Admiral performance from Akbar after a stunning spell with the ball at Letchworth

PUBLISHED: 11:18 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 24 July 2019

Fahim Akbar produced a stunning spell of bowling for Shenley Village at Letchworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

Fahim Akbar produced a stunning spell of bowling for Shenley Village at Letchworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Fahim Akbar produced one of those never to be forgotten performances as Shenley Village kept the titanic battle at the top of the Herts Cricket League Championship bubbling nicely.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Charlie Thurston batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Charlie Thurston batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

He finished with 7-52 after a devastating opening spell that saw the Villagers win by 75 runs at Letchworth Garden City.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The result leaves Shenley second in the table, 10 points behind leaders Hoddesdon with Reed a further seven points behind following their loss to Hemel Hempstead.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Skipper Lloyd Willingham won the toss for the visitors to Whitethorn Lane and chose to bat first.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Charlie Thurston batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Charlie Thurston batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It seemed a decent decision as they made 235-9 in their 60 overs, thanks in the main to an excellent 81 off 78 balls from opener Charlie Thurston, putting on 83 with his captain for the second wicket.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Charlie Thurston batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Charlie Thurston batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

They were also helped by a fine fifth-wicket partnership of 76 between Morgan Stanley (36) and Matty Evans (37).

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But all that was just a preamble to Akbar's big day.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Without seasoned bowlers Kris Nissen and Kiel van Vollenhoven, he opened the bowling for Shenley alongside Richard Turpie and the pair bowled good economic overs to hold Letchworth to just 25 after 10 overs.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The hosts used the 11th over to stretch their legs, taking nine runs off Turpie who had conceded just six in the previous five overs.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But on 34-0 Akbar struck, trapping William Aitkenhead leg before in a wicket maiden over.

Letchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village.


Picture: Karyn HaddonLetchworth V Shenley Village - Lloyd Willingham batting for Shenley Village. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Just to show that was no fluke he took three similar dismissals in three balls to claim a hat-trick before bowling George Denman, all four wickets coming in the same over.

He was 5-15 after seven overs and in over number eight he bagged a sixth wicket, leaving Letchworth on 40-6 at tea.

His six wicket haul had come in a 12-ball spell and had been at the cost of just one run.

And he took a seventh wicket shortly after the resumption to be 7-23 after 10 overs and Letchworth on 50-7.

They took their foot off the throat and the home side came within severs overs of forcing a draw before Turpie returned to claim the last wicket and leave Letchworth on 160.

Leverstock Green provide the opposition on Saturday back at the Cricket Centre.

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