32 from his 10 overs. Jim Langley cleaned up the tail, taking 3-1 in nine balls.

Hemel then made 140-6 in 35 overs, with Tom Waterton leading the way with 67.

> Bovingdon

Bovingdon continued their sensational league form with another win away to Baldock II on Saturday, which means that last week’s rained off game is the only match they haven’t taken maximum points from so far this season.

The start was delayed by half an hour due to rain, and Bovingdon skipper James Hazelton had no hesitation in inserting the opposition after winning the toss.

Fine opening spells from Nick Baxter (4-30) and Jack Blackburn (1-43) put severe pressure on the Baldock batting line-up before the innings was halted for an hour due to heavy rain.

There was no respite upon the resumption of play as Matt Boyd (2-39) and Tony Shand (2-26) continued to restrict run scoring opportunities as a total of 146 was made.

The rain delay meant that Bovingdon only had 37 overs to make the required runs and, with gloomy skies overhead and the threat of more rain, the visitors knew that they would have to score quickly if they were to achieve another victory.

Openers Jack Blackburn (15) and Michael Buttleman had another solid partnership at the top of the innings, adding 37 for the first wicket.

Louis Prideaux (34) then joined Buttleman at the crease and the pair enjoyed a ferocious 100-run partnership for the second wicket at well over a run a ball to quickly take the game away from Baldock.

It was Buttleman who struck his 11th boundary go past the Baldock total inside 25 overs as he ended on 90 n/o, carrying his bat for the third time in five innings this season.

This victory leaves Bovingdon 22 points clear at the top of Division 7B and in with a good chance of securing a third successive promotion.

On Sunday, Bovingdon hosted Finchley in a friendly fixture. The visitors batted first and set a commanding total of 299.

The pick of the bowlers was George Carter who bowled well for his two wickets and possibly deserved more against a strong batting line-up.

Bovingdon’s openers, Jack Blackburn (64) and Mike Hart (33), got the reply off to a good start, but chasing 300 proved to be too much. The match ended in a draw as Bovingdon closed on 168/9.

> Abbots Langley

All of Abbots Langley’s Saturday games were abandoned due to the heavy rain, however the club enjoyed magnificent game on Sunday in the County Cup at Northchurch.

Abbots amassed 319-7 in their 50 overs, with Chris Chellew’s superbly paced 175 the foundation of this huge score. George Agius also contributed an aggressive unbeaten 37.

In reply, Northchurch made Abbots fight every inch and scored just as freely – leaving them needing just 18 off the last 18 balls.

However, Aiden Byrne and Chellew bowled tightly as Abbots squeezed home by three runs.

> Berkhamsted

Only the Berkhamsted second XI managed a result on Saturday due to rain, with the first XI seeing their match abandoned mid-game.

The third and fourth team matches were called off, although the third XI did start their innings and had reached 129-5, with D Kennedy scoring 37.

Berkhamsted I were in a commanding position against Stevenage II when the heavens opened, and were well poised at 234-2 after 47 overs, with plaudits going to Andrew Joyce (60), Alan Gofton (58 n/o) and Jez O’Neil (57 n/o).

However, Berko lost no ground at the top as all the matches in Division 4a were cancelled –meaning Berko remain second by just two points

Berkhamsted II, meanwhile, managed to dodge one shower to win impressively just in the nick of time before the heavens opened.

Inserting their hosts, Northwood Town, Berkhamsted did well to restrict the home side to just 122 all out in 42 overs, with Joe Atkins the star with the ball, taking 4-24 in 12 overs.

Berko were 37-1 when the first rains fell, but the visitors then went on the attack in T20 style to knock off the runs in just 23 over to win by 8 wickets.

Phil Brown hit a quick-fire 48 n/o and Jamie Lewis helped himself to 37 n/o to move Berko up to mid-table.

> Leverstock Green

Torrential rain saved three of Leverstock Green’s four sides on Saturday - and left the first XI wondering what might have been at home to Preston.

All four Levy teams batted first on a day when rain was due and duly arrived around tea-time to prevent any meaningful resumption of play in any of the four matches.

First XI opening bat Miles Barnard struck an imperious unbeaten 122 at home to Preston, out of a total of 172-8 when rain descended on The Green.

The second, third and fourth XI could only muster very modest all-out totals so were more than happy to take the 10 points on offer for a no-result.