KPCC 210-8, Watford Town 196 all out
Knebworth Park made it two wins out of two for a bright and promising start to the season when they overcame Watford Town in a thrilling finish in their Saracens League Division 2a match.
The Park were seemingly coasting to victory as they reduced the visitors to 126 for 8, chasing Knebworth’s total of 210-8 when the ninth wicket pair fought back to the point that only 38 was needed from the final five overs.
Matt Hutchinson then bowled skipper Ibrar Hanif for 29 and removed Asad Sajjad for 30 with four balls left, to win by 14 runs.
The Park’s seam attack had made batting difficult for the visitors, restricting the run rate and picking up wickets regularly with the pick being Sam McCrow 2 for 37, Ross Courtney 3 for 34 and a frugal 1 for 28 from skipper Guy Warman.
When the slow bowlers were brought into the attack, batting became easier until Hutchinson found his rhythm and struck, to finish with 2 for 29.
Facing what skipper Warman believed was one of the best bowling attack they’ve encountered in the past year, opener Josh Roseberry (33) and Adam Sergeant (52) added 82 for the second wicket, in what proved a vital partnership.
Then they slipped suddenly losing three wickets without adding a run.
But from 138 for 5, Hutchinson (14), Warman (22) and Sadiq Kamal (18) hauled them up to 210 for 8.
Watford’s reply began with McCrow and Randall dismissing both opening bats cheaply before they recovered to 78 for 3, but the middle order was kept in a stranglehold by the combined attack of Warman and Courtney.
During this spell the visitors managed only 60 runs in 20 overs, losing five wickets in the process. Then came the Watford fightback and an exciting finish.
Hertford II 289-6, KPCC II 198 all out
Having lost the toss and being asked to field things didn’t quite go to plan for the Seconds.
It’s fair to say the wicket, as normal at Hertford, favoured the batsmen.
Openers Gareth Jones and Niels Hart got of to a respectable start collectively going for 28 off the first eight overs but crucially failing to get a breakthrough with the new ball.
As soon as the movement in the air was gone the Hertford openers were able to put their hands through everything and the runs began to flow.
A fantastic effort from new recruit Sam Heron was in vain with the wicket offering nothing for the paceman.
Turning to the experience of Ian Pickering (2-37) and Mark Taylor, Park were able to wrestle back some semblance of control but ultimately the Hertford openers batted well for scores of 101 and 83.
With Graham Fisher joining the attack and pick of the bowlers Pickering getting both openers in quick succession things improved.
For a while it looked like Park may be able to hold Hertford to a reachable total but with wickets in hand and pace on the ball, the last few overs were expensive.
The Park boys, whose heads never dropped on a difficult day ultimately restricted Hertford to 289 picking up six wickets in the process.
Unfortunately, a slightly depleted Park batting line-up could not take advantage of the favourable conditions.
Hertford’s local knowledge meant they opened up with slow bowling – a wise decision.
Once the second wicket partnership of 53 between Danny Digweed (26) and Pickering (44) was broken, wickets fell regularly.
A lower order counter-attack from Jono Evetts (29), Jones (34) and Hart (23) secured valuable batting points for the Park who finished on 198 all out.
Despite a disappointing result, there are many positives to take into next week and, with several players returning, the team will be desperate to get 30 points at home to Northchurch.
Weston 185 all out, KPCC III 97 all out
An excellent display with the ball and in the field was undone by another below par day with the bat as the IIIs collapsed to an 88-run defeat at Weston.
An opening display of miserly bowling from Jack Randall and Ian Woods went unrewarded and it was left to Ben Childs to make the breakthrough with the Weston score on 38.
Assisted by some excellent work in the field, Park continued to keep the pressure on with the ball with wickets falling at regular intervals until the Weston innings finished in the 48th over, all out for 185.
Childs was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 4-31 from nine overs.
There were also wickets for Karl Padalia (3-39), Jack Randall who returned to finish with 2-22 and Ollie O’Brien (1-30).
Buoyed by their bowling efforts, the Park’s response got off to a good start as Bobby Orlandi and Dylan van der Westhuizen put on 48 for the first wicket before van der Westhuizen was removed for 21.
Orlandi went on to make 36 before being dismissed and it was only Ian Woods (16) who offered any further resistance as Park went on to lose ten wickets for 49 runs, the innings finishing on 97 in the 34th over.
KPCC IV 179 all out, Boxmoor II 180-3
Three excellent performances with the bat lacked support as the Fourths failed to compile a more challenging total which ultimately cost them victory over Boxmoor II.
Opener Shaun Robinson (39) and half-centuries from Pete Bayford (54) and skipper Rob Crowe (59) took the total to 179 all out as the other batsmen managed 20 between them.
The visitors then chased down the target for the loss of only three wickets, Robinson taking 2 for 18.