Slideshow: Magic Martin lifts Wheato back to form

PUBLISHED: 11:39 08 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 06 May 2010

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Division Three Wheathampstead 187-8 (53.0) Waltham X Rosedale 165-9 (47.0) WHEATHAMPSTEAD returned to form on Saturday with a spirited performance against Division Three leaders Waltham X Rosedale.

Batting first, the home side got off to yet another poor

Wheato plot to dominate Waltham X

Division Three

Wheathampstead 187-8 (53.0) Waltham X Rosedale 165-9 (47.0)

WHEATHAMPSTEAD returned to form on Saturday with a spirited performance against Division Three leaders Waltham X Rosedale.

Batting first, the home side got off to yet another poor start as three of the first four were dismissed for low scores.

Opening bat Keith Martin managed to weather the storm and his partnership with number five Mark Smith regained some initiative for Wheato. Smith fell on 20 trying to drive over mid-off.

A mini-collapse followed with the next four men scoring only six runs between them and Wheato looked in dire trouble.

With only two wickets remaining and WXR in control, Wheato number 10 Rory Howarth joined K. Martin for an undefeated stand of 62 for the ninth wicket which hauled the total to a respectable 186-8 off of 53 overs. Martin had anchored the innings to make a superb 86 not out, with Howarth ending on an excellent 38 not out.

After the break, skipper Steve Booth decided to open up with the old ball and had immediate success with Syed Muarif Hashmi taking a smart catch at slip off the skipper's left arm spin in the very first over. Hashmi also picked up a wicket of his own before the new ball was taken.

WXR batted positively against the new ball pace attack and kept in touch with their required run rate, forcing the introduction of medium pace in the form of K. Martin and another Hashmi spell.

Their accurate bowling frustrated the WXR batsmen and forced a number of risky shots and quick singles. This led to the league leaders retaining their run rate but losing regular wickets, including an exceptional direct hit run-out from Chris Martin.

To their credit, WXR chased their target until the penultimate over at nine wickets down when, with every Wheato fielder around the bat, the remaining pair held on for a draw to deny the Nomanslanders the win.

Amazingly K. Martin picked up five wickets to add to his 86 not out with the bat and was undisputedly Man of the Match. He said: "It was great to have a good knock like that but to go on and pick up five wickets with the ball really was the icing on a particularly delicious cake.

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