Local Derby matches don’t come much more thrilling than Knebworth Park’s one wicket win in the last over at Datchworth on Saturday.
With seven needed from the last eight balls and runs tough to find, last pair Niels Hart (pictured below, photo by Mike Jones) and Scott Page dramatically whacked boundaries to clinch it.
Hart’s huge straight six in the penultimate over levelled the score and Page thumped a four down the ground with four balls left to secure the win on 206 for 9.
This was a game of fluctuating fortunes. At first opening bowlers Charlie Randall and Gareth Jones had Knebworth’s bowlers in control.
For 40 overs The Park’s bowlers restricted the runrate but patient batting by Tom Vits 23, Dean Jones 27, Spencer Bayford 37 and Tom Bennett 31 meant they had wickets in hand for a late assault led by Mitch Constable 34 to lift the total to 202 all out.
Hart and stand-in skipper Guy Warman bagged two apiece and Alex Richmond three near the end.
Louis Champion 30 gave the reply a decent start before a crucial stand of 93 between Archie Stephens 56 and Matt Hutchinson 45 set up a potentially winning position.
With only 18 needed off the last nine overs and five wickets in hand seemingly edging towards a certain win, the game swung dramatically.
Guy Warman was caught attempting a lofted boundary and Stephens was brilliantly caught by Vits off impressive opening bowler Constable 2 for 35 and with Richmond and Jones out cheaply, the tension soared in the face of high pressure bowling. It meant the last pair needed to perform their heroics, requiring nine from three overs which nervously increased to seven from ten balls. Hart’s big hit then became a complete game changer.
All this was witnessed by a good crowd on The Green at Datchworth between these two friendly rivals.
RAFI’S SUPER CATCH HIGHLIGHT OF SECONDS TOP EFFORT
Highlight of the second team’s performance against league leaders Old Owens was an amazing catch by under 14 Rafi Combarro.
With the ball looping over him he turned and dived to take the ball at full stretch.
It capped an impressive bowling and fielding display by a side because of holidays including several third and fourth team players. They claimed a maximum 10 points which was a top effort against strong opposition.
Ryan Ellis and Mark Wood both took 3 for 48, Ian Woods 3 for 13 and young Combarro 0 for 7.
The visitors were all out for 220 and Knebworth replied with 101, Phil Wheeler 21 and Ellis 33 top scoring in rescuing the team from 38 for 7.