Stevenage 147 all out, KPCC 151-7
In a must win game for both sides Knebworth Park secured a valuable three-wicket win over neighbours Stevenage in Saracens Herts League Division One on Saturday.
It was achieved in a tense and nervy climax after The Park lost wickets in their eagerness to be over ambitious in their shot selection.
The heavy rain of Friday had made the wicket damp and helpful for the slow bowlers and after winning the toss and deciding to bowl first, Knebworth Park’s opening bowlers couldn’t make the most of the conditions in the first 10 overs.
As soon as slow bowler Mo Asif was bought into the attack he gained the crucial breakthrough by bowling the dangerous Gary Brown for 30.
Once Brown had departed the Stevenage batting order collapsed losing five wickets for 32 with Asif picking up all five in taking 5 for 20. At the other end skipper Guy Warman bowled with great control and no luck with his 10 overs going for 22.
On a turning wicket, skipper Warman had three off spinners to take advantage of the conditions. Bowling out the innings were Wasim Khalid (3-29) and Hutchinson (2-22) who took the remaining wickets and restricting Stevenage to 147 all out in the 47th over.
In reply, The Park side knew it wasn’t going to be an easy chase, but were presented with some poor Stevenage bowling in the opening overs with Knebworth racing to 40 off the first four overs.
Asif (28) making the most of it before he planted a pull shot which was comfortably taken by Brown on the square leg boundary off Rhys Stewart whose left arm spin accounted for the top three of Knebworth’s batsmen in taking 3 for 40.
This bought Adam Sergeant to the wicket who held the innings together with a solid 37, at times choosing to be inventive in his stroke play, whilst other wickets fell around him.
Sergeant finally found a willing partner in Khalid who between them took the score to over 100 before both were dismissed leaving the lower order to get the remaining 40 runs.
At 120 for 4, victory should have been a formality, only for Khalid 26 and then Charlie Randall 14 to tried to hit the inviting bowling of Mike Philpotts (3 for 40) over the in-field only to be caught out.
At 126 for 6 the game was suddenly not quite so secure for Knebworth. But then Matt Hutchinson thumped a four and two straight sixes before he then also fell to Philpotts trying to hit a third six to win the game. It was left to his brother Lewis to strike the winning runs with a thunderous blow through mid wicket to take the total on to a winning 151 for 7.
A much-needed win for the Park first team who dragged themselves out of the relegation zone. Next week they travel to Old Albanians for another vital game at the bottom of the table.
KPCC II 159 all out, Old Haberdashers 160-4
A terrific start by the second team away to Old Haberdashers was frittered away as they failed to cope with the difficult batting conditions on a sodden wicket.
Skipper Jono Evetts 27 and Haydon Bartlett-Tasker 56 had raced away to a flying start of 54 in five overs but thereafter only the returning Tom Liversidge 16 and Jack Randall 11 reached double figures in a total of 159.
Only Graham Fisher 0 for 30 and Bartlett-Tasker 1 for 24 utilised the conditions as the home side cruised home with 160 for 4.
KPCC III 44 all out, Berkhamsted II 45-0
The third team struggled against a strong promotion chasing Berkhamsted 2nds bowling attack and were whisked out for only 46 to lose by ten wickets to confirm their relegation from Division 7a.
St Margaretsbury III 116 all out, KPCC IV 118-1
The fourth team had a terrific nine-wicket win over St Margaretsbury 3rds.
David Mantle’s accurate in-swing bowling set up victory in taking 6 for 30. He did the damage after an accurate opening spell by James Roos 1 for 10 and with Bella Hopcraft 2 for 33 and Katherine Webb 1 for 36, they bowled out the visitors for 116.
Skipper Jonathan Cirkerl 58 not out and Phil Wheeler 34 added 99 for the first wicket to all but secure victory, batting patiently against some accurate bowling. Amelia Kemp again batting sensibly for 7 not out to support Cirkel in achieved their win.