Knebworth Park pulled off a thrilling third win in a row to beat Old Finchelians in a huge runs fest on Saturday in Saracens Herts League Division 2B.
After posting a massive 294 for 5, the visitors were remarkably then on course to pass that only to stumble in the final few overs to end nine short on 286 for 9.
There was a second hundred of the season from Louis Champion before excellent death bowling from Kobie Richmond and Gareth Jones sealed the victory.
The day got off to a perfect start as, after Park captain Matt Hutchinson won the toss and elected to bat, openers Louis Champion and Haydon Bartlet-Tasker (35) piled on 150 and then Josh Roseberry (29) helped to keep the score ticking over.
The second Park wicket fell on the brink of the second drinks break as Louis Champion fell for a brilliant 119 off just 107 balls in 155 minutes.
After that, Charlie Randall continued his good form, making 62 of 50 balls (striking at 124), to get Park up to 294-5 from their 50 overs. Archie Stephens also made 17 and Rob Morley managed an unbeaten single of his only ball.
In the chase, Old Finchleains got off to a flyer, smacking 27 of the first three overs but Charlie Randall cleaned up a charging Divyesh Depala for 12. The second wicket came just 11 runs after, as Archie Stephens (1-28) took a wicket with his first ball, Himansu Depala chipping the all-rounder to captain Matt Hutchinson at mid-off.
Chetan and Tejash Depala rebuilt for Old Finchleians before Alex Richmond (1-32) dismissed the latter with Hutchinson taking his second catch of the day. Hutchinson (1-58) was in the action again to remove Kaushik Doshi for 20, in which he hit two sixes, courtesy of a great catch from Dave Roberts. Roberts (2-35) came into the attack himself, and soon found himself with a couple of wickets, one caught behind by Champion and one leg before. The game looked to be firmly in Park’s hands but a seventh wicket partnership of 69 between Chetan Depala and Arpit Naik gave the visitors hope.
This set up a tense finish, but there were more twists as Gareth Jones (1-24) got centurion Depala caught behind by Champion shortly after he reached his hundred. Himanshu Depala (14) stayed with Naik (38 not) but the target proved too much for Old Finchleians as Kobie Richmond (2-48) expertly defended 13 off the final over, picking up two wickets in the process to complete an eight-run victory.
Hertfordshire Cricket League, Division 2B,
Knebworth Park Knebworth Park 1st XI (Toss) 294-5 (50 Overs): L Champion 119 (107), C Randall 62 (50), Himanshu Depala 2-37 (6.5)
Old Finchleians 1st XI 286-9 (50 Overs): C Depala 103 (115), D Roberts 2-35 (6), K Richmond 2-48 (9)
Knebworth Park 1st XI won by 8 runs
Seconds fall short in run chase
The second team fell 14 runs short in their run chase to lose to Hemel Hempstead 3rds.
Having been asked to bowl, they made good use of the new ball and humid conditions with Niels Hart getting a wicket with his first ball of second over and Jack Randall regularly picking up wickets from the other end leaving Hemel 40/4 after 14 overs.
Graham Fisher and under 15 Rafi Combarro then combined with another tight 20 overs – Fisher ending 0/14 from his 10 overs and Rafi 1/42.
With Hemel looking to up the rate, chances came but failed to be taken with the last 15 overs going for 115 with the loss of one wicket, Hemel ending in 231/6.
Captain Mark Woods 36 and Adam Sergeant 35 got the reply off to a steady start with an opening stand of 68 from 15 overs, until Sergeant fell caught behind to a good ball, followed by Woods to start a collapse to 103/6. James Bedford and Jack Randall stemmed the flow of wickets before Bedford fell for 16. Rafi and Jack then came together for a 50 run partnership before Jack was bowled upping the run rate for a well crafted 47. Hart 19 and Fisher added another 30 runs for the last wicket as they ended short on 217/9.
Hobbs and Ellis power Thirds to victory
The thirds romped to a second successive win in defeating Datchworth 3rds by five wickets.
After losing wickets cheaply in their reply to 146 for 8, James Hobbs 45 not out and Ryan Ellis 53 not out powered them home, after they’d been 73 for 5.
Earlier Park’s youngsters Drew Myles and Jo Hibbins bowled tightly and Datchworth struggled to make an impression.
Ellis with three wickets and Louis Hobbs conceding only 22 runs between them in a 13 overs spell added to the pressure.
A late cameo innings from Will Nash 42 lifted them to 146 for 8 but Park finished well with Ethan Hall claiming his first ever Park wicket and Richard Wheeler, another accurate spell.
Thrilling three-run win for Fourths
David Mantle’s 4 for 28 reduced Tewin 3rds to 113 all out to clinch a thrilling three run win.
He was backed up by Ian Murrill taking 1 for 7 in eight overs and Adam and Kezia Hassall two apiece.
Earlier Knebworth managed only 116 where Archie Lowrie playing his first senior game made a top score of 27 which was priceless.
A wicket in the first over and things looked promising for Knebworth, but Tewin went after the bowling and were 50 for 1 inside eight overs. Mantle took two wickets in his first over. Was an unlikely result on? Regular wickets fell as the batsmen insisted on hitting it in the air to our fielders, Mark Chapelhow and Kezia Hassall taking two catches apiece.
When their last pair came together they needed 17 and with four runs needed the No. 10 batsman was trapped lbw and Knebworth had pulled off an unlikely victory.
Brave performance as Women lose
The Women’s team put up a brave display against stronger opponents Thame in their first home of the season before going down by 113 runs .
There was hope when they reduced the visitors to 75 for 5.
A run out from Catherine Cirkel and two quick wickets from Lizzie Ruxton followed by Charlotte Banks with a further two wickets, but Thame’s lower order proved defiant, with the final wicket coming in the last over of the innings, finishing on 234.
Park started with both openers falling quickly for single figures. The middle order steadied the ship, with highest scorer Alice Baird remaining at the crease for over 20 overs and a gutsy debut from Isla Sheldon-Green. Sadly the run rate was too high, with KPCC’s innings ending on 121 all out.
Special mention to the four under 13s on debut who gave their all in what was a tough game.