Sunday, June 23, 2024

Herts Cricket League: Owais Shah returns as Welwyn move back up the table

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This one came by six wickets at home to Broxbourne and means they are just 16 points behind leaders Flitwick in an increasingly tighter pack at the summit of the division.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat at Digswell Park but were kept on a tight leash, making 189-9 in their 50 overs.

Welwyn took wickets regularly and at a key moments, and it was only a last-wicket stand of 21 in a little more than two overs that pushed the score close to 200.

Jacob Logan led the home bowling with 3-39 while Al Mahmud Hasan got 2-26. Four other bowlers chipped in with one wicket.

Welwyn were always in control of the reply, even if they lost Fayaz Homyoon midway through the second over without a team run being scored.

Logan also went fairly early but a third-wicket partnership of 123 between Dylan Dhesi and the returning Owais Shah steadied any nerves and put them on the cusp of victory.

Dhesi was the first to go having made 57 in 109 deliveries. That was with the score on 164-3 and still a little more than nine overs to go.

Radhakrishna Marripati was the only other wicket to fall just 11 balls later, but another 11 have been added to the total by then, leaving them 15 short of victory.

And Shah batted through to the conclusion, hitting the winning runs to the boundary in the 46th over as he ended on 66 not out.

Knebworth Park in contrast suffered a second successive loss to drop off the top of the Division Tow B table and down to fifth.

They were beaten by five wickets at home to Kings Langley as their batting never got going against a useful seam attack.

At 88-3 after 20 overs they were sitting comfortably thanks to sound contributions from the openers Louis Champion and Haydon Bartlett-Tasker and a hard-fought 32 from Rob Morley.

But thereafter wickets kept falling regularly with Alex Richmond pitching in with 15 to lift the total to a way below par 144.

In spite of a determined bowling effort the Park couldn’t break the back of the visitors batting, Kobie and Alex Richmond each getting two wickets.

There was a big story though for Knebworth’s second team even in defeat away to Aldenham.

Their U16 fast bowler Louis Hobbs grabbed a hat-trick, as well as the opening scalp, as the home side stumbled to 44-4.

Aldenham did recover to get up to 181, Hobbs finishing on 4-37 and Harry Byron taking 3-32.

Knebworth’s response started poorly with wickets falling regularly and by the 16th over were 45 for 7, the only score in double figures from Akhil, 17 and a controlled innings from Harry Byron of 32 not out to raise the score to 98 all out  in the 29th over to lose by 83 Runs.

The thirds were well beaten by nine wickets away to Hitchin, Ryan Hassall (53) and Trent Hildebrandt (23) their top scorers, but the fourths won for the second week running, beating previously unbeaten St Margaretsbury by 10 runs.

Ian Pickering led them to 130, scoring 40 himself with steady contributions from John Inman and Lewis Fung.

Dave Mantle then swung the ball beautifully to claim 3-24 before Inman, Shiva Pole and Drew Myles bowled St Margs out for 120.

Paul Shankster was among the wickets again for Tewin. Picture: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHYPaul Shankster was among the wickets again for Tewin. Picture: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY (Image: ©2018 Danny Loo Photography – all rights reserved)

Promotion from Division Three A could be shaping up to be a battle between Tewin and neighbours Datchworth.

Both won again, Tewin by seven wickets at Hemel Hempstead and Datchworth by six wickets at Letchworth.

Ash Patel took 3-17 and Paul Shankster 3-33 for Tewin, Josh Crutchett (58) and Luke Wilde (64*) guiding them to victory inside 32 overs, while Datchworth had the runs of Luke Bennett (108) and Tom Vits (72) to thank for their success.

It leaves Tewin top with four wins from five, four points ahead of St Albans in second. Datchworth are third, a further eight points back, also with four wins from five.

Datch host St Albans on Saturday.

Hatfield & Crusaders suffered another loss in Division Four A, beaten by eight wickets at Watford Town, but Hatfield Hyde enjoyed a 25-run win at home to Stevenage in Division Four B.

Chatula Bhagya Fonseka got 52, Nadeem Ashraf 40 and Shashita Lakshan Fernando 37 before 3-34 from Mohamed Miflan Murjeen.

And in Division Five A, Bentley Heath are up to second after beating Southgate Adelaide by five wickets.

Babar Ali was the star, taking 4-23 alongside 2-20 from Hassan Zeb.

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