The Fifths triumphed against Wormley IIs, thanks to a stellar all-round performance from the ageless Sandy Reynolds, pictured above, and an impressive debut innings from his former team-mate at Welwyn, Stuart Howard.
Put into bat on a sticky but drying wicket, Knebworth were in early trouble losing quick wickets to some inconsistent but sometimes troubling bowling; Tom Orchard’s dismissal also being somewhat contentious.
Howard came in at No.5 and showed good discipline combined with quality technique to steady the ship and drive the innings forward.
Wickets continued to fall at the other end and, when Howard was out for a well made 40, the innings looked like coming to an early finish.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and the Knebworth innings took on new life with Reynolds using all his experience at No.10 to keep things going – and this despite being hit on the chin by a high full toss which he top-edged.
Supported with a large slice of luck by David Mantle at No.11, the last wicket partnership put on 52 before Mantle didn’t connect properly with a short delivery and was caught at midwicket for 12, Reynolds finishing with 32 not out and with the score on 149 after 46 overs.
The Wormley innings got of to a good start, helped by a few loose bits of fielding, dropped catches and an absence of good fortune for the opening bowlers, Reynolds and Ben Smith, who both bowled well for no reward.
The breakthrough finally came when Smith bowled the Wormley opener Prasad and suddenly Knebworth knew the game was on.
The fielding improved and the batsmen lead a charmed life on occasion but wickets fell with regularity, particularly to the golden arm of Reynolds who whittled away at the batting from one end – Smith being unfortunate to not take more wickets as well, finishing with 2-31 from his seven overs.
Mantle replaced Smith and contributed with a further two wickets, while Reynolds did what he does best and finished with 6-37 including the final Wormley batsman, fittingly caught by the other star performer Howard to close the Wormley innings on 99 all out.
It was a good all-round performance with contributions from everyone and a well-deserved victory in what was only the second match that has actually been played by the Fifths this season so far.