Herts Cricket League
Watford Town beat Redbourn by three wickets despite losing both of their openers without a run on the board.
Hostile and economical bowling from Ravi Panchal and Gufraan Butt gave Watford the start they were looking for and they did not allow the Redbourn batsmen to score freely.
Despite the control, wickets did not tumble until Mohammed Abid (four for 51) came on and helped skittle Redbourn for 140 in the 53rd over.
Watford’s run chase got off to a poor start with both openers back in the pavilion without a run on the board.
However, Gulfraz Riaz (37) steadied the innings and with support from Mobeen Ahmed (19), Panchal (27 not out) and Shammi Hussain (26) Watford were able to secure victory.
A boundary-laden 115 not out from Leverstock Green’s Kris Jadeja laid the foundations for a convincing 89-run win at home to strugglers Baldock.
Lewis Koch hit 40 and Mark Landau 24 in support of a century made from 80 balls as Green declared on 257 for eight after 44 overs.
Seamer Sam Mazurek was rewarded for his persistence with five for 61 while Marc Simonds garnered three wickets with his leg spin as Baldock were removed for 169 to send Dave Tyson’s team 20 points clear at the top of the table.
Met Police Bushey batted out for the draw at home to Old Owens, with Daniel Nightingale’s second consecutive five-for stealing the show.
Electing to bat first, Old Owens were removed for 189, with Met skipper Nightingale taking an impressive five for 47.
The Met reply started slowly but Karan Joshi soon found his rhythm and dragged the hosts’ total up.
Poorly supported by those around him, it fell to Nightingale to bat out the draw with Joshi as the home side closed on 145 for seven.
James Lewis’ five wickets condemned Hemel Hempstead Seconds to a 23-run defeat at lowly Northwood.
Batting first, Northwood opener Daniel Rodgers fell one short of his half-century before Dhaval Panchal (61) contributed an important knock.
The tail offered little in the way of support as Richard Morton (four for 48) helped remove the hosts for 176.
Jon Pearson (35) got Hemel off on a good footing but a collapse soon ensued, with Hemel losing four wickets for just one run in a particularly dire spell.
Dave Jenkins (51) and Billie May (31 not out) provided some stability but Lewis (five for 49) and Panchal (four for 41) dismissed the visitors for 153.
Abbots Langley’s hopes of consecutive wins were dashed by a three-wicket defeat at the hands of Wheathampstead.
Inserted into bat, Abbots lost early wickets with only Ben Balmforth (21) holding things together.
Barry Warner (70 not out) and Steve Wallis (22) pushed the score along patiently but Abbots were all out for 171.
Wheathampstead struggled initially, with Jimmy Davies (two for 23) and Matt Dunstone (two for 29) turning the screw.
However, a victory wasn’t to be, as Wheathampstead picked up their run rate to reach their target with three wickets in hand.
Sayf-Ali Khan’s 128 saw Hemel Hempstead Thirds beaten by three wickets by Knebworth Park, who claimed their first win of the season.
The bottom-of-the-table side were indebted to Khan, whose huge knock of 128 at number two paved the way to a potentially vital victory in the battle against relegation.
Batting first, Hemel started brightly through Tom Elborn (55) before a slump saw Town close on 184 for nine.
David Thorne took three for 21 and Michael Fisher claimed two for 29 for the visitors.
Khan (128) laid the foundations for Knebworth’s 128 as Josh Graves (two for 24) and Adam Moulster (two for 50) were unable to prevent the win.
Langleybury Seconds maintained their 100 per cent home record with a 52-run win over West Herts Seconds.
Put into bat, Bury’s top-order misfired, leaving Steve Carter (34) and Eddie Gunning (28 not out) to guide the hosts to 152 for eight.
Spinner Gunning (three for 11) then got stuck into West Herts’ line-up and helped remove the visitors for 100.
Chorleywood Seconds were unable to chase down the required runs against Southgate Compton but settled for a draw from their clash.
Southgate batted first and produced an impressive display. They posted a total of 248 for the loss of just two wickets before declaring.
The Wood reply was steady and runs were scored. However, they lost wickets as their run chase progressed and decided to bat out for the draw.
At the end of their 50 overs they had two wickets in hand and ended on 192.
There was a nightmare end to Leverstock Green Seconds’ 100 per cent record at Bentley Heath, as they were dismissed for just 57 chasing their hosts’ modest target of 131.
That would have been even smaller had Green not let the last two Heath wickets add 50 runs, although skipper Dayle Littlejohn kept up his fine form with the ball by taking six for 54.
In reply, Levy’s batsmen struggled on the unpredictable pitch with not one double-figure score recorded as they slumped to a first defeat in eight matches.