Park battle with title hopefuls

PUBLISHED: 18:10 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

Division Nine Greenwood Park 147-10 (52.4) Langleybury III 149-5 (43.3) TITLE chasers Langleybury arrived at Greenwood Park for what on paper should have been a straight forward fixture, and put Park in to bat without hesitation on winning the toss.

Division Nine

Greenwood Park 147-10 (52.4) Langleybury III 149-5 (43.3)

TITLE chasers Langleybury arrived at Greenwood Park for what on paper should have been a straight forward fixture, and put Park in to bat without hesitation on winning the toss.

Mel Baker and John Eyre, reunited as openers after a week off, resumed their unbroken August partnership, fragmented across three games by the inclement weather. They started in positive mood scoring fluently from the first few loose Langleybury overs, and when the bowling tightened up they continued their form.

Eyre did offer a chance with the score at 19 but was pleasantly surprised when Langleybury generously dropped the simple catch, and he celebrated his second chance by taking the leading role in yet another 50 partnership. Just as boundaries started to flow to both batsmen, it was Baker (32) who would misjudge a leg side delivery with the score at 86, and their partnership was broken for the first time in August for an accumulated 368 runs.

From the promising start, one wicket brought two, and then three. Eyre passed his personal half century milestone but Park then contrived to lose more wickets to some irresponsible batting, and also the important wicket of Eyre for 73, and found themselves struggling at 128 for 7. Hasan Khan became only the third batsman to achieve double figures, and he managed to squeeze Park through the point earning total of 140 and onto an eventual disappointing 147 all out.

With a slow outfield, Park's confidence grew when Sam J Nash dismissed Langleybury's opening bat in his first over with an excellent inswinging ball. He produced an even better ball in his next over to send Langleybury into unfamiliar territory at 4 for 2.

Langleybury attempted to rebuild their innings, and a slow scoring consolidation period ensued. As Nash and Khan tired, runs became a little more fluent so Park turned to the spin of Karim Mahbubul and Dan Gloudemans but neither could find their line and length.

Mahbubul forced a couple of half chances in the field, but runs were flowing too easily. Park introduced the left arm spin of Kev Atkins who obliged with the much needed breakthrough courtesy of a sharp catch behind by Eyre. Nash was recalled to the attack and suddenly Langleybury were requiring more than three-an-over again.

The Atkins/Eyre combination claimed another wicket, and Atkins took a third wicket thanks to a Neil Benson diving catch in the gully.

As the overs ebbed away, Langleybury looked more and more tentative, Park nearly managing a couple of runs outs as the running became increasingly desperate. However the visitors always remained in the driving seat, and a couple of loose four balls allowed Langleybury to a target they had to fight to achieve with an over to spare.

Park now turn their attention to a trip to Baldock on Saturday knowing that the points from this game assure them of Division Nine cricket next year.

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