Herts Cricket League

Division Two

Met Police Bushey beat County Hall by one wicket in an absorbing encounter.

Visitors Bushey lost the toss and were invited to field first. County Hall’s South African overseas player Frazer Smith (85) took little time playing himself in, having only arrived earlier in the week.

Some strong cricket shots alongside some agricultural heaves got the scoreboard racing along, until a great delivery from Karan Joshi accounted for Smith.

The seamers had little luck early on, with Simon Hamilton making the early breakthrough but he was unable to keep the scoring rate down.

Vimal Patel managed to bowl a tight line, which in tandem with Joshi’s four wickets, saw him take three wickets to limit the hosts to 226 all out.

The Met’s reply didn't get off to the start they wanted, with the dangerous Ben Goode going early. At the other end Harry Blagden soon got the boys in blue on target with their run rate, with Dave Soulsby (28) batting well at three.

Joshi (92) was dubiously given out leg before wicket but powerful drives from Daniel Nightingale – and stout defence from Alex Carter – brought the scores level before Carter managed to drive the ball past the short mid off for a single to reach 227.

Watford Town remain firmly in the promotion mix following a seven-wicket success at Old Owens which leaves them fifth, 21 points off top spot.

Having lost the toss, Watford were asked to bowl first.

On a good batting track, the Owens openers were kept in check with some fine hostile bowling from Ravi Panchal (two for 43).

However, the match soon turned Watford’s way when Mohammed Abid (five for 35) was introduced and his control and spin resulted in the innings being kept in check.

Abid was ably supported by Cookie Latif (three for 53) and some fine fielding saw the home team bowled out for 182 in the 49th over.

Watford’s innings got off to an all-too-familiar start and it was left to Gulfraz Riaz (24) and Abid (43) to consolidate the innings without losing further wickets.

The stand-out knock was produced by Pavan Chesetty, who took on the bowlers and blasted an impressive 80 which helped Watford reach a match-winning total of 184 for seven.

Northwood enjoyed an emphatic 160-run win over Cockfosters, with two players hitting centuries.

After winning the toss, Danny Rodgers (116 not out) and Dhaval Panchal (101 not out) made big scores as hosts Northwood scored 258 for two.

The home side then set about dismantling the Cockfosters line-up, with James Lewis taking five for 29 and Ash Babu claiming five for 49 to remove the visitors for just 98.

Abbots Langley claimed only their second win of the season as they defeated St Margaretsbury by four wickets.

Margaretsbury won the toss and decided to bat first. They were soon into their stride and raced to 50 off the first seven overs.

However, the introduction of spinner Dominic Smith had the desired effect as he removed both openers quickly.

Barry Warner (two for 37) and skipper Matt Dunstone (six for 58) then bowled excellently to restrict Margaretsbury to 213 all out.

Abbots then got off to a flier with Ben Balmforth and Mathew Parkins peppering the boundary in an opening stand of 70 off 13 overs.

Jimmy Davies (59) held the innings together with a stand of 35 with Blesson Ghoghe.

However, Abbots had a minor collapse, losing three wickets for five runs.

But Will Graves (40 not out) and Steve Wallis (25 not out), put together a match-winning partnership to lead Abbots to a deserved victory with three balls remaining.

Tom Elborn’s century guided Hemel Hempstead Seconds to a 70-run win at St Albans West Indian, moving Hemel into second place – six points off leaders St Margaretsbury.

Suran Perera (0) went for a duck but Elborn put on a dogged 104 and was well-supported by Tom Waterton (72) at number four as Hemel closed on 234 for four.

Walker was the only St Albans bowler to take more than one wicket, finishing with two for 61.

The hosts were unable to build any momentum at the crease, with Billy May (two for 35) and Matt Dale (two for 46) accounting for the top order.

Devon Weekes (33) and Craig Ramsey (23) offered some brief resistance before Perera (three for nine) cleaned up the tail to remove St Albans for 164.

Dave Tyson starred with the ball for Leverstock Green but he was unable to inspire a victory as they drew with Old Albanian.

The visitors looked in a good position to score well over 250 but Tyson’s six for 47 and Marc Simonds’ one for 30 meant the Levy restricted their opponents to 215 all out.

In reply, Albanian’s bowling attack made it very difficult for the batsman to get themselves in. Lewis Koch’s 21 and Simonds’ 33 were the only runs added of any significance in Green’s reply.

A cluster of wickets fell at regular intervals and it was left down to the last-wicket pairing of Sam Mazurek (15 not out) and Adam Thomas (four not out) to bat out and claim a draw.

Division Three

Bushey made hard work of overcoming Southgate Adelaide, winning by seven wickets in a low-scoring affair.

Invited to bat first Southgate started well, hitting several boundaries and playing positively.

However, Bushey quickly began to make inroads; the first wicket was fiercely hit but Neil Jackson caught impressively.

Bushey then took control with Qamar Shahzad (six for 24) taking charge. Imran Mustafa (three for 23) cleaned up the tail to remove Adelaide for 68.

Naren Gogna got Bushey off to a strong start, hitting a six in the first over. The visitors then suffered a batting collapse as they chased the total by attempting big shots.

At 30 for seven, Bushey were in danger of being made to pay for their blasé attitude but when an assured Shahzad came to the crease, victory was secured with his side reaching 71 for seven.

Northwood Town recorded their first league win of the season by overcoming Chipperfield Clarendon by 18 runs.

Stand-in captain Akshay Loomba won the toss and elected to bat first. The loss of a couple of early wickets put Town on the back foot and staring down the barrel of another early finish at 31 for four. 

However, Aiden Lawrence (35) and Raj Kotecha (39) put on a partnership which began to get their side back on track. 

Finishing off, Mikhil Patel (31) and Veer Vadgama (41) batted well with the latter ensuring Town passed the 200-run mark to achieve maximum batting points and reach 203 for nine.

Utilising spin from one end and pace from the other, Town claimed a couple of early wickets before Chipperfield found their rhythm with the bat.

The momentum swung back in Town’s favour, with Chipperfield six wickets down when Kotecha took two wickets in as many overs.

Chasing 25 runs from four overs and with just two wickets remaining, Vagdama struck the decisive blows to remove the visitors for 185.

Reflecting on the win, Loomba said: “Batting 53 overs and scoring 200 was the key to put the pressure on Chipperfield.

"The boys know this season hasn’t been up to standard and today was the opportunity to show what they are capable of and they didn’t disappoint. 

“It was a clinical performance all-round and I couldn’t fault the efforts of anyone that played in today’s team.

“We go again at Southgate Adelaide next week, which will be a key match against another team fighting to save relegation.”

Division Five

Leverstock Green Seconds regained top spot with Keith Glasscoe hitting 83 in a 73-run win over Hemel Hempstead Thirds.

Glasscoe’s innings laid the foundations for a good Levy innings, with support from Lee Littlejohn (42) helping the away side build a total of 212 for six.

Adam Moulster finished with the best figures for Hemel, taking three for 63.

Hemel faltered in response, losing Jim Birnie (0), Chris Nuttal (7) and Nick Benson (1) to the bowling of Imran Iqbal (four for 37).

A late Hemel flurry saw Phil Freebrey (38) and Moulster (21) drag the hosts up to 139 all out but they were comfortably second best.

Sam Roberts claimed three for 35.