County Cup progress for Shenley

But defeat to St Margaretsbury sees Village slip to 10th in league standings

Readers County Cup - first round

Old Albanian 172

Shenley Village 174-3

Shenley won by seven wickets

SHENLEY Village endured a weekend of mixed fortunes as they bounced back from a disappointing six wicket away defeat at the hands of St Margaretsbury in the league on Saturday with a comfortable victory of their own against Old Albanian in the first round of the County Cup on Sunday.

OAs captain Gyan Rhodes won the toss and elected to bat. However, his team got off to a poor start with paceman Rob Laney removing Henry Scott for a duck and the experienced David Rourke for 1, to leave the Division Three side struggling at 12-2.

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A recovery was then led by opener Chris Dobson and the aggressive Victor Stairmand. Stairmand took just 25 balls to score his 28 which included two 6s before being given out caught behind by wicket-keeper Matt Evans off the first ball of off-spinner Dion Ebrahim’s spell. Dobson was then joined by Rhodes and the pair put together a partnership of 59 which was dominated by an excellent innings from Dobson (75). Dave Shelley broke the partnership when Rhodes (22) was caught at mid-on by Tharic Sameem and Dobson was bowled in Shelley’s next over to plunge Old Albanian back into trouble at 132-5.

Thereafter, the OAs’ batting line-up offered little resistance with the exception of Nial Parkash who finished 18* as his side were bowled out for an under-par total of 172. Laney (3-37) and Shelley (3-33) were the pick of the bowlers whilst Sameem (2-25) also picked up two wickets.

Shenley took advantage of the fielding restrictions at the start of their reply and in doing so broke the back of the run chase by taking 86 from the first nine overs. Eventually Lloyd Willingham went for one big shot too many and was dismissed in the 10th over after an incredible innings of 46 from just 29 balls.

Ebrahim had also been scoring quickly and his innings of 65 from 58 balls took the result beyond doubt. Rahul Gajjar (31) was the second batsman to be dismissed and so after Ebrahim was caught at point it was left to Richard Evans and his brother Matt to complete the victory with more than half the available overs still remaining. Victor Stairmand, Chris Dobson and Jack Burman were the wicket takers for Old Albanian. Shenley advance to the second round of the County Cup where they will face Broxbourne on Sunday, June 26.

SHL Division Two

Shenley Village 132

St Margaretsbury 134-4

St Margaretsbury won by six wickets

Meanwhile, St Margaretsbury won the toss on Saturday and inserted Shenley under cloudy skies. The first wicket fell to seamer Martin Brown with the score on 21 and he took another wicket in his next over with no runs added to leave the visitors at a disappointing 21-2.

However, both Willingham (20) and Anooj Vadgama (29) looked in sparkling form until a failed attempt at a quick single resulted in Willingham being run out. A dramatic collapse followed with four wickets falling with the score on 61 to put Shenley in a difficult situation at 61-6.

An exciting innings of 37 from all-rounder Tharic Sameem including a massive six and a measured display of batting from Matt Evans (23) brought Shenley to a respectable total of 132 but this was well below the total they seemed set to make when Willingham and Vadgama were going well. Martin Brown (4-65) was the main wicket-taker whilst Steve Ansell (2-8) restricted the scoring rate.

In pursuit of a relatively small target St Margaretsbury batted steadily and despite the fact that only Brown (69*) made more than 20 the other batsmen all built good partnerships and Shenley never got close to pulling off a victory. Rawlings (2-17) bowled well and was rewarded with two of the four wickets to fall but the hosts reached the target in the 40th over to secure a six-wicket win.

After disappointingly taking only four points from this defeat Shenley slipped to 10th in the Division Two table and next week will hope to return to winning ways when they host fifth placed Knebworth Park II.