Knebworth Park 3s 258-6 (40) – London Colney 2s 182-10 (38.1)
In the continuing heat wave, a glorious Knebworth Park welcomed London Colney 2s for the return leg of the Div 9B game. LC had run out very easy winners earlier in the season and The Park did not want a repeat of that especially with most of the players having the rare opportunity of playing on the top square. JC captaining won the toss (a rare occurence) and elected to bat first much to the delight of his team!
With the LC opening bowler having take 6-for in the first game, it was important for the Park to get off to a decent solid start and with Mark and Wayne both hitting the early short balls away with ease, we got the start we needed with 29 coming off the first 4 overs. WIth Mark then falling in the 5th over, a superb partnership of 106 in 15 overs followed between Wayne (87) and Kezia following up her last-week’s half-century with another (58); both taking advantage of the rapid outfield with Wayne hitting 16 boundaries and Kezia 10. Once Wayne fell in the 20th over, Kezia kept the score moving well scoring 29 of the 38 partnership with Luke until Kez fell in the 27th over chipping one to mid on with the score on 174. Phil, despite having to cope with Luke’s running speed, structured a good innings over the next 7 overs before Luke fell for 18 in the 34th over with the score on 203. With the run rate having dropped to around 4 an over, Phil and Jonathan had to accelerate as a score of early 200s was unlikely to be enough on such a good batting track and lightning outfield. Phil moved to 23 bfore being stumped trying to accelerate. Ryan’s (2) stay at the crease was short lived before being stumped but JC (31) and Dean (14) did what was needed and managed to take the score through to a respectable 258-6.
The visitor’s reply started with 53 coming from the first 5 overs with Joe unfortunately struggling to find his length although getting the Park’s first wicket with the LC opener missing a full toss. Ian succesfully tied things up from the other end and with Luke replacing Joe he struck first ball with a beauty of a delivery bowling the LC number 3 after his brisk 25 (53-2). Mark replaced Ian in the 12th over and caused a number of issues for the visitors’ batsmen and with Luke’s excellent bowling from the other end, the two bowlers restricted the visitors to just another 20 runs from the next 7 overs before Mark got the 3rd wicket (72-3) with Luke taking a good catch low at point. The pressure continued to build on the Colney batsmen with Richard, having replaced Luke after 5 overs getting good bounce out of the pitch and varying his lengths well and striking in his 2nd over bowling the LC no.5 leaving them on 94-4. Richard finished with figures of 5-0-34-1. Mark continued his excellent spell getting the dangerous opener caught by Ian for 37 (94-5)and then through to the 2nd drinks break in the 26th over when he took his 3rd wicket and probably most critical wicket when a catch by Dean and deep mid-on removed the visitor’s captain (130-6). Mark finishing with fine figures of 8-0-30-3.
Jonathan brought himself on to replace Luke and struck in his first over bowling the young LC opening bowler off his pads (140-7). Joe was brought back on from the opposite end to his opening spell and immediately bowled better with the LC batsmen knowing that they had to accelerate if they were going to have any chance of winning the game. Joe showed good character to keep his head up, taking his 2nd wicket with Kezia taking a good catch at square-leg (146-8) and his second spell of 4 overs only went for 15 runs . With the visitors needing 112 from the last 10 with just 2 wickets in hand, the Park then knew a victory was likely but still had to wrap things up. JC kept the other end tied up taking his 2nd wicket in his 3rd over (150-9)and the returning Ian continued to prevent runs being scored too. Ian, despite finishing wicketless bowled superbly (7-2-24-0) and Jonathan finished with 6-1-13-2 before Luke finished things off with the first ball of his returning spell finishing with 5.1-1-15-2 and the opposition bowled out for 182.
It was an excellent team performance with everyone playing their part and retaining focus but good humour throughout the game. Hopefully the 3s first win of the season will be followed by several others.