Five wickets from Sunny Iqbal and a battling half-century from Louis Clayton helped Knebworth Park clinch their first win of the season in emphatic style as they hammered near neighbours Hitchin by 147 runs.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Park worked hard for an above-par total of 233-7 on a wicket that gave assistance to bowlers.
Then, the Park rattled through the home team’s batting in less than 25 overs with only two batsmen surviving more than a dozen balls, dismissing them for 86.
It was a win that came after The Park had missed several opportunities this season to win matches, draining confidence but not their spirit.
That spirit was in evidence as Adam Sergeant (16) and Mo Asif (46) gave them a good start of 51 for the opening stand.
There was then an all too familiar stutter to 91 for 4 but Archie Stephens stabilised the innings with a vital 31. He along with Ollie O’Brien (12) supported Louis Clayton who led the way in continuing the effort to build a challenging total.
Crucially, Clayton (57 not out) and Gareth Jones (38) raised the bar in a match defining stand of 88 for the seventh wicket that lifted the total to 233 for 7 which was going to be tough to chase.
Clayton batted beautifully in hitting his first half-century for the Park’s first team while Jones continued his improvement with the bat.
The Park opened up with medium pacer Sibet Hussain who grabbed three early wickets with 3 for 23 to dent Hitchin’s run chase.
Hitchin skipper Shaftab Khalid (50) batted skilfully with Steve Flint 1(0) to recover to 63 for 3.
But their innings soon went downhill when skipper Charlie Randall brought his spinners into the attack as they succumbed to left arm spinner Sunny Iqbal (5 for 12) and off spinner
Mo Asif (2 for 22) as they collapsed to 86 in 24.4 overs, to complete a win that was all the more satisfying after the stream of disappointing results they’ve had to endure.