Dill leads OAs to comfortable win over former club

Saracens Herts League Division Two Old Albanians (157-2) beat Radlett IIs (156) by eight wickets WITH player transfers between the two clubs the source of much diatribe in previous winters, there was more than just points at stake at Cobden Hill on Satur

Saracens Herts League Division Two

Old Albanians (157-2) beat Radlett IIs (156) by eight wickets

WITH player transfers between the two clubs the source of much diatribe in previous winters, there was more than just points at stake at Cobden Hill on Saturday.

Former Radlett legend and now OAs captain Graham Dill portrayed Radlett's decision to bat first as a defensive approach and urged his XI to take the game to the hosts in the first hour.

His team responded spontaneously, with another sharp display in the field. Corran and Kwesi Roy made early inroads as all the Radlett batsmen struggled to impose themselves, keeper Vijh and debutant Todd Baines getting on the scorecard early on, snapping up a pair of routine catches.

Despite runs coming at a good rate, wickets fell at regular intervals and when Dan Foster bowled the dangerous Barr, Radlett were reeling at 52-4 in the 15th over. Dill himself accounted for his opposite number Lewis before Ashley Tillett batted impulsively to a top score of 24. A recovery looked possible but when he departed to his friend and former team-mate Gray at 95-6 in the 27th over, and a sharper take from Vijh behind the sticks this time, the main question was how long it would take to wrap up the innings.

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Nathwani and Mafa added 31 for the seventh wicket, but another Roy and Corran induced flurry of wickets left the hosts at 129-9 in the 36th over. Only a spirited last wicket partnership between Stuart Browne, who for once had more luck with bat than ball, and Dave Hegarty took the total to 156 before Roy (4-47) ended this counter attack with a perfectly directed slower ball in the 39th over of the match.

This left OAs 60 overs to chase down the runs. Alf Rehman survived a nervy start to dig in and blunt the pace of Mafa whilst Roy took the attack to the bowlers, farming the strike and scoring 42 off 45 balls before falling lbw to Browne.

After a circumspect start, Dill launched an assault on the spin of Nathwani, hitting four 4s off his opening over, only to drill Nathwani to mid-on four overs later.

Jon Freedman (34no) then took over the assault, also hitting four 4s off a Nathwani over, and with Rehman scoring more freely at the other end, the victory target of 157 was reached with 25 overs and eight wickets to spare.

l OAs II hosted Botany Bay who, on the form shown on Saturday, will be one of the promotion contenders from Division Five.

Winning the toss, OAs batted and scored at an impressive rate despite losing wickets at regular intervals. Only Phil Reid made any serious contribution with the bat top scoring with 64 with the OAs innings stumbling to 185 all out off 50.1 overs.

In reply both Bay openers established themselves with some very patient batting puting on 117 for the first wicket. As captain McCree rotated his bowlers none of the six bowlers used could take the wickets required to halt the run chase. Tom Preest was the only successful bowler as Botany Bay ran out comfortable winners chasing down the total with four overs to spare for the loss of two wickets.

l OAs III batted first against Reed III and moved swiftly to 78-1 with Duncan Taylor top scoring with 37 and Tony Perkins 23 before a middle order collapse consigned OAs to 123 all out. This was never going to be enough runs to defend and Reed III never looked in any danger moving towards the target in impressive style knocking off the runs for the loss of only one wicket.

l OAs IV struggled to set a defendable target and struggled to 79 all out in their Division 12 encounter with Luton Town & Indians. Kalpit Vachhani (18) and Herin Amin (14) showed some resistance but in the end both fell to some accurate bowling from the visitors.

In reply LT&I reached the target for the loss of four wickets. Debutants Tom Burman and George Elliot were the pick of the OA bowlers both licking up a wicket a piece.

l Fourteen-year-old Nial Parkash cemented his place in the annals of OA Cricketing folklore becoming the youngest ever OA to notch up a 1st XI ton as the Sunday XI beat their London Colney counterparts in the Alec Holt Memorial Trophy. The St Albans School starlet known to his school team-mates as "the A-Nial-ator" showed no fear facing an established Colney 1st XI attack on his debut as he took the lion's share of a 200 opening stand with former OA prodigy Alastair Lewis. Parkash's knock also contained an early season contender for the Josling Trophy for the fastest fifty as he notched up his half-century in the 11th over with his eighth boundary, a crushing drive over extra cover.

Colney skipper Hadley finally showed Parkash the respect he had earned and set the field back, but Parkash demonstrated much patience and nouse beyond his years to notch up an additional twenty-seven singles alongside a further six 4s, surpassing former 1st XI league captain Robert Bee's achievement 15 years ago.

Lewis rotated the strike well and played his usual array of classy strokes before departing for 85. Rhodes (18) came to the crease and maintained momentum with clever rotation in tandem with other debutants Bevan, Akers and Pate who smashed his only delivery to the mid-off boundary to set Colney 240 off 45 overs.

Captain Rehman set an aggressive field in the hope of making early inroads and the "Magician" Pereguin Hall stepped up with four wickets including the vital break-through; Hadley trapped lbw having set himself for a big score.

Gyan Rhodes turned the game firmly in the visitors' favour with another brace of wickets from his impressive off spin. Chris Bevan then did brilliantly to hold on to a low catch in the deep off fellow U14 Alex Pate.

Then a superb direct hit form Lewis and a clever spell from Rowan Akers (4.4-0-19-2) sealed the Alec Holt Memorial Trophy for OA's.